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News In Brief

You can never have enough money

Christina Huh Sep 22, 2010

A University of Chicago Law professor posted on his blog about the challenges of the “super rich.” The post has been taken off his blog, Truth on the Market (here’s a cached copy of it). Todd Henderson and his wife’s income exceeds the $250,000, which means he’s not considered “middle-class.” And he’s having a tough making ends meet apparently, and is none too pleased with the prospect of having his taxes raised.

To help him out, Brett Arends of the Wall Street Journal put together a list of helpful advice for rich people who are having a tough time getting by. Certainly, your dollar doesn’t go as far if you’re living in a big city like Chicago, but Arends serves up some tough love to Henderson and those who presumably can wipe their tears with hundred dollar bills, or any kind of bill.

Adjust your expectations. “I can show you a client of mine right now who lives in a suburb of Chicago, he’s a doctor, makes $350,000 a year, and he routinely racks up $25,000 on his credit cards,” says Michael Kalscheur, a financial planner at Castle Wealth Advisors in Indianapolis. The reason? Too many people have “unrealistic expectations,” says Mr. Kalscheur. They figure they should be vacationing in Italy, driving expensive cars, the whole deal. “We need to knock him upside the head. He’s got to stop spending money.” Every financial planner will tell you the same thing: The real challenge is tackling the psychology.

Arends also suggests a lot of advice that can apply for the middle class or anyone looking to slim down their spending — figure out where your money really goes, cancel the cable, make junior mow the lawn.

But probably the most important piece of advice in this column?

Never, ever, ever again blog about how hard it is to live on $300,000 or $350,000 a year at a time when one middle-aged man in four can’t find a full-time job, and one in five can’t find any job at all.

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