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The low end of the top 1 percent aren’t all that rich

By Dian Vujovich

With all the talk about the top 1 percent you would think they all were mega-richies. And you’d be wrong. The bottom of that top has annual incomes that might surprise you: Depending upon the source, the low-end of our nation’s top income earners varies from an annual income of roughly $337,000 to $390,000.

Like probably everyone else on the planet, the first time I learned that I was surprised. I figured just getting into that tiny sliver of income levels automatically made one a multi-millionaire. Since it doesn’t, I got to wondering how misleading most of the reporting of the 1 percent folk really is.

For instance, bring home a measly $330,000 a year and there’s no affording a lot of fancy luxury stuff. Like a private jet, mega-yacht or even a home in Palm Beach.

Like the notion of owning a private jet on 300-some G’s a year and you can forget about it. The Cessna Citation Excel is considered the most popular model of private jets. Given that a new Citation X will cost around $20+ million to purchase, and hundreds of thousands each year for maintenance, pilot, etc, low-end 1 percenters can only dream about owning one.

Then there’s that yacht. Word is a $1,000,000 sport fishing boat or baby yacht comes with an estimated 20 percent of purchase price cost to maintain annually. That would eat up a big chunk of someone’s$330,000 in no time.

And then there is owning a mega-million dollar home in Palm Beach. Yes, there are dozens upon dozens of condos available in the 33480 zip code priced in the few hundreds of thousands of dollars range that surely are affordable for the low-end 1 percent crowd.

But want say a mega-million mansion and the taxes alone will consume close to half of a low-ender’s annual income. A home on Everglades Island, for instance, sold in May for $11.6 million. Taxes were almost $126,000, according to The Palm Beach Post.

While bringing home solidly over $300,000 a year would certainly be terrific, the next time you hear about the 1 percenters, do as I’ve learned to do—don’t believe everything you hear or read. The crowd with the real money is the 1 percent of the 1 percenters.

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