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Unbelievable Stress of Making "Only" $200,000 After Taxes

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Published : March 01st, 2012
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Category : Editorials





People who have nothing to eat, no job, and are about to be tossed out of their homes in foreclosure, really do not know what stress is.

To fully appreciate stress, please consider the sorry "plights" of Andrew Schiff, marketing director for Euro Pacific Capital, Daniel Arbeeny, a Wall Street headhunter, and hedge-fund manager Richard Scheiner.

Bloomberg describes the out-and-out horror stories of all three in
Wall Street Bonus Withdrawal Means Trading Aspen for Coupons

Andrew Schiff said the $350,000 he earns, enough to put him in the country’s top 1 percent by income, doesn’t cover his family’s private-school tuition, a Kent, Connecticut, summer rental and the upgrade they would like from their 1,200-square- foot Brooklyn duplex.

“People who don’t have money don’t understand the stress,” said Alan Dlugash, a partner at accounting firm Marks Paneth & Shron LLP in New York who specializes in financial planning for the wealthy. “Could you imagine what it’s like to say I got three kids in private school, I have to think about pulling them out? How do you do that?”

Wall Street’s cash bonus pool fell by 14 percent last year to $19.7 billion, the lowest since 2008, according to projections by New York state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.

“It’s a disaster,” said Ilana Weinstein, chief executive officer of New York-based search firm IDW Group LLC. “The entire construct of compensation has changed.”

Wall Street headhunter Daniel Arbeeny said his “income has gone down tremendously.” On a recent Sunday, he drove to Fairway Market in the Red Hook section of Brooklyn to buy discounted salmon for $5.99 a pound.

$17,000 on Dogs

Richard Scheiner, 58, a real-estate investor and hedge-fund manager, said most people on Wall Street don’t save.

Scheiner said he spends about $500 a month to park one of his two Audis in a garage and at least $7,500 a year each for memberships at the Trump National Golf Club in Westchester and a gun club in upstate New York. A labradoodle named Zelda and a rescued bichon frise, Duke, cost $17,000 a year, including food, health care, boarding and a daily dog-walker who charges $17 each per outing, he said.

He described a feeling of “malaise” and a “paralysis that does not allow one to believe that generally things are going to get better,” listing geopolitical hot spots such as Iran and low interest rates that have been “artificially manipulated” by the Federal Reserve.

Poly Prep

The malaise is shared by Schiff, the New York-based marketing director for Euro Pacific Capital, where his brother is CEO. His family rents the lower duplex of a brownstone in Cobble Hill, where his two children share a room. His 10-year- old daughter is a student at $32,000-a-year Poly Prep Country Day School in Brooklyn. His son, 7, will apply in a few years.

“I can’t imagine what I’m going to do,” Schiff said. “I’m crammed into 1,200 square feet. I don’t have a dishwasher. We do all our dishes by hand.”

He wants 1,800 square feet -- “a room for each kid, three bedrooms, maybe four,” he said. “Imagine four bedrooms. You have the luxury of a guest room, how crazy is that?”

Summer Rentals

The family rents a three-bedroom summer house in Connecticut and will go there again this year for one month instead of four. Schiff said he brings home less than $200,000 after taxes, health-insurance and 401(k) contributions.

“I wouldn’t want to whine,” Schiff said. “All I want is the stuff that I always thought, growing up, that successful parents had.”

Imagine the Stress

·         Imagine the stress of renting a three-bedroom summer home for only one month instead of four.

·         Imagine the stress of only making $350,000 pre-tax

·         Imagine the stress of making a mere $200,000 after tax and IRA contributions, and having to wash dishes by hand

·         Imagine the stress of being able to send your kids to the $32,000-a-year for the Poly Prep Country Day School in Brooklyn

Imagine the stress knowing full well that none of the above is enough, yet not being able to whine about it.

“I wouldn’t want to whine,” Schiff said. “All I want is the stuff that I always thought, growing up, that successful parents had.”

This is more than nauseating, so if you need to excuse yourself to take care of matters, please do so now.



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IMG Auteur
Mish 13 abonnés
Mike Shedlock / Mish is a registered investment advisor representative for SitkaPacific Capital Management. He writes a global economics blog which has commentary 5-7 times a week. He also writes for the Daily Reckoning, Whiskey & Gunpowder, and has over 80 magazine and book cover credits. Visit
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Latest comment posted for this article
Wall Street sharing the pain ? Situation must be quite dire then Read more
FUBAR - 3/1/2012 at 5:16 PM GMT
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Wall Street sharing the pain ?
Situation must be quite dire then