Making over $100K/Year, Being Appreciated, Living Well

I had an interesting conversation with an immigrant yesterday about what is considered a good income in the U.S. This led me to do a little research that I have compiled here.

In some countries, a woman will straight-up ask you what your annual salary is. I kind of like this. Don’t get mad.

I’ve come to regard income as a measurement of how much people appreciate what you contribute to society. This is complicated, of course, by your own appreciation of yourself and your ability to LET people appreciate you.

Some good-hearted, seemingly simple-lived people probably make $100K/year in bartering that is never tracked by the census. For example, others provide them housing, meals, etc. in exchange for what they do for them. I know for a fact I received a lot more from people than my bank statements would attest to this past month, hence I FEEL wealthy!

This would be a more interesting statistic to me. Tracking how people are ACTUALLY appreciated. Anyway…

So I ventured that 100K+/year is still considered a very comfortable lifestyle to most Americans. And turns out I was pretty right on. According to 2009 US Census data, only 12.9% of men and 5% of women actually make $100K+/year. Most average about $45,000 and $35,000, respectively. So a woman shooting for the stars in a mate would be looking for someone above this average.

Here is a list of “traditional” jobs that pay over $100K/year: 100K+ Jobs

If you know me, you know how interested I am in in “traditional” jobs! I tend to see them as a gateway/university of sorts, a place to learn but not always a place to live, unless it is truly a job you would honestly do joyfully for free if suddenly you were not being paid.

But then, being a woman, I got interested in what other women are doing.

Here is some women-specific advice I found, not really interesting to me personally but great points to consider: 11 Top Tips on how Women can Earn More

Here is a list of Forbes 100 most powerful women. Someone noted with sadness how there were no women entrepreneurs in their 30’s included on this list.

I had recently heard a statistic that 80% of women that earn over $100K/year do it in direct sales/network marketing. I wasn’t able to find any proof of that information online. Success magazine (a direct sales magazine) was quoted as a source at one point but the exact article could not be sourced. However, it has been surveyed that somewhere from 81%-87% of people IN direct marketing ARE women. And my guess is that probably 1%-3% of those women become successful enough to earn 100K/year.

In 2006, the top 25% of female earners worked mostly in: education & health services, professional and business services, and financial activities (BLS statistics).

Of course, you could always pick a career that women don’t typically do, and then do it differently and better than a man would to get your $100K.

For $100K/year in retirement you’d need to save about $5 Million. OR HAVE $5 Million left to you! Don’t limit yourself, haha. For me, this would spit out about $100K/year until I turn 90. After that age I hope to have developed new unique talents that the world will appreciate!

Curious to see if anyone has other thoughts about this information…