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Your road to the RFD $250k Household Salary. The un-realistic salary discussion thread.

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[OP]
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Sep 7, 2009
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Your road to the RFD $250k Household Salary. The un-realistic salary discussion thread.

How'd you do it?

If you are a single ultra-high income earner what is your profession? Doctor, lawyer, C-suite, high-tech, entrepreneur? Are you single? If not, does your SO work?

If the household income is split somewhat evenly between 2 individuals, were both of you high earners before beginning your relationship? Did if factor into choosing your partner?

What about if you live in a multi-generational household, does it still count? Are living arrangement by choice or necessity?
585 replies
[OP]
Sr. Member
Sep 7, 2009
701 posts
304 upvotes
Thanks Mr. Mod for unlocking this thread.

Seriously though, I'm sure this thread may bring some detractors, but hopefully it stays on topic.

I'm guessing the most common way to get to this is 2 professionals earning good money. As shown in the $100k thread, there are a number of individuals earning $100k+. I wonder how many are also with partners earning a similar salary?

For those that meet the threshold on an individual salary alone, would it even be worth a partner to continue working if they weren't making a similar amount? For example, if one makes $250k and the other makes $50k, what are the dynamics?
Deal Guru
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Mar 9, 2007
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Think of the Childre…
It's RFD! Most people here make over 100k, combined....200k ish.

WOULD SOMEBODY THINK OF THE CHILDREN!!!
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Never have had kids but once I crossed 150 there was no point in being in a dual income household.

Crossing 300 in cash (no stock) was the more difficult part and it required me to enter management. I seem to recall that was when I was in my late thirties.

The 200-400 mark can be hit by sales folks on my company if they achieve quota. The latter is important to highlight.

All that said what is the outcome of this thread? To see what careers can bring one to this salary or how a relationship dynamic changes at this income level?

Ps household and individual income are very different topics. The former is not that difficult to hit. The latter is.
For legal topics and discussions, the opinion, guidance, and thoughts provided are my own and are not considered to be legal advice, in any manner.
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Wife is the Director of Finance and I'm a Senior PM.
[OP]
Sr. Member
Sep 7, 2009
701 posts
304 upvotes
angryaudifanatic wrote: Never have had kids but once I crossed 150 there was no point in being in a dual income household.

Crossing 300 in cash (no stock) was the more difficult part and it required me to enter management. I seem to recall that was when I was in my late thirties.

The 200-400 mark can be hit by sales folks on my company if they achieve quota. The latter is important to highlight.

All that said what is the outcome of this thread? To see what careers can bring one to this salary or how a relationship dynamic changes at this income level?

Ps household and individual income are very different topics. The former is not that difficult to hit. The latter is.
Thanks for the info. So if you have no kids and no need for a second income is your husband a stay at home husband?
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Jun 9, 2003
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if you are in IT in Toronto....and husband and wife are both programmers...250K not hard.

Companies are rolling the red carpet for programmers.
Deal Guru
Dec 11, 2008
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We just hit the $250k household income. We both make similar salaries but my husband had about 5 raises in the past year; 14% alone since Dec 2018.

We are both 36/35 years old.

To answer your questions:

How'd you do it? We both are professionals. My husband has a background in mechanical engineering and worked in consulting and moved up quickly. But he wanted out due to hours so went back to get his MBA and now works for a large bank as a Senior Manager. At first we accepted his income would go down due to work/life balance but now he makes more than his old career and seems much happier. For me, I worked for the same company since graduating for 13+ years now, safe unionized job with regular increases, a couple of promotions and a DB pension etc as an analyst (Business Background). I got lucky, landed my job been able to keep up and do a good job and just keep going. My husband knows how to network and he is someone who I consider always employable. Won't ever have issues getting employment.

If you are a single ultra-high income earner what is your profession? Doctor, lawyer, C-suite, high-tech, entrepreneur? Are you single? If not, does your SO work? Not applicable to us, we are no where near the $250k mark per person. And may never get there; my husband MAYBE if he wanted to get there but then again, he will be sacrificing work/life balance which is what he was trying to get out of to begin with. Will the pay be worth it and can he even make it? Who knows.

If the household income is split somewhat evenly between 2 individuals, were both of you high earners before beginning your relationship? Did if factor into choosing your partner? Yes we were both high earners. When we met over 7 years ago, we both made around the same. Since then he went back to school while I supported us and then he picked up off where he was when he got a job and has been climbing since. Both of our incomes steadily increased. Did it factor in us choosing each other? No we both only revealed our incomes awhile into our relationship. We know what we both did professionally but did not know income. And it did not matter anyways how much we made or what job we did; although my husband didn't want to reveal his salary. His family doesn't talk money much where my family is pretty open about it. But we are very open about it between the two of us since we are one household/unit.

What about if you live in a multi-generational household, does it still count? Are living arrangement by choice or necessity? Just the two of us, no kids and will probably be just the two of us if we are considering household income. We wouldn't count anyone else's income as we only look after and track our own finances.

Last note: yes not sure what the entire point of thread is as I don't think there is a formula to earning or reaching some magic number. But to those who are naysayers; yes these do exist, yes they are RFD and like deals, yes they don't live extravagantly or have other priorities. Yes some have kids and some don't. But I would assume that if you make $250k household, there should be no reason to say you cannot afford to live in the GTA.
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Next up: the $1mm individual salary discussion thread!
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holden wrote: Thanks for the info. So if you have no kids and no need for a second income is your husband a stay at home husband?
Separated now but when I was in a common law relationship he held the title of director. He made less than me though and spent money like a drunken sailor would dream of. Suffice it to say that was one reason we split.

To answer your original question as far as the path I chose to get here. Started as a lawyer and went down the path of being a member of in house counsel for IBM way back in the day and now have been bouncing around in management for in house counsel for the big tech firms. Now I lead the local subsidiary from a legal and corporate affairs perspective.

I never had the intention of doing what I do. Happy go lucky here with a large emphasis on the lucky part.
For legal topics and discussions, the opinion, guidance, and thoughts provided are my own and are not considered to be legal advice, in any manner.
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thelefteyeguy wrote: if you are in IT in Toronto....and husband and wife are both programmers...250K not hard.

Companies are rolling the red carpet for programmers.
The pay for software developer engineers has stagnated here in Toronto and Vancouver for some time. It is very easy hitting that OTE in the US for just one person.

Typically speaking the big tech firms will issue on hire stock in the six figure range. That never ever happens in Toronto.
For legal topics and discussions, the opinion, guidance, and thoughts provided are my own and are not considered to be legal advice, in any manner.
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Nov 14, 2006
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angryaudifanatic wrote: The pay for software developer engineers has stagnated here in Toronto and Vancouver for some time. It is very easy hitting that OTE in the US for just one person.

Typically speaking the big tech firms will issue on hire stock in the six figure range. That never ever happens in Toronto.
Do you see this changing in the future for Toronto to become more of a competitive employment city? housing/rent has gone up quickly and I would see companies needing to be more competitive to bring in good talent or they will go elsewhere. Most of my friends that are in the tech sector have all left Toronto years ago and landed in California to be exact at this point in their careers.
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lilmikey wrote: Do you see this changing in the future for Toronto to become more of a competitive employment city? housing/rent has gone up quickly and I would see companies needing to be more competitive to bring in good talent or they will go elsewhere. Most of my friends that are in the tech sector have all left Toronto years ago and landed in California to be exact at this point in their careers.
Yeah the bleeding of talent from Canada to the US, especially from a SE (software engineering) perspective has been going on for quite some time. Having seen the salary grids for these positions at almost all of the household tech darlings, the wages have been stagnant. I've generally seen about a 0.3-0.5% growth YOY COL increases dependent on level. Now, that number is low because when we compare the salaries of the SEs, it's considered to be "high income" when compared to the median Canadian salary. Note, this is NOT the same thing as an employee. Employee wage growth each year is about 3%, but my YOY COL increase is not in reference to that, but more a reference to stagnant wage growth per 'level'.

All that said, there are two groups of SEs that I would say that exist in Canada.

1) SEs who are parking themselves in Canada while waiting for visas to enter the US. These folks are heavily concentrated in Vancouver for all of the top tech firms. Vancouver, probably because they are relatively close to Washington State which has the HQ for the usual tech suspects.

2) SEs who are Canadian and choose to stay here. They understand that their pay will be 20-30% less (not including forex conversions) versus their US counterparts. That said, there is a strong culture within IT firms that empower employees to work from home. Those same companies, in the US, do not have that culture. My guess is that that continues to be a driving force in salary differentials between our two countries.

All that being said, to answer your question, no, I don't believe SEs will see an increase in salary anytime soon. The demand for these roles already is pretty low as most software engineering for these firms come out of the US. The other piece is, IMHO, our educational system churns out far more professionals with that skillset than there are jobs, when compared to the US.

All that being said, sales professionals for IT firms though - the differential is hardly even in existence when compared to the US. It is pretty common for sales folks to be in the $300K range if they make quota. Forex aside, that's very similar to the US.

The one thing that we all know for high paying jobs is....one needs to differentiate themselves from another. If the goal is, as per this thread, is to exceed $250K, then one really needs to be a diamond in the rough, so to speak, and between education, skillset (and passion, perhaps), and experience, almost all 3 is required to reach this individual salary.
For legal topics and discussions, the opinion, guidance, and thoughts provided are my own and are not considered to be legal advice, in any manner.
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Feb 13, 2017
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toronto, ontario
holden wrote: If you are a single ultra-high income earner what is your profession?
Private banking at major Canadian bank. Specialization is wealth management.

2018 compensation = $181,000 cash + $0 benefits + $100,000 bonus (locked)
holden wrote: For those that meet the threshold on an individual salary alone, would it even be worth a partner to continue working if they weren't making a similar amount? For example, if one makes $250k and the other makes $50k, what are the dynamics?
My common-law partner earns about $55,000. We file separate tax returns.

She pays 100% of her personal expenses and I pay 90% of our joint expenses.
angrybanker wrote: Next up: the $1mm individual salary discussion thread!
The two owners/equity partners of our business unit earn about $1 million salary/dividends per year. Both are age 70+ and work part-time hours.
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Next thread: 'Is a quarter million salary a meme in 2019?'
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PhotoSmurf wrote:
The two owners/equity partners of our business unit earn about $1 million salary/dividends per year. Both are age 70+ and work part-time hours.
For sure - there are people everywhere (well, not everywhere but a surprising number) who take equity risk and make millions or more. Quite hard finding a 'salaried' job that pays total comp of a mill plus outside an i banking MD/PE partner/portfolio manager, surgeon with their own practice, law partner (although I guess this is equity risk as well) etc. Nice work if you can find it!
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Aug 15, 2016
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Including bonus my wife and I might hit that number this year.

I started out as an engineer before going back for an MBA and transitioning into finance. I now do equity research at a large Canadian bank which gets into the $100 - $150k range pretty quickly. My wife is an engineer at an energy company and has salary + bonus in the $90 - $120k range. Both are well paying but not the best in terms of job security and long term outlook.
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1. Friends
2. Family
3. Religion

These are the three demons you must slay if you wish to succeed in business. (Actually.)
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JFlash20 wrote: 1. Friends
2. Family
3. Religion

These are the three demons you must slay if you wish to succeed in business. (Actually.)
What do you mean?

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