You’re only getting poorer

August 6, 2009 · 5 comments

Howdy doody debt punchers. Today I pose a question. At what age do you anticipate reaching your peak income? I have read quite a few personal finance books that discuss income trends of individuals over their lifetime. The graphs usually show a persons income peaking by their late 30′s.

I got to thinking “When do I plan to reach my maximum income?” I would like to think I’m always going to be able to make more money, by working harder or changing positions, but statistics show that just isn’t likely. So for the sake of today’s blog post, I’m guessing my income will peak at age 29 or 43. Here’s why….

My first assumption is that I will reach maximum income at age 29. That’s only 5 years from now, pretty depressing huh? The main reason for this prediction is anticipation of having children. Once the first baby ninja is shooting out of momma’s happy place, we will become a single income family. I don’t anticipate ever being able to make enough to recover the lost income from a stay-at-home mom. That first kid better be worth the $50K/yr he is gonna cost me.

My second assumption, age 43, is more accurate to the actual question. Although I anticipate my household income to peak at age 29, I’m pretty confident my income will peak at 43. It’s probably much easier for me to make this prediction than you, because I am a federal employee and I know exactly how much I will make for the rest of my life. I currently have 19 more years until I reach my maximum pay grade.

Deep down inside I want to toss out both of these guesses because I don’t want to ever face a declining or stagnant income. But what about you? If you had to make a crazy a$$ guess, when would you predict your income will peak? Have you already waved goodbye to your highest salary? Or are you like me and plan to always come up with a way to make more money?

{ 5 comments }

1 SS4BC

In my career it tends to always steadily increase with age because of the whole tenure business. However, if I were to skim off of the tops of grants (like MANY scientists do) it will probably peak out around 45-50. I'll be old enough to be highly regarded but not so old that's I've become senile. ;)

However, chemists in academia tend to work until they die, so I'll be making some money for a long, long time to come. =D

2 moneyfunk

I have to say that I have already peaked in my job (36). I will still recieve the annual pay raises…but I have met the threshold at my job. Do I think that's it? HECK NO!

Now, I plan to step that up and become a successful entrepreneur. When will I peak at that? Hopefully, never.

3 Anonymous

Why are you going to become a single-income family? The mother can always alternate part time with the father.

4 thestarvingpig

I currently get paid $9 a hour, so I hope to god that's not my income peak!

5 Punch Debt In The Face

@ SS4BC – just discover our generations double helix and you wont have to worry about your income not increasing

@ Money funk- Does it get tough knowing you have reached the threshold? I fear that when I reach that stage in my job I will suddenly become frustrated

@ Anonymous- I personally want my wife to have the option to stay home if she likes. I'm kind of old school like that.

@ Pig- I'm sure your income will go up, i hope :)

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