|Ice Capades at the Grain Bin House. Winter 2019|
Years ago at our "finest" (it's debatable) Keith and I had an income of over $135,000/yr. Our farm was certified organic and we sold to four grocery stores and ten restaurants in the Chicago area, plus one in Champaign. In addition we managed our own retail farm store on our property. Neither of us worked an off-farm job. We were considered upper middle class.
We also ran ourselves ragged and paid a huge hunk of income tax.
But now on our new farm, coming up on our four year anniversary, we've realized one of our key financial goals, to obtain lower class status. In Illinois, where the median income was $ 62, 992 in 2017, lower middle class was considered at $37,473 per year. Less than that, for a family of two, is considered lower class.
Keith and I, with his county custodian job and my small nursing pension, bring in about $26,000 a year. Now, if we made less than $16, 910 we'd be considered "impoverished" or just plain poor. But, we don't think much of the state's definitions anyway, they've done a horrible job of managing their own money, so it's all a moot point, except for the fact that we pay far less income tax than we ever have, and that makes us giddy happy. We completed our taxes last week and we will receive $17 back from the Federal government and a whopping $78 return from the State of Illinois.
How shall we spent this huge mother lode? Should we invest in stocks? Take an Alaskan cruise? Purchase some diamond earrings for my trips to Aldi's? Put a down payment on a car less than twenty years old? No. I believe we'll buy some OSB plywood panels for Keith's shop in the barn.
That's us. Always living on the wild side.