I came across this headline on msn.com today:
The Richest Counties in America
Life is pretty cushy in the nation’s wealthiest locales, which have a median income around double the national average. Find out where the 1 percent lives.
I was curious, so I clicked on it, expecting to see counties around Los Angeles, Manhattan, San Francisco, etc. So imagine my surprise when 10 of the 15 counties on the list were in Maryland and Virginia, nearly all of them in the Washington, DC metro area. I happen to live in the second-wealthiest county in the United States, Fairfax County, VA. My county has the second highest median home price ($507,800) for an owner-occupied home and the second highest median household income.
Apparently, this means we are the 1 percent, which is news to me. Last time I checked, I don’t live in a mansion or drive a crazy expensive, luxury car. I work full-time and commute 45 minutes to an hour each way, fighting traffic and rushing home to spend a precious hour and a half with my daughter before she goes to sleep. I don’t have a live-in nanny that does all of our laundry and has lunches prepared for the next day. I don’t have a housekeeper, unless of course I can count myself. Living in one of the wealthiest counties in the United States does afford me privileges (low unemployment rate, good salary, great county resources, amazing schools) and I love living here, but it by no means is a one-way ticket into the 1 percent. If only it were that simple.
I am sure people across the country will read this article and think we are all living the high life over here, but I don’t know many people who are jetting off on amazing vacations every other week or “lunching” at their leisure. Sure, there are people in the 1 percent who live here, but I would venture a guess that there are just as many in the 1 percent in Beverly Hills or the Upper East Side. Most of us are doing what countless other families across the country are trying to do—hold onto our jobs, make smart financial decisions, and provide for our families as best we can.