You Earn a Nice Paycheck, But You’re Not Rich Yet?

You’re a HENRY

A recent study by LendingClub shows that among those making between $150,000 and $200,000 a year, 48% reported in July that they were living paycheck to paycheck.

This figure is 7% higher than the previous month and 13% more than May 2022. It's also likely that most of these respondents are ‘HENRYs.'

HENRY stands for “High Earner Not Rich Yet” and describes (typically) young workers who make a lot of money, yet haven't been able to build meaningful wealth due to various expenses like student loans, childcare, taxes, and more.

Before diving into personal finance details for HENRYs, it's essential to understand why these high earners have such a hard time building up wealth. Here are a few of the most pressing financial challenges faced by HENRYs.

Financial Challenges Faced by HENRYs

According to Education Data, the average student loan debt is $40,000 per person. For HENRYs, this amount is twice as high, around $80,000. Most HENRYs have additional degrees (think doctors, lawyers, architects, etc.), have been in school for longer, and owe more money.

Student Loan Debt

Most HENRYs also suffer from something called lifestyle creep or lifestyle inflation. Lifestyle creep is when increased income leads to increases spending, usually when luxuries become perceived necessities and costs subsequently balloon.

Lifestyle Creep

Earning six figures isn't equivalent everywhere. It may be worth less, depending on where you live. For example, $100,000 might go a long way in Cedar Park, Texas, but in Los Angeles, California, where the median home price is around $1 million, it's not even enough to put a downpayment on a home.

Home Prices

Another factor that heavily hits HENRYs – and all working people – is inflation. It might seem like the average wage has risen over the past two decades, but this notion quickly falls apart when factoring in inflation and the rising cost of goods.


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