Linda is a 33-year-old ICU nurse who works at one of the nation's top 10 children's hospitals in Denver.
Bill Robson is 57 and lives in Sammamish, Washington. Last year, he quit his career in computer engineering to write a book and start a business. We spoke recently about his transition.
Chet is a 30-something professional actor from British Columbia.
Laura, 28, works at an entertainment company in the booking division in a job she describes as "essentially an administrative assistant." She is paid by the hour and earns roughly $30,500 a year before taxes.
Marnie Gallowy! The Internets told me that last week—eight years after you graduated from our ol' alma mater—that you paid off the last of your $48,000 in student loan debt. IS THAT TRUE? Are you a wizard?
Jillian Wong, is a 26-year-old Singaporean who works for a design website. Not too long ago, she visited New York and asked to meet with me so we could talk about the culture of money in Singapore.
Anne, 33, lives in Boston and is a supply planning lead for a consumer products company, where she earns $100,000 a year.
Alice: I am 20. I'm a creative writer (copywriter) for two medium-market radio stations owned by the same company.
As part of my journey to understand this situation better, I've been talking to people at all levels of wealth. One major goal is to find out how professional, active money management differs from the administration of the average middle class nest egg. To that end, I recently talked with a wealth manager for a large bank. Let's call him Tom.
Jeanie is 42 years old and has worked in professional theater for 24 years. She received a bachelor's degree in fine arts from the University of Victoria in British Columbia.
Billy is a 37-year-old husband and father who decided to give up his job earning six figures when he was 33 to move to a small town and take a position that paid half as well. He says it was one of the best decisions he's ever made.
Claire Brown is a name I made up for a girl who likes to go out to eat, but her boyfriend doesn't.