9 Jan 65 : Thoughts on Tony and Colin’s wages

No letter today – but some information relating to Dad and Colin’s wages as Changeover Men. 

In yesterday’s letter, Dad told his family in some detail about the incredible money they were earning, but the figures meant little to me.

So I emailed Dad to ask whether he could elaborate a little on what that was equivalent to. This is his reply…

Hi Tiff, I have done a bit of research to try and answer your question. I haven’t been able to establish any average wages for other jobs in America at that time, but I have come up with the following:

 In 1965, the average income was $4,658.72 per annum – this equates to $89.60 per week.

This amount would have been taxed, and with the 1965 tax rate at 19.60%, that leaves a net income of $72.04.

Out of this, a family would have to pay for medical cover and life assurance, mortgage, car running costs, heating, lighting, food, etc, etc. Bearing in mind that this would often be for a family of four, it doesn’t sound very much.

When we were hired to travel across America visiting SKF stockists, we were provided with a taxed and insured company car, and only had to pay for the (dirt cheap) petrol that we used.

We had comprehensive medical cover and life assurance provided free.

Each week we were given a cheque for $125 to cover our joint expenses – all accommodation, meals, petrol, entertaining etc – so that’s another $62.50 per week each. And if we didn’t spend the whole $125, we could pocket the remainder.

On top of having every expense paid for, we were also given $75 per week, completely tax free. This went straight into our bank accounts, untouched.

So, with all of this put together, we were two single men, each earning a total of $137.50 per week – allowing us to save a figure each week which was more than America’s average take-home income of $72.04, a sum which often had to support an entire family,

Not bad eh?  Cheers, Dad Xx

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