The top 1 percent have a household income north of $400,000 a year — $401,600 in Broward County, $456,206 in Palm Beach County and $413,372 in Miami-Dade, according to a national survey of household incomes by Washington-based Sentier Research.

In the membership are some big names like LeBron James, who makes $44 million a year; and each and every benchwarmer on the Miami warmth. however a few of the 20,000 richest families in South Florida belong to executives, school presidents, surgeons, lawyers and marketers.

Some are dual-income couples with mortgages who send their children to public schools, according to Census surveys of 1,266 South Florida households in the top 1 percent between 2006 and 2010.

“I’m not a guy born with a silver spoon in my mouth — not as one of seven kids in my family,” said Gary Poliakoff, a Broward attorney and real estate investor. “I was on my own at age 12. I waited on tables and worked construction jobs through college. After law school, I opened a law firm on borrowed money without a single client.”

The Occupy Wall side road protest motion started the contemporary debate — and aroused interest —over just who’re the nation’s best 1 percenters. Sentier researchers Gordon green and John Coder, each formerU.S. Census Bureau executives, crunched Census knowledge from 2007 to 2010 from across the usa to determine. They tallied pay, dividends, hobby and other income to discover the minimal threshold for a circle of relatives to enter the unique club.

Many in the 1 percent are upset with the Occupy Wall Street movement’s portrayal of them as greedy and uncaring.

“I thought the whole purpose of the American Dream was to pick oneself by the bootstraps,” Poliakoff said.

Getting into Broward’s 1 percent took years of exhausting work, saving and investing, he stated. Poliakoff started a legislation company, Becker & Poliakoff, in 1973 with legal professional Alan Becker. It has turn out to be Broward’s greatest with 145 regulationyers and lobbyists.

It takes a higher income to get into the top 1 percent in Palm Beach County because wealthy transplants, such as Slim-Fast creator S. Daniel Abraham, have raised the bar.

“They made their fortunes elsewhere,” said William B. Stronge, an economics consultant who is a professor emeritus at Florida Atlantic University.

No one research South Florida’s most sensible 1 percent because the group is so small, said Ron Kurtz, president of the american Affluence analysis center. He compares many of South Florida’s richest to their opposite numbers in la and the big apple. They spend more and are flashier than the remainder of the rustic’s elite, Kurtz mentioned.

That’s partly because South Florida’s glitz, balmy weather and lack of a state income tax attract hundreds of athletes, entertainers, business leaders and well-off foreigners who buy homes here, said Stronge.

They like South Florida’s diversity, that ranges from Northeast snowbirds to Cuban exiles to those from the Caribbean islands. “They fit in,” Stronge said, even if they speak accented English or no English at all.

Delray beach actual estate entrepreneur and highest-promoting writer Frank McKinney said there may be laborious paintings and stress in the back of the top salaries. “you have to take dangers,” he stated.

What concerns him is the growing number of Americans such as the Wall Street protesters who have what McKinney called an “entitlement mentality.”

McKinney said he couldn’t afford to have one. He just has a high school education and needed to make a living to put food on the table.

Now that he is wealthy he makes it a point to give to others, McKinney added.

Most of South Florida’s 1 percenters also are charitable, he said.

McKinney used his February “Survival to Thrival,” 4,071-mile book tour that promoted three new books including his religion-inspired The Tap to highlight the problems of the homeless.

He traded places with a homeless person in each city: They got to enjoy swank hotel rooms while he bunked in a homeless shelter.

“I wanted them to believe in the American way,” McKinney said.