Did I think it was unfair to have to work and pay bills at such a young age? No, because I had been helping out for years and it was an honor to help my parents and contribute to the family. Which is why I agree with Romney more and more about how pathetic it is that we live in a society where so many are willing to be dependent upon the government rather than be dependent upon themselves.
There are some really solid public schools though JT! Thx for the heads up! The utilities and groceries bills are on the high side if I were to calculate, but the rest looks pretty spot on.
What values do the upper class have that the middle class do not? Thanks for the UK perspective! To me though, the American Dream is all about the potential to achieve and break out of the lower or middle class and emerge into the upper class. After all, who aspires to stay average their entire life? Everybody wants to be rich — which is why you see them all standing in line to buy Powerball tickets. But for many, a US middle class life is paradise! As long as I can manage to put away x what it costs for a Powerball ticket every month if not even more , then I am somewhat content.
I tend to not focus on my class, because I find it keeps me from actually investing in the things that I need to focus on. But I do come from a middle class existance.
I consider myself middle class and fall within the income range. Although, I think I will always consider myself middle class until I have more money than I know what to do with coming in. At that point, I think I cross into upper class. Oh, how relativity makes everything look skewed. Where we live and what we can buy with one amount of money varies soooo much, especially with housing as you pointed out. And you make a good point about Romney and Obama both defining middle class the same but the semantics is different.
Whomever ends up in office, I hope our recovery continues. Things are looking better it just takes time. Lets see, what class are we? We did have a great income, but much of it went to schooling. In the last two months, funding was cut and I lost my job. Next my husband decided to go out on his own so our income right now is zero. Based on assets, I am sure we are middle class still though. My income has increased dramatically over the past few years..
From the outside, you would never know it. I wear a G-Shock watch, drive a 7 year old car, and shop for clothes at Kohls. Sam, I admire what you have done and am following the same path. I also live in a very affluent part of the country OC very affluent beachtown and know what real wealth looks like. Compared to that, we are definetly middle class. Nice work and good plan! I agree that there is this need for most people to identify as middle class.
There is something honorable and noble to say that you are smack dab in the middle. You are in the center and therefore can say you are both poor and rich at the same time. Whatever is most suitable at the moment. Its the middle class that is most identified with making this country great in our society which is why probably so many people want to claim entry.
The CBO breaks it down into quintiles by income. I will always consider myself middle class and project myself as middle class for as long as I live. I too consider myself a middle class. I agree with you that every single one of us has a different interpretation of middle class.
As for me, having an average-sized house, a car, a stable job, a few financial investments and at least once-a year vacation to a country I have not been in — is my definition of middle class. My story is probably pretty similar to yours.
Now whether or not that would be considered middle class today is a whole other story. You might think of yourself as belong in the middle class, but if you expand the group beyond just central SF, then I doubt others will see it the same way. The median person just does not have millions in net worth or passive income into the six figures. I bet in SF, even being as well off as you are, there will be others around to make you feel back solidly in the middle!
Middle class where I live at age 30 is probably individual income between 35K to K, with distinct social segments ranging from 35K to 50K, 45K to 75K, and 70K to K depending on profession. Middle class is about what WE see ourselves not how others see us. Ive been a single mom for 4 years now. I bought a home on my own 3 years ago put oil in the tank now pellets buy food pay electricity phone and I still have a couple of bucks left over.
We have everything we need and some how we have some things others would take for granted like a computer. I worry from time to time but always find the way to wake up and do it all over again. We are happy doing the little things in life and have lots of time together which I think is worth more then money. I feel sorry for those how have their priorities wrong. If I had the extra money like winning the mega bucks my dream would be to find people I could help up.
Not a hand out but people who make a difference no what their situation. My husband who is supporting this year our home income, we will be making around 53, Now in days i considered that poverty the right word, no middle class. He is struggling in trying keep up with the expenses.
We live in a mobile home he is trying to pay up for. Daycare is so expensive! So the way I see it, we would have to be making at least 90, I mean me and him have not have the chance to enjoy each other. We are thinking to live in a house in three or four years but for now am hoping to have more time. My husband and I, after years of living comfortably within our means, decided to buy a home in a more expensive region.
Even though our old home was paid off a few years ago and we have land elsewhere that is also paid for, we feel strapped simply because neither is likely to sell soon. In a very short time, with just one major change, you can go from feeling fairly comfortable NOT rich!
Some people will no doubt ask why would we put ourselves at greater financial risk, as this is our retirement home, not a career-based move. True that if we were indisputably poor, we could not do this. But even those who have more than poor people do can still feel poor due to taking on a large debt late in life, whether that debt is voluntary relocation and new home or involuntary uncovered medical expenses.
Life is full of risks of all kinds. I am a college-educated burger flipper earning minimum wage. Clearly when you first start out, you are poor, but if you want to call yourself middle class, go for it! If there are three classes that have varing rangers across the country then one could separate the country into income territories with the three individual numbers. Meaning they would want to invest money there until those Classes raise to a higher level.
Then territories would build up and up. I feel that building a fuzzy cloud around what the three class are, is not fair, since to everyone who can drive for miles and miles and see nothing but shacks, or homless, or homes that are of the fealthy rich or are just good enough does not help in getting money where it is needed for the territories mentioned.
Lets put money where it belongs. Put money in places were it counts. Me and my wife were able to go completely debt free still have a mortgage though by not trying to keep up with the rest of the people around us. My car is 13 years old and her car is 9 years old.
I write down all my bills for the current pay period and I make sure to include groceries, food, and gas as part of my bills. Congrats on the recovery Duke! Perhaps save up for a used car for your wife instead of a new car?
I would not want to be considered in your category, I earn 39, and support my husband, we save money every way we can. I do not consider our family middle class. The median annual earnings have gone down in the past years, yet the cost of living increases. At k here in Houston, I consider my household lower middle class. I can buy a normal car, normal house, and save enough to put my child through college and retire.
To be wealthy, in my opinion, is not living paycheck to paycheck or having a job that owns you. Not upper middle class, not middle class, and definitely not lower middle class. Houston is not more than five times the mean cost of living.
Did you read the article? Tbone i like your last sentence. I am the one who really does care. The wealthy do not realize how much they our hurting this nation and world.
But if you wake up unemployed you still need to do what you need to do to contribute to society. There are to many people out there that dont care about society or other people. We need to put that care back in thier hearts. There are so many hard working americans struggling so hard to get by anymore it hurts to see. We need to show the wealthy what it is to have a good heart and show them how much they are hurting good hard working men and women.
Why is everything so unbalanced? To me there should be no classes. We are all one in the same right? Why should it matter how smart you are or what your capabilities are as long as you are putting foth the effort that should be all that matters.
The wealthy have no heart, they HURT people?? What you want is Communism… where everyone is lazy cause no one is responsible…try that. Companies create jobs but they are abusing us.
Today you need to be available 24 hrs 7 days a week. There is no longer 9 to 5, you need to do the same job that 10 years ago it was done by 10 people. That is my example, yes I make k and so my husband and we have a nice living BUT I have not have a raise in 7 years because the company has no money but all the top executives get millions in bonuses and the company is not in good shape.
You sound so worried about people doing what they can for crumbs. You obviously have no idea how hard it is for regular people to make ends meet. So a tiny fraction of people work the system for crumbs. Unfortunately we do live in a world where there are a lot of people who are happy to sit at home and collect. They will cheat the system and survive without ever doing more than filling out the paperwork for their food stamps. Why work a 40 hour week at minimum wage when you can make almost as much on your couch watching The Maury Povich Show?
This country used to be made up of small, local businesses. If the business made a lot of money, so did the employees. These jobs are necessary to keep everything running and to help us live our lives but nobody wants to pay the people doing them enough to have any life of their own. I say raise minimum wage and watch the amount of people on welfare drop! If anything MORE people will be on welfare as a result. So far the increase in minimum wage in Seattle has caused quite a few companies to go out business.
So only do many people loose their jobs altogether, but others loose some of the mot valuable benefits of being employed. It just goes to show that people with no real knowledge of how economies and markets work should not be making such decisions. Lol, I am sure the top executives just wanted to keep their high pay.
In order to combat their pay loss, due to a minimum wage increase, they decided to lay off workers, create new positions where one person does 5 jobs, cut k , vacation days etc. Germany has restrictions on how huge companies can grow in their economy. Wad-Mart failed after only a few years in Germany because of the local law restrictions and workers-unions taking care of their people.
Raising minimum wage is not the answer. You do not understand basic economics. Quit being lazy, work hard and you will be rewarded. Raise the minimum wage and you will no longer be able to afford a gallon of milk. Get the right attitude, why bother is such a disgrace. I would say that to k a year would be middle class, but what about people with 3 kids working 2 to 3 jobs and making only 40k a year.
Sometimes I think why not just quit one of my jobs and get assistance. When are we going to start looking at children as an expense that not all of us can afford? Poor children — they are the ones that suffer due to our egos. Both participated in intercourse should think about the future and possibility of kids and weather or not they would be able to support them. Firstly, I agree that if one is struggling that much then the kids should hold off a bit.
I am just turning 29 and have no children and have been married for awhile. Secondly, if everyone stopped having kids, what do you think our population would be like? Would you have been born? No procreation at all?? So when you say things like that, think about it first! Lastly, I feel a slight bit of bitterness coming from you dealing with men, marriage, etc.
The hard truth is material things cost more today than when we were kids. Try telling that to a teenage child getting picked on and teased in school for not having nice clothes and decent sneakers. This happens everyday in the real world and it could have an extremely negative affect on a childs ability to get a decent education. There are only three classes: The working class — those who, irrespective of income size are only a pay check away from humility in other words if they lost their jobs for any length of time would lose their homes and the ruling class — those who own and control the means of production and who mostly live off the backs of that huge group of working people and their blood, sweat, tears and taxes.
Those people are not slaves! Nothing is forcing them to stay! They have NO liability if something goes wrong. Do you know how many companies fail in the first year? That risk is why they get paid more. If you are working at a company and it goes under you still receive unemployment till your next job and a glowing recommendation, so yes, you are paid what you deserve if you disagree go find someone who will pay you more or get off your lazy bum and start something.
What you said is true to an extend. That is what is missing now, people like my dad. Everybody wants to pay the minimum and get the most of them. Have you ask yourself why there are less jobs now? Your COGS would price you out. America has a lot of false information in the schools, churches, news. I like your thought. I have said the same thing so many times. It just makes me feel relatively decent to have someone else make a similar statement. I follow the Marxist definition. If you depend on your labor to maintain your household and would lose everything if you lost your job you are working class, ie: If you get enough steady income to live a comfortable life from a business, such as rental property, personally owned small manufacturing business or retail store, or even a portfolio of stable reliable investment securities then you are lower middle class, ie: Owning a factory that employs hundreds of workers, or a major service company makes you mid-middle class, ie: The filthy rich billionaires who influence politics are the top of the bourgeoisie pile, the haute bourgeoise.
Most Americans who claim to be middle class are really working class wage slaves. I think it may have something to do with age as well. I am a single 22 year old female who just graduated college. I consider myself middle class because I got a job out of college, pay for my own apartment, pay all of my utilities and bills which also include student loans. I agree with you completely. What you do from here on out is up to you and destiny. I am a freelance journalist and my husband is a legal office secretary.
Crack heads on the street? The language baffles me. Me and my spouse both have degrees and have spent some time in the service, he is still active and we are OK. But when I lost my job for a few months we still did not qualify for any assistance not even child care discounts.
It is frustrating yes. But to direct your frustration using language laced with racial bias is intellectually lazy at best. Yearly income is fleeting. Wealth is not determined by what you earn.
It certainly helps to have a steady income to build wealth. Wealth is determined but what you save. My neighbor has two german cars and spends alot of time and money enjoying life today. I have two Chevys and would rather not go in debt or have my neighbors pay for my kids college.
I save in other words. They have had all the opportunity that all Americans truly have regardless of what leftists blather but choices are only something a saver need worry about. After all like the bank robbers those that have the character flaw that demands living for the day know to get money take it from the prudent savers. So vote correctly and sleep well knowing someone else actually sacrificed to aquire a nest egg….
I wonder how many pro marxist have lost any family or friends to to those delightful animals they are so proud of. I drive a nice BMW, rock a Rolex, have a decent paying job in engineering and have no debt.
I save for everything and buy it outright. I worked hard to get a full ride in college and never took a penny from my parents so I am in fact self made. When I graduated high school I had managed to have saved over 50k.
Just busting my ass off being a cheap ass and investing the money. I live mostly off investment income and that was all self made. So at at 21 in grad school live quite well.
It was because of my decisions though and I still live within means. Tips for people — live withinsyour Means and attend anaffordableyuniversity. Also choose a degree that pays if you want that. I chose engineering it pays a lot, and choose something that will open doors and that you will love.
Money is important but not everything! I spent my 20s just saving money with a few indulgences here and there , and I could have continued that trend indefinitely I like nice things, but am quite indifferent to the prospect of downgrading. I earned them because I worked hard for them. Whats rich to one is not rich to another- If your in debt up to your eyeballs with all the stuff, the bling, the clothes the things, vacations and kids, sports and activities then what is it all about?
Your a broke middle class worker Beeee trying to keep up with the Joneses. I have seen the millions a few billions being in NYC. I have see the upper class, the middle class the lower class. Debt free is key. The world has their priorities mixed up. Rich- is your health, Rich is taking care of needs not wants. Rich is a healthy loving mind. Rich is free of major debt. Rich is the things you cannot buy. Hard work is key. No doubt about it. It all depends where you live.
Wait till everyone sees what there taxes are this year with our friend Obama. Even those making less than 18, a year will pay taxes. For all those people dumb enough to sign up for obama care well……. Now he has all your info connected with health care and taxes. You think its going to be free? No doctors long waits and a death wish.
We are a family of 5 our health insurance with no issues no drugs, no medications. Is a month with and deductible. If your not healthy, young or rich you will probably die a whole lot sooner as prices move up come November As a 33 year old single woman in the Boston suburbs I make 70K and consider myself middle class.
Yes, I invest in my K, have a nice place to live rent, cannot afford to own in this market and decent car but I am, and always will be, a few paychecks away from being homeless unless I were to cash out my K.
Hi Emma, thanks for sharing. Save, save, and save some more. Check out this post: Basically the bigger cooperations get rich off the little people and control them. Ect ect Karl Marx stuff.. It makes no sense to define classes by how much money one brings in each year. There are geographical differences and life cycle differences that determine your lot in life. You are either well insured or have enough assets so that you and your family have no worries of defenestration. You may or may not have to work, but have a good trade or profession that will ensure employment if required.
You have no savings. You live under constant fear of your job being obsoleted or becoming unable to work or dying and leaving your family with nothing. But, feel free to disagree with this and use a dollar amount if you need to. I think your class definitions are right. I thought i made decent money compared to everyone else.
But through kicking my own ass and getting in at 5: Just got to do more with the amount of hours given. If normal people are waking up at 7am, wake up at 5am and work two hours on something. Surely that is valuable! Well my financial position is not ideal and is not mediocre, but like the ambitious person I am, I want more.
With college debt, day care, and rent it seems impossible to get by-yet with some stroke of good luck I survive month after month. I have visited the idea of going back to school to get a masters, but adding more debt sounds like a huge downside. At several points in my life I was saving, contributing to a retirement, and not this stressed out about money…but now that I am a single parent money lack there of is my biggest source of stress. What advice would you give to someone in my position, so that I may not be so stressed about money?
When does it get easier? Props to you for making ends meet and holding it together. Do it on the side, if possible. I really think the answer is to try and spend time finding that teammate in life, rich or poor. I believe there is also a little luck involved as well. Both my wife and I made some choices along the way which we will never really be able to recover from financially. Although we are making it and if things go right, we will be safely able to retire in our early 60s, we could have done better had we done things differently.
A series of bad choices in life can make the difference between being wealthy and struggling for the rest of your life. I try very hard as a parent to make sure my kids understand this concept. I think I have given them the tools and the foundation to be successful and wealthy adults, but it all depends on their choices after they leave the house. Roger, I assume you would be OK with everyone paying the same percentage in taxes. Would that be fair?
So I would like for you to tell me exactly what is my fair share. Signed me 5 percenter. The income calculator encompasses of some metropolitan areas in the U. If you live in an area outside of one of these areas, the calculator reports the estimates for your state. The second part of our calculator asks you more questions about your education, age, race or ethnicity, and marital status.
This allows you to see how other adults who are similar to you demographically are distributed across lower-, middle- and upper-income tiers in the U. It does not recompute your economic tier. Previous versions of this post and interactive calculator were published Dec. Richard Fry is a senior researcher focusing on economics and education at Pew Research Center.
Rakesh Kochhar is a senior researcher at Pew Research Center. About Pew Research Center Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping the world. It conducts public opinion polling, demographic research, media content analysis and other empirical social science research. Pew Research Center does not take policy positions.
It is a subsidiary of The Pew Charitable Trusts. Fact Tank - Our Lives in Numbers. Posts Email Bio rakeshkochhar. Recent Posts Education levels of U.
While this gives us a good idea of the incomes of the average American middle class household, the definitions of this group vary. The Urban Institute defined the middle class as adults with size-adjusted household incomes of between $30, and $, for families of three.
About half of American adults lived in middle-income households in , according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of government data. In percentage terms, 51% of adults lived in middle-income households, 29% in lower-income households and 20% in upper-income households.
Several possible ways have been proposed to define the middle class based on median income: Middle Quintile. One particularly narrow definition limits the middle class to households in the middle quintile for income – that is, those who make more than the poorest 40% of . Middle-class income is between 67 percent and percent of the average median income. That's according to the Pew Research Center. There's no official U.S. government definition of middle-class income, as there is of the federal poverty level. The average median income is exactly in the middle.
Income. Whether you're considered middle class most commonly depends on your income. But experts differ on how much you have to earn to fall into this camp. One of the narrowest definitions limits it to those who are literally in the middle fifth of the nation's income ladder. Definitions Of A Middle Class Income: Do You Consider Yourself Middle Class? Republicans and Democrats have the same definitions of what a Middle Class income is, I demand that the term “Middle Class” be eliminated no matter what category it is related to.