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Changing definitions of middle class

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posted on May, 1 2018 @ 11:11 AM
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originally posted by: Edumakated
The thing to keep in mind is that to make that kind of money, you generally need to be located in a major city. Most of the people who make that kind of money tend to be BigLaw attorneys, bankers, doctors, corporate execs, administrators, and business owners. Those jobs are largely found in large metro areas. Also people who make that kind of money usually are at the apex of their careers in their 40s & 50s, not in their 20s. As such, the expenses and family commitments in your 40s/50s are vastly different. You are stacking chips to save for retirement if you are responsible, not pissing money away on luxury goods.


To make that money as a single person, sure. But the article was assuming a dual income family. That's two $150k jobs which is basically any two professional positions after a few years experience in those areas.




posted on May, 1 2018 @ 11:12 AM
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a reply to: Aazadan

Totally agree, same here in the UK.
My son decided he didn't want to go to university and learned a trade instead, he's doing well for himself.
He has not said he never wants to study a degree, just not yet at this stage in life. I myself didn't go to university until I was 30. Never used it though, just wanted a degree to shut up those smug people who think it's a badge of particular honour over and above skilled trades without degrees.
It's funny seeing the surprised faces in conversations when I'm my scruffy work clothes and talk turns to degrees.



posted on May, 1 2018 @ 11:13 AM
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originally posted by: Aazadan
That's not what it should take to be middle class.


I agree. I fall under the new parameters and while I'm surprised that it's now considered middle class I'm not surprised.



posted on May, 1 2018 @ 11:14 AM
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originally posted by: NightSkyeB4Dawn
I was born into a poor family but we were happy, loved, and had what we needed.

During my adult life I struggled to get to that place where I was led to believe was my goal. I rode the gravy train for a while and found that it too rich for my tastes and not really worth the ride.

I am now old and content with the little that I have, and trying to have less. I guess you can say that I have morphed into being a minimalist. I have no desire to collect things that will eventually end up in a landfill. I never eat fast food and a rarely eat from a commercial restaurant. My vacations are almost always to be with family and friends home and abroad.

I don't make anywhere near $300K and don't have the time, energy, or desire to run that rat race. A simple meal from my pond and my garden is good enough for me.


I fell for the big salaries and moved abroad. Mainly to pay off credit card debts that built up due to my PhD being dragged out for four years. I prefer living on the South Coast as a self employed contractor/freelancer rather than middle management in a corporation. So many people have set up their own startups, run their own home businesses or/and are self employed. Everyone from Yoga/meditation instructors to plumbers, joiners, builders, mechanics, software and IT consultants. Those that I knew in my class that moved to London have all moved out. Now there is nationwide shortage of "senior" engineers.

Annual Expenses:
Childcare - £0
Food for 1 - £2500
Rent - £8400
Insurance - (House) £800
Health Care - £300 (Prescriptions)
Children - £0
Vacation - £0
Car payment - £0
Car insurance - £0
Car maintenance - £0
Utilities - £3000 (Electricity + Telephone/Broadband + Water supply + Sewage)
Clothes - £1000
529 Plan - N/A
Entertainment - $0

You can always escape from the rat race. Save up some money and then set yourself up as a contractor/consultant.



posted on May, 1 2018 @ 11:15 AM
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a reply to: Aazadan




In this article, the author makes the claim that it now requires an income of $300k/year to be middle class and support a family of four.


Meanwhile the rising costs of living in California forces many working class people to either go homeless or move further inland.

I also read somewhere that California is not a good place to raise families due some places while expensive have terrible schools.
edit on 5/1/2018 by starwarsisreal because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 1 2018 @ 11:20 AM
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Welll yes op I’d say your lifestyle is middle class.

Your cost of living is low. Apart from your food seems very high in relation to the rest



I live in one of the costliest place in N.America, in Vancouver, Canada.


Here’s a list and a map for cost of living in n America.
www.expatistan.com...

Looks like the eastern US ranks higher (not just coastlines)



posted on May, 1 2018 @ 11:23 AM
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originally posted by: stormcell
You can always escape from the rat race. Save up some money and then set yourself up as a contractor/consultant.


Is that really escaping though? You're claiming no car, and no budget for any other travel. You're eating bottom tier food. You're very lightly insured despite probably having quite a lot of assets due to what I assume is high savings. You have no vacation time and your clothing budget is essentially what you can buy from good will, alongside the fact that you've given yourself no money for entertainment.

Is that really middle class if you have none of that stuff?



posted on May, 1 2018 @ 11:23 AM
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I moved from a Lake County Illinois, so when you say your taxes are high, I feel your pain! I've move since then and have been enjoying low taxes now! (finally)

Many people don't believe it when I tell them what our taxes used to be. It is even worse now!

Check out this random house for sale in Lake County:
$402,500
1402 Prairie Trl,
Grayslake, IL 60030
4 beds 3 baths 2,842 sqft
TAXES 2016 $15,016

Yes, that is 15K for one year of property taxes. So that taxes on this house is more than the OP spends on rent all year.



posted on May, 1 2018 @ 11:30 AM
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originally posted by: violet
Your cost of living is low. Apart from your food seems very high in relation to the rest


I splurge on food.

From age 18 to 34 I lived on $9000 per year, including food assistance. That lead to me eating a lot of low quality processed food, and very cheap meals. Since getting my job a year ago I've had the income to do more, and the main thing I like to do is to eat like a king. A couple times a week I'll buy $30/pound steaks and cook them, I also eat a lot of fresh organic fruits and vegetables, and I'm pretty picky about what brands I buy, I go with fewer preservatives, more freshness, and eat the food right away.

I also tend to eat out a lot, my typical food rotation is every 2 days (I do a lot of Sous Vide cooking, so the meals take time) I'll eat out 3 times and eat a really nice meal at home once.
edit on 1-5-2018 by Aazadan because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 1 2018 @ 11:34 AM
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I don't know which class I belong in, but I'm blessed to make more money than I can spend.

And how do you put a demographic on "freedom"


edit on 1-5-2018 by olaru12 because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 1 2018 @ 11:40 AM
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Working with US government for profit contractors was a bad mistake on my part. In most instances, the government workers were making considerably more than the contract workers.

My career in working for government contractors lasted about 8 years. I started out making $34k per year with a Bachelors degree in IT at a US Navy base in their personnel training facility, this was dismal pay. I did it for the experience and the company knew that. After I earned a Masters degree, I was quickly laid off for about three months then rehired by the same company in a different area making $62k per year, still quite low but doable. My salary was reduced to 58.2k per year, which I accepted in anticipation of things getting better as I gained more experience. There was a contract change and I was offered $39k per year, which I refused and was promptly let go. I felt that the drastic change in pay was to compensate for the pay the supervisory US government staff, GS 9, was making. They needed to be making more than the "contract workers".

IT professionals are exploited by companies regularly because many imbeciles will work for the low wages many companies offer. I have learned to never except a salary that doesn't represent what I am worth.



posted on May, 1 2018 @ 11:45 AM
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a reply to: olaru12

You have personal freedom in any economic situation. Depending on your disposable income you may not have economic freedom though. And that doesn't just come from making more money than you spend.



posted on May, 1 2018 @ 11:49 AM
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a reply to: angeldoll
Sounds like how British people define classes.

This thread was discussing the economic classes.



posted on May, 1 2018 @ 11:52 AM
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originally posted by: Aazadan

originally posted by: Edumakated
The thing to keep in mind is that to make that kind of money, you generally need to be located in a major city. Most of the people who make that kind of money tend to be BigLaw attorneys, bankers, doctors, corporate execs, administrators, and business owners. Those jobs are largely found in large metro areas. Also people who make that kind of money usually are at the apex of their careers in their 40s & 50s, not in their 20s. As such, the expenses and family commitments in your 40s/50s are vastly different. You are stacking chips to save for retirement if you are responsible, not pissing money away on luxury goods.


To make that money as a single person, sure. But the article was assuming a dual income family. That's two $150k jobs which is basically any two professional positions after a few years experience in those areas.


Yeah, I am thinking dual income households...



posted on May, 1 2018 @ 12:18 PM
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a reply to: olaru12

Do you own your house? If so, you have the freedom to live on your own place and plus your upper middle class.

The working class folks such as me and others cannot afford to live on our own and have to rely on family or roommates to live in LA.
edit on 5/1/2018 by starwarsisreal because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 1 2018 @ 12:21 PM
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originally posted by: Edumakated
Yeah, I am thinking dual income households...


I'm not so sure. Again, most of these jobs are paying a minimum of $80k to a 22 year old who had just graduated, by the time you've got say 5 years experience, that's 27, and around the time people begin having children. They're going to both be at $125k at that point if not more. On the coasts, likely more. I can easily see $300k household here with the types of jobs we typically associate with middle class.
edit on 1-5-2018 by Aazadan because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 1 2018 @ 12:57 PM
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a reply to: Aazadan
The middle class is what I was sold as the American Dream. The little house with the white picket fence, a husband and 2.3 children.

Well that is not how life played out for me. Life threw a lot of monkey wrenches at me along the way, and while I owned several homes, served in the military, raised three children, and climbed the corporate ladder, sitting on the edge of the glass ceiling, something happened. I woke up.

When my responsibilities had been met, and I no longer had to live for others, I realized that I did not really need a lot. In fact all the "things" made me feel claustrophobic. Little by little I started reducing my footprint. The less I had the more freedom I felt.

I still have way too much crap. For me now it is just a waiting game. The area were I live now is wooded and in the country, but that is rapidly changing. Within the next five years my area will be a tiny cul-de-sac surrounded by a bustling city. When it is the right time for me to sell, I will likely sell all my properties and take off in van.

I will carry my home behind me and every place I park will be a vacation spot. I will keep one spot for when I can no longer wander, that will be my home base. I have always a bit of the gypsy in me. I have always had the wandering spirit.



posted on May, 1 2018 @ 01:18 PM
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Funny, it used to be when I was growing up, you were middle class if you crossed the threshold into having disposable income to spend after your expenses & obligations.

Now you need to have a bullet points list to hit? WTF?


annual vacation,

This is about the only thing on there that has always been a MC standard that is disappearing. I can't argue with it being a benchmark.


a weekly date night,

LMFAO. No. Not necessary to have to consider yourself MC.


child care,

No matter the income, I would not utilize this, period. It's far more of a personal choice than a MC requirement.


mid tier clothing,

Depends on the quality of the brands. If something is poor quality & not going to last, they're really not investing their income wisely.


a modest (1800 sqft, no yard) home,

XD

I live in a well-established, old MC neighborhood. An 1800 sq ft house (unless including technically unfinished basement sq footage) isn't common. Granted, ALL of the homes are very old and from eras when MC meant about 1200-1400 was palatial. The fact that the MC palaces of the past were smaller than 1800 sq ft should tell you MC houses are getting unnecessarily bigger and that the list's bullet point for that particular sq footage condition is arbitrary at best.


a single vehicle (SUV),

Seems like a rather odd way to quantify MC vehicle qualifications. Why a type & not price range?


minimal retirement savings (max IRA contribution and nothing more)

If you can, sure. But it's not going to work out well if you're dumping your money on date nights, child care, overpriced clothing, keeping-up-with-the-Joneses vehicles, and excessive living space.



posted on May, 1 2018 @ 01:21 PM
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a reply to: NightSkyeB4Dawn

Where will you go?

Where I live, there are working class people who want to take a stand against the rising costs and the rapid changes happening in LA, but me and some others say its a lost cause and that there's nothing we can do. Neoliberalism already decimated the power of the LA working class in the 70s and 80s.

Many of them are minorities and they don't want to move due to this view that the white people of the flyover states are racist.



posted on May, 1 2018 @ 01:28 PM
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originally posted by: JAGStorm

I moved from a Lake County Illinois, so when you say your taxes are high, I feel your pain! I've move since then and have been enjoying low taxes now! (finally)

...

TAXES 2016 $15,016

Yes, that is 15K for one year of property taxes. So that taxes on this house is more than the OP spends on rent all year.


I wish mine were $15K.







 
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