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How do you judge “middle class’?
Posted by: samintx
Date: December 08, 2020 01:56PM
By how much money you earn or by actions personality? If by dollars you earn, what are the limits?
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Re: How do you judge “middle class’?
Posted by: jdc
Date: December 08, 2020 02:02PM
How many TVs you own?



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Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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Re: How do you judge “middle class’?
Posted by: freeradical
Date: December 08, 2020 02:07PM
They're bourgeois.
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Re: How do you judge “middle class’?
Posted by: jdc
Date: December 08, 2020 02:15PM
Yes, size *always* matters. smiley-music039



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Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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Re: How do you judge “middle class’?
Posted by: Sarcany
Date: December 08, 2020 02:17PM
Quote
samintx
By how much money you earn or by actions personality? If by dollars you earn, what are the limits?

If you can pay all of your bills and save something for retirement, you're middle class.



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Re: How do you judge “middle class’?
Posted by: testcase
Date: December 08, 2020 02:18PM
1st: WHERE do they live? A family of four in CA or NY is just “getting by” on $100,000 a year. In other parts of the country, that same family would be doing very well.
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Re: How do you judge “middle class’?
Posted by: neophyte
Date: December 08, 2020 02:18PM
Around here, it's determined by how many vehicles* you have on your property.



*They must be registered and have current license plates. The rusting hulks in the back 40 don't count.
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Re: How do you judge “middle class’?
Posted by: C(-)ris
Date: December 08, 2020 02:21PM
Technically it is defined by how much you make adjusted for the location you live in.

Now if you are talking about the perception of someone being middle class, that is a whole different ball game. People buy things they shouldn't or can't afford all the time to give the perception they make more than they do.



C(-)ris
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Re: How do you judge “middle class’?
Posted by: Dennis S
Date: December 08, 2020 02:27PM
It seems sometimes that "middle class" is actually used for "upper middle class."
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Re: How do you judge “middle class’?
Posted by: jdc
Date: December 08, 2020 02:31PM
Back 40? I have a "bigger" lot and its 0.16 AC.

Which I guess is more than an apartment/townhome/brownstone/whatever owner.



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Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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Re: How do you judge “middle class’?
Posted by: mikebw
Date: December 08, 2020 02:43PM
Quote
C(-)ris
Now if you are talking about the perception of someone being middle class, that is a whole different ball game. People buy things they shouldn't or can't afford all the time to give the perception they make more than they do.


Sage financial advice I once received-

"It costs a lot of money to look rich".

Keeping that in mind, like you say, it can be very difficult to truly know what financial "class" someone is in.
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Re: How do you judge “middle class’?
Posted by: decay
Date: December 08, 2020 02:45PM
It's vanishing.



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Re: How do you judge “middle class’?
Posted by: anonymouse1
Date: December 08, 2020 02:59PM
This seems right to me. I might say "save enough for retirement". And I might add "have x months of income in on-hand savings".

Quote
Sarcany
Quote
samintx
By how much money you earn or by actions personality? If by dollars you earn, what are the limits?

If you can pay all of your bills and save something for retirement, you're middle class.
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Re: How do you judge “middle class’?
Posted by: mrbigstuff
Date: December 08, 2020 03:31PM
agree with the saving sentiment, I think that is pretty much the deciding factor for many families.

and it does depend on where one lives, but that is dependent for many things.
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Re: How do you judge “middle class’?
Posted by: sekker
Date: December 08, 2020 03:40PM
I'd define middle class a little differently. Not only are they able to save for retirement, but they can support their kids/grandkids.

I say that because investing in the future used to be a middle class value.

And I agree with the sentiment that the middle class - however you define it - is definitely shrinking.
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Re: How do you judge “middle class’?
Posted by: anonymouse1
Date: December 08, 2020 03:51PM
Maybe the grandparents; the expectation used to be that the kids took care of themselves after high school/college. Times are different now.

And if the grandparents were middle class, they would have saved enough themselves, no?

Quote
sekker
I'd define middle class a little differently. Not only are they able to save for retirement, but they can support their kids/grandkids.

I say that because investing in the future used to be a middle class value.

And I agree with the sentiment that the middle class - however you define it - is definitely shrinking.
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Re: How do you judge “middle class’?
Posted by: wave rider
Date: December 08, 2020 03:54PM
I think there are many folks who think they are middle class that will be saddened if they ran the numbers.

I am under no illusions.



=wr=
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Re: How do you judge “middle class’?
Posted by: sekker
Date: December 08, 2020 04:10PM
I do not presume grandparents are Middle Class.

Quote
anonymouse1
Maybe the grandparents; the expectation used to be that the kids took care of themselves after high school/college. Times are different now.

And if the grandparents were middle class, they would have saved enough themselves, no?

Quote
sekker
I'd define middle class a little differently. Not only are they able to save for retirement, but they can support their kids/grandkids.

I say that because investing in the future used to be a middle class value.

And I agree with the sentiment that the middle class - however you define it - is definitely shrinking.
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Re: How do you judge “middle class’?
Posted by: RAMd®d
Date: December 08, 2020 04:17PM
If somebody's got more money than me, they might be middle class.




Two for two, I'm good now.

We are a government of laws, not men.

When a good man is hurt,
all who would be called good
must suffer with him.

Everybody matters or nobody matters.

You and I have memories longer than the road that stretches out ahead.

There is no safety for honest men except
by believing all possible evil of evil men.

We don’t do focus groups. They just ensure that you don’t offend anyone, and produce bland inoffensive products. —Sir Jonathan Ive

-An armed society is a polite society.
And hope is a lousy defense.

You make me pull, I'll put you down.

I *love* SIGs. It's Glocks I hate.
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Re: How do you judge “middle class’?
Posted by: Rick-o
Date: December 08, 2020 04:21PM
A lot of people who think they're middle class are actually working class.



Mr. Lahey: A lot of people, don’t know how to drink. They drink against the grain of the liquor. And when you drink against the grain of the liquor? You lose.

Randy: What the @#$%& are you talking about?
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Re: How do you judge “middle class’?
Posted by: NewtonMP2100
Date: December 08, 2020 04:25PM
....try not to judge anyone.....it's called pre-judging......



_____________________________________

I reject your reality and substitute my own!
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Re: How do you judge “middle class’?
Posted by: mattkime
Date: December 08, 2020 04:28PM
IMO middle class is - you have economic security but you need to keep working for it.

Lower class - You work but lack economic security.

Upper class - You have economic security and don't need to work.

Rich - You have economic security and can't get rid of that @#$%&.



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Re: How do you judge “middle class’?
Posted by: Michael
Date: December 08, 2020 04:32PM
Here's something that will make some of us feel bad and some of us feel good!--Which Income Class Are You?
[www.investopedia.com]
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Re: How do you judge “middle class’?
Posted by: space-time
Date: December 08, 2020 04:44PM
Around here in central NJ it’s around 100k per family member. Waiting for the kids to leave the house to become middle class.
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Re: How do you judge “middle class’?
Posted by: ztirffritz
Date: December 08, 2020 04:55PM
I know that most politicians have no clue. I think it's more than income level. It's also lifestyle and investing/savings habits. My wife and I are combined at 6 figures. If we didn't save or invest anything we'd be living like royalty. But we do. We save and invest quite a bit. We max out our IRAs, HSAs, shovel as much into our 401ks as we can stomach. We have no debt, our house is paid off, and we own our cars.



**************************************
MacResource User Map: [www.zeemaps.com]#



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/08/2020 04:58PM by ztirffritz.
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Re: How do you judge “middle class’?
Posted by: Spock
Date: December 08, 2020 05:34PM
Half way between the white board and the back of the room?



Comedy Central: Best news channel that isn't a news channel.

Fox News: Best comedy channel that isn't a comedy channel.
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Re: How do you judge “middle class’?
Posted by: Lew Zealand
Date: December 08, 2020 05:47PM
Quote
Spock
Half way between the white board and the back of the room?

Ladies & gents, we have a winner!

/Groucho
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Re: How do you judge “middle class’?
Posted by: Ombligo
Date: December 08, 2020 06:15PM
So would a family of three making $65k a year be middle class? Likely not.

BUT--
What if they have no debt and own their home outright?
What if they save $1400 a month?
What if they have $400,000k in retirement funds?

It isn't necessarily how much you make, but rather what you do with it.



“No persons are more frequently wrong, than those who will not admit they are wrong.”
-- François de La Rochefoucauld

Growing older is mandatory. Growing up is optional.
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Re: How do you judge “middle class’?
Posted by: Rolando
Date: December 08, 2020 06:38PM
When I was in school, the middle class kids drove old cars to school. The Rich kids drove new cars.



I walked.



San Antonio, TX (in the old city)


"All that is required for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing." - Edmund Burke
“Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented." - Eli Weisel

"To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public." - Theodore Roosevelt (1918)

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Re: How do you judge “middle class’?
Posted by: davemchine
Date: December 08, 2020 11:59PM
My father-in-law once told me he was ok as long as he could afford a coffee on the way to work. He meant regular black coffee most likely purchased at McDonalds. This was maybe 30 years ago and it stuck with me. Don’t let wishes get bigger than your wallet.

As for middle class status I would say it’s having the capacity to pay bills and save. Many people have the capacity but choose to live beyond their means. It’s the absence of worry over finances.

Defoe said it best. “ mine was the middle state, or what might be called the upper station of low life, which he had found by long experience was the best state in the world, the most suited to human happiness, not exposed to the miseries of hardships, the labour and sufferings of the mechanick part of mankind, and not embarrassed with the pride, luxury, ambition, and envy of the upper part of mankind. He told me I might judge of the happiness of this state by this one thing, viz. that this was the state of life which all other people envied, that kings had frequently lamented the miserable consequences of being born to great things, and wished they had been placed in the middle of the two extremes, between the mean and the great; that the wise man gave his testimony to this as the just standard of true felicity, when he prayed to have neither poverty or riches.
He bid me observe it, and I should always find, that the calamities of life were shared among the upper and lower part of mankind; but that the middle station had the fewest disasters, and was not exposed to so many vicissitudes as the higher or lower part of mankind; nay, they were so subjected to so many distempers and uneasiness, either of body or mind, as those were who, by vicious living, luxury, and extravagancies on one hand, and by hard labour, want of necessaries, and mean or insufficient diet on the other hand, bring distempers upon themselves by the natural consequences of their way of living; that the middle station of life was calculated for all kinds of vertues and all kinds of enjoyments; that peace and plenty were the hand-maids of a middle fortune; that temperance, moderation, quietness, health, society, all agreeable diversion, and all desirable pleasures, were the blessing attending the middle station of life; that this way men went silently and smoothly thro’ the world, and comfortably out of it, not embarrassed with the labour of their hands or of the head, not sold to the life of slavery for daily bread, or harrast with perplexed circumstances, which rob the soul of peace and the body of rest; not enraged with the passion of envy, or secret burning lust of ambition for great things; but in easy circumstances sliding gently thro’ the world, and sensibly tasting the sweets of living without the bitter, feeling that they are happy and learning by every day’s experience to know it more sensibly.”
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Re: How do you judge “middle class’?
Posted by: C(-)ris
Date: December 09, 2020 12:30AM
Quote
Ombligo
So would a family of three making $65k a year be middle class? Likely not.

BUT--
What if they have no debt and own their home outright?
What if they save $1400 a month?
What if they have $400,000k in retirement funds?

It isn't necessarily how much you make, but rather what you do with it.

I would say that a family of three making $65k a year has something else going on that allowed them to buy their own home or have $400k in retirement. You can't do that on $65k a year without some sort of help or a lucky investment that paid off early.



C(-)ris
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Re: How do you judge “middle class’?
Posted by: Blankity Blank
Date: December 09, 2020 01:28AM
I’ll take a stab.
  • Poor: No financial security. Dependent on social services. Unemployed. No savings or means to save. Housing and food insecure.
  • Lower Class: Very little financial security. ‘One crisis away from poverty’. Periodically unemployed or seriously underemployed. May make use of social services and/or ‘payday loan’ predatory lenders.
  • Lower Middle Class: Some perceived financial security, but very tenuous. Living ‘paycheck to paycheck’, requiring considerable financial care and discipline to avoid financial complications. Commonly ensnared in high interest debt situations, little to no day to day savings for emergencies, so again, ‘one crisis away’ from financial crisis.
  • Middle Class: Suitably employed with job skills that are marketable and may even allow for some advancement. Moderate financial security possible with care and discipline. Still needs to be very wary of managing and eliminating as much debt as possible. Able to save and be prepared for moderate financial emergencies and make careful allotments towards retirement; particularly by taking advantage of employment related instruments.
  • Upper Middle Class: Well employed and situated for advancement. Able to manage debt that includes atypical modest luxuries without undue pressure. Considerable savings, adequate to absorb long term emergencies. Retirement savings are securely in place and may be a fairly sophisticated mix of instruments.
  • Upper Class: Upper echelon, “C suite” employment. The focus on debt management is now replaced by strategies for wealth accumulation, retention and legacy. Professional financial management replaces hands on management.
  • Rich/Super Rich: Ownership. Expansion and consistent maximization of wealth creation are the focus, with as close to 100% wealth retention as possible using all means possible. Retirement considerations are long gone in the rear view mirror, any forward looking considerations are legacy related; inheritance, foundations, bequests, etc.
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Re: How do you judge “middle class’?
Posted by: Bill in NC
Date: December 09, 2020 08:39AM
What matters is assets...what you keep from whatever income you make.

I've had relatives who some years pulled over a million bucks out of their business but somehow managed to spend it all.

With a pile of assets you have a lot more options in life.

E.g. one can retire early & get nearly free (heavily subsidized) health insurance under the ACA by "managing" their mAGI.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 12/09/2020 08:40AM by Bill in NC.
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Re: How do you judge “middle class’?
Posted by: mikebw
Date: December 09, 2020 10:57AM
Quote
davemchine
My father-in-law once told me he was ok as long as he could afford a coffee on the way to work. He meant regular black coffee most likely purchased at McDonalds. This was maybe 30 years ago and it stuck with me. Don’t let wishes get bigger than your wallet.

Before taking on a new daily or recurring expense, I think it is good to consider how much that will add up to over the next several decades.

The quote from Defoe is excellent.
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