U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Economics
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 05-01-2018, 07:12 AM
 
4,328 posts, read 4,425,337 times
Reputation: 3308

Advertisements

Quote:
Originally Posted by SWFL_Native View Post
It’s not that far off guys.... $300k/yr in many markets isn’t really that much considering COL.

I know it sounds tone def but many of the people OTF don’t have a comprehensive of true costs.
Agreed, but I still would consider it upper middle class, especially the lifestyle portrayed. I’ve turned down jobs in places like DC paying $200k because when you factor in COL it would be a 25-30% loss even without including my wife’s income. I’ll take $225-250k HH income in the Midwest over $350k in an insanely high COL city. But, if you ask my friends in the DC and NYC area where I live they think it’s cow pastures and McDonald’s with one stop light. I’m glad many people think that Keeps my COL down and allows me to save 60% of our income while living what I would consider an upper middle class lifestyle
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 05-01-2018, 02:26 PM
 
3,810 posts, read 3,703,126 times
Reputation: 4106
Oh right, because your definition of 'rich' only applies to about 1,000 households in the US. Everybody else is not rich. Good to know.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-01-2018, 02:38 PM
 
736 posts, read 172,216 times
Reputation: 2062
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheOverdog View Post
Oh right, because your definition of 'rich' only applies to about 1,000 households in the US. Everybody else is not rich. Good to know.


His definition of rich at least appears to match the actual meaning of rich.


Rich isn't "everyone earning more than me." As some clowns here seem to think.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-01-2018, 03:27 PM
 
1,481 posts, read 591,143 times
Reputation: 3764
Actually if you look up rich or wealth or affluence in the dictionary it is defined as having an abundance of money and possessions. However there is no dollar limit assigned. The pics of estates and private jets and ocean going yachts would appear to belong to the category of the "super rich". But it's a subjective definition.

"A recent survey of over 1,000 Americans shows the bar has shifted higher. Now you need an average of $2.4 million to be considered a wealthy person in America, according to the survey by Charles Schwab, which surveyed Americans aged 21 to 75." By that definition a lot of blue collar retirees are rich.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chint View Post
His definition of rich at least appears to match the actual meaning of rich.


Rich isn't "everyone earning more than me." As some clowns here seem to think.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-02-2018, 08:28 AM
 
7 posts, read 2,621 times
Reputation: 11
I think the big things that tend to drive the feeling that six figures are needed to be middle class are retirement, college and health care, and those things don't tend to vary much from place to place. For a married couple following the "experts", they're putting $37K/year into their 401k and saving about $6K/year per child for college, plus paying health insurance premiums and deductibles of ~$10K/year (depending on how generous their employer plan is). That adds up to the national median income right there, without spending a single dime on current living expenses, but there are countless media-friendly experts telling us that we should all be aspiring to those levels of savings (or panicking about eating cat food in retirement and saddling our kids with six-figure student loan debt if we can't).

We live fairly comfortably in Michigan on a household income well short of six figures, but we definitely make tradeoffs to do so. Mostly in terms of quality of living now (vacation, private schools, entertainment) vs. coming closer to long-term savings targets. There very simply aren't enough dollars to max out our retirement savings, put three kids for college, and live a modest but not spartan lifestyle while doing so. I think that's what underlies a lot of these "what it takes to be middle class" clickbait pieces - the question of how much you'd have to earn to feel like you were saving adequately while still living a relatively comfortable life in the present.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-02-2018, 08:39 AM
 
1,914 posts, read 1,085,963 times
Reputation: 2042
Quote:
Originally Posted by JOinGA View Post
The definition and expectations of middle class have changed...at least in some areas of the country. I recently sold a house in Georgia and, in looking for comp prices, I realized that there were very few houses in the area that are as small as those in my neighborhood. At 1800 square feet, I knew my house was not big, but I never thought of it as particularly small. I grew up in New Jersey in a much smaller home (and we had 4 kids!). So did almost everyone I knew. But, when my Georgia house was on the market, much of the feedback was "too small!" Still sold within 3 days, though, to a smart young couple who were buying well below the amount pre-approved for them by the bank.
I disagree. I think if anything, the definition of middle class has been adjusted to reflect a lower standard of living. When I was growing up in the 80s, middle class meant being able to pay for your kids college education, 2 vacations per year, and disposable income. Also, full medical, dental, and vision care was a given. Even poor families could afford medical coverage.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-02-2018, 08:42 AM
 
1,914 posts, read 1,085,963 times
Reputation: 2042
Quote:
Originally Posted by Colleen272 View Post
I think the big things that tend to drive the feeling that six figures are needed to be middle class are retirement, college and health care, and those things don't tend to vary much from place to place. For a married couple following the "experts", they're putting $37K/year into their 401k and saving about $6K/year per child for college, plus paying health insurance premiums and deductibles of ~$10K/year (depending on how generous their employer plan is). That adds up to the national median income right there, without spending a single dime on current living expenses, but there are countless media-friendly experts telling us that we should all be aspiring to those levels of savings (or panicking about eating cat food in retirement and saddling our kids with six-figure student loan debt if we can't).

We live fairly comfortably in Michigan on a household income well short of six figures, but we definitely make tradeoffs to do so. Mostly in terms of quality of living now (vacation, private schools, entertainment) vs. coming closer to long-term savings targets. There very simply aren't enough dollars to max out our retirement savings, put three kids for college, and live a modest but not spartan lifestyle while doing so. I think that's what underlies a lot of these "what it takes to be middle class" clickbait pieces - the question of how much you'd have to earn to feel like you were saving adequately while still living a relatively comfortable life in the present.
Also keep in mind that the 10k you refer to is after tax dollars (so really 15-17k). And I believe that number is a very low estimate for a family of 4-5.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-02-2018, 09:53 AM
 
7 posts, read 2,621 times
Reputation: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocko20 View Post
The irony ofcourse is that all these folks sending their kids to private school, did perfectly fine in public school. If you're sacrificing a strong retirement to send your kids to private school, something is wrong.
But the world has changed since then. I did fine in public schools but the quality of those schools have gone downhill pretty sharply over two decades, and at the same time, college admissions have gotten more competitive. I wouldn't (couldn't!) spend $20-40K/year for private schools, but I feel like the money we do spend is worth every dime not to have my kids in classes of 32-35 kids, sharing textbooks and using computers that are still running Windows XP. And that's at an above-average public district, not some failing urban school system.

For most families, is a trade-off - spend a ton more on a house to be in a really good school district, or spend less on a home and pay for private schools. We like the town we live in so we chose the latter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dysgenic View Post
Also keep in mind that the 10k you refer to is after tax dollars (so really 15-17k). And I believe that number is a very low estimate for a family of 4-5.
It probably is. That's what we're paying for a family of 5, but my husband's benefits are about as good as it gets without being union. There have been times when we were paying $15K for health insurance that wouldn't pay a dime until we spent another $10K out of pocket.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-02-2018, 02:47 PM
 
6,308 posts, read 4,765,469 times
Reputation: 8437
Quote:
Originally Posted by dysgenic View Post
I disagree. I think if anything, the definition of middle class has been adjusted to reflect a lower standard of living.
That's due to the politicians, using "middle class" to mean poor (because calling poor people poor apparently insults them).

Quote:
When I was growing up in the 80s, middle class meant being able to pay for your kids college education, 2 vacations per year, and disposable income. Also, full medical, dental, and vision care was a given.
That is still what middle class really means, but you need $150K a year to live that way. Many people, the top 20% or 25%, do.

Of course, medical care has gotten more expensive because it is now more worth having. I had a ten-second CAT scan a couple of years ago for a problem that would have involved exploratory surgery (remember that term?) in the 1980s. Of course the scan cost $1000 but it didn't hurt and didn't scramble my insides.

Quote:
Even poor families could afford medical coverage.
Not really. Medicaid has been tremendously expanded since then, not reduced.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-02-2018, 04:00 PM
 
6,164 posts, read 3,249,243 times
Reputation: 12502
Quote:
Originally Posted by SWFL_Native View Post
Itís not that far off guys.... $300k/yr in many markets isnít really that much considering COL.

I know it sounds tone def but many of the people OTF donít have a comprehensive of true costs.
Oh, I think many do. $300k even in NY is doing well. Not rich. But $300k is not what the average middle class New Yorker earns. (We're talking individuals.) $300k won't get you nearly as much as it would in most other places in the country, for for New York, it gets you quite a bit. I think that $200k is probably closer to being true middle class in NY. That is almost four times higher than the middle class income in many other areas.

But the lifestyle for the middle class person in NY is not as high in some respects, as it is in, say, Iowa. That's part and parcel of living in NY. It doesn't change whether you are middle class or wealthy. It's just that the lifestyle of the middle class in NY may be less.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Economics
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2018, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top