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Old 05-27-2016, 08:53 PM
 
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The culture shock of being the first person in the family to graduate college (let alone high school) is crazy too. And apparently it seems that for the most part poor, low income, and blue collar individuals never seem to break into that mysterious American fantasy of "middle class". I pretty much only see poor, upper middle class and rich really.. pretty much my whole almost 40 years on this planet. Those right in the middle "middle class" people? ooof soap opera stuff.
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Old 05-27-2016, 10:20 PM
 
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Originally Posted by wawaweewa View Post
It is the norm. Many will not admit to it for whatever reason but it is prevalent because it's what any normal parent who is capable of doing so will do.

Thankfully, working class doesn't comprise the majority of the American population. Most US households are solidly middle class or above. Many Americans also own their own property weather they paid it off or inherited it. Let's remember that renting is not the norm in the US, although it may seem that way in NYC.

One reason for the cycle of poverty is that poor kids can't/don't receive help from their parents as they're entering adulthood. Middle class and wealthier children do and it's a HUGE leg-up. Things such inheriting a home or money creates a HUGE cushion.

As I stated earlier, many won't admit to receiving help and I encounter it even amongst my friends and acquaintances. I received help from my parents. They paid for my brother and I's education. Although we went to a state school and it was "only" 40K for 4 years each, it was a huge help not graduating with student debt.

When my brother went to grad school and I was already working, I helped him pay his way through. When he graduated and got a job, I gave him the money for 1st months and security. My grandparents also helped him at that point. I have no doubts that he would do the same for me if I asked.

I know plenty of people who had similar or much more help from their parents/grandparents/family/siblings/spouses/etc.

I've known people to receive 100k for a down payment on a home and they weren't from a wealthy family. I've know people who became nurses in NYC and their parents were still paying their student loans so that they could buy a home.

Don't expect them to just come out and tell you.
How can that be the norm when most folks are poor and working class is what I'm asking. Poor and working class can't afford to help out their kids for college. There are a lot more poor folks than wealthy.
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Old 05-27-2016, 10:24 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Aquarius37 View Post
The culture shock of being the first person in the family to graduate college (let alone high school) is crazy too. And apparently it seems that for the most part poor, low income, and blue collar individuals never seem to break into that mysterious American fantasy of "middle class". I pretty much only see poor, upper middle class and rich really.. pretty much my whole almost 40 years on this planet. Those right in the middle "middle class" people? ooof soap opera stuff.
One reason is that they tend to help their family. When you are lending a hand financially, that drags you down and makes it harder for you to accumulate wealth. It is hard to just say no to family and even close friends.
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Old 05-27-2016, 10:28 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Aquarius37 View Post
And apparently it seems that for the most part poor, low income, and blue collar individuals never seem to break into that mysterious American fantasy of "middle class". I pretty much only see poor, upper middle class and rich really.. pretty much my whole almost 40 years on this planet. Those right in the middle "middle class" people? ooof soap opera stuff.
There's a lot of them, but it's really tough in NYC because there's a serious welfare trap. Increasing your income means not qualifying for various subsidies; one group calculated that your effective income (including cash and non-cash subsidies) at 30K/yr is about the same as at 60K per year and it's less anywhere in between.

Also blue collar doesn't mean poor -- those crane operators making hundreds of thousands a year are still blue collar.
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Old 05-27-2016, 10:40 PM
 
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Originally Posted by nyccs View Post
How can that be the norm when most folks are poor and working class is what I'm asking. Poor and working class can't afford to help out their kids for college. There are a lot more poor folks than wealthy.
Most households aren't poor or working class.
It's a certainty that many more Americans have moved into the poor/working class over the past few decades but most Americans are still middle class +. Depending on the studies/data sets one looks at, approximately 70% of Americans are middle class or higher.

A substantial portion of that 70% has accumulated/inherited wealth (cash, investments, assets, property, etc).
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Old 05-27-2016, 10:51 PM
 
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Originally Posted by wawaweewa View Post
Most households aren't poor or working class.
It's a certainty that many more Americans have moved into the poor/working class over the past few decades but most Americans are still middle class +. Depending on the studies/data sets one looks at, approximately 70% of Americans are middle class or higher.

A substantial portion of that 70% has accumulated/inherited wealth (cash, investments, assets, property, etc).
So middle class to you is $45-50K?

https://www.ssa.gov/cgi-bin/netcomp.cgi?year=2013
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Old 05-27-2016, 10:58 PM
 
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Originally Posted by nyccs View Post
So middle class to you is $45-50K?

https://www.ssa.gov/cgi-bin/netcomp.cgi?year=2013
1. Don't compare cost of living in NYC to much the rest of the country.


2. Two earners of $40k each in a household (80K household income) out in flyover country live like kings and certainly would have the means to help out their children. There are substantial amounts of households in relatively low cost of living areas in the 100K+ household income bracket.
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Old 05-28-2016, 02:42 AM
 
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One should NOT have to be forced to swap genitalia just to be able to consider themselves middle-class :/ Individuals should be able to thrive on their own, not have to double down on income with another person. I mean hells, why not force people to live in in triples and quadruplets to have them be able to afford a studio while we're at it, right? :/

There needs to be tax-free breederless zones available for single people who want no part of coupling up just for financial security, it's absurd when you think about it. Leftover biblical garbage really.
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Old 05-29-2016, 01:17 PM
 
Location: Pennsylvania
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Originally Posted by nyccs View Post
401k is for retirement...why would you max your 401k if you had problems living off of a $120k salary?

And if you can't live off of $120k, your spending and money management habits are poor. Most people won't make $120k a year in their lifetime. I always felt that there should have been a money management class in high school instead of all those other useless classes that were offered which you don't apply in real life.
Bingo.
Let's see. You can take useless classes like music, art, etc.(LIBERAL stuff!!!) Or you can take a class in how to manage your money. (CONSERVATIVE) That one is not hard to figure out! As a result most of John Q Public winds up being financially incompetent.
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Old 05-29-2016, 08:45 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Miss J 74 View Post
You're obviously not from here and thus cannot form an educated opinion on this.

There are plenty of areas in this large city that are safe and *gasp* affordable, especially to someone earning 120K. Hell there are safe areas even people earning half that can obtain. So please don't try to tell us that it's not possible. Those of us from here know it's possible. Will it be in a hip and trendy area? No. But it will be a blue collar, middle class area that is safe to walk around at night. I've been doing it my entire life.

As for federal deductions, then you need a new accountant, because there are plenty of tax write offs that people do not take advantage of. If you need to max your 401K to avoid paying taxes, than change your withholding to single 0 instead of whatever you're claiming now. (Most people who follow the W-4 blindly, claim single 2, which is a mistake).

As for student loans, you are aware that with the new laws Obama passed, you can negotiate what you pay, right?

Stop trying to tell us living here on 120K can't be done. My husband and I are clearing slightly less than that combined and we manage just fine. And we have a car.

Agree. And my husband and I probably make similar salaries to your household, because we just cleared 120K for the first time ever. Ha. And we also have a car and a coop. We also take multiple vacations per year, my husband puts money into his 401K, I put money into an IRA on top of the private union pension I will be in, etc.

I don't know why but Cara seems to think more affordable areas = automatically less safe. That is certainly not the case. I live in a VERY safe area of Brooklyn. It has train access. It has bars, restaurants, shopping, etc. The only reason people will write it off sometimes is because it is "far." That's fine, because it gives people a reasonable place to live for maybe spending an extra fifteen or twenty minutes on the train. You could easily rent a one bedroom apartment here for around $1400/month. Then, at 120K, you'd have plenty of money leftover to do whatever you want with it.
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