U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Economics > Personal Finance
 [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 04-09-2011, 09:33 PM
 
Location: Murphy, TX
633 posts, read 2,481,487 times
Reputation: 421

Advertisements

I have to lot of so called middle class in American really can't afford that lifestyle. I think you need make over $100k+, even in an cheaper place like Dallas. For expensive areas, like NYC, you might need like $500k a year! Most people in middle class would should be called the "working class" instead. The middle class lifestyle has many expenses (listed below) and it can get expensive.

Here is what I think most people consider a middle class lifestyle:

-Retire with same lifestyle as pre-retirement
-1-2 years worth of spending money in cash
-Enough money to buy a nice single family house (McMansion)
-Be able afford to put kids through university
-Money to buy new cars every 3-5 years
-Afford nice vacations each year (probably $10k+)
-Money to buy latest smartphone every 2 years,computers, and other electronics

The excepted middle class lifestyle is NOT really frugal. When you look at this list, you can tell how expensive it can get. Being able to spend a lot of your money while still saving for retirement requires a high income.

A lot of people living this lifestyle on has no retirement saving and/or tons of debts. These people are really working class can't / shouldn't try to go for this lifestyle. Of course people making less than $100K (like me) can save for retirement by living more frugal lifestyle. However, you will definitely miss many middle class niceties like brand new cars every few years!

Last edited by unseengundam; 04-09-2011 at 10:07 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 04-09-2011, 09:47 PM
 
24,511 posts, read 33,965,404 times
Reputation: 12762
Quote:
Originally Posted by unseengundam View Post
I have to lot of so called middle class in American really can't afford that lifestyle. I think you need make over $100k+, even in an cheaper place like Dallas. For expensive areas, like NYC, you might need like $500k a year! The middle class lifestyle has many expenses (listed below) and it can get expensive.
NYC is expensive, but not 5-fold expensive as Texas. The well educated get $250k to $350k and that is plenty to live a good lifestyle. And that's for those who work for others. The rest probably make more.

I think you basically just described upper middle-class.

I think a more productive discussion would be tying lifestyle to what is required to achieve that lifestyle (in terms of education, risk, etc), and not with income amount. We have direct control over our education, the amount of risk we're willing to take, and how we manage our money... but less direct control over the dollar amount associated with our income.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-09-2011, 09:56 PM
 
Location: somewhere in the woods
16,886 posts, read 12,486,670 times
Reputation: 5210
I make 60k a year and am planning on retiring at age 55, which is in 7 years. I am debt free and own my home and 3 rental properties as well.

I wont be rich in money, but there are other things to life than money.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-09-2011, 10:03 PM
 
Location: Murphy, TX
633 posts, read 2,481,487 times
Reputation: 421
Quote:
Originally Posted by NJBest View Post
I think you basically just described upper middle-class.
Upper middle class would be whole new definition. For example in Dallas (lower cost of living) I would say that would require $250k-$500k. They would need to able afford low $1-3 million homes. They would be retiring probably rich ($10 millions+ in network).
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-09-2011, 10:06 PM
 
Location: Murphy, TX
633 posts, read 2,481,487 times
Reputation: 421
Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeywrenching View Post
I make 60k a year and am planning on retiring at age 55, which is in 7 years. I am debt free and own my home and 3 rental properties as well.

I wont be rich in money, but there are other things to life than money.
I would say you more of frugal working class person like me. I bet you do without buying a new car every 3 years. And you don't take those $10K (or even $5K) vacation each year.

Sure you can live a decent like but don't have access to luxury many people take for granted. If I didn't save for retirement or care about getting into debt, I would be living a MUCH nicer lifestyle in the middle class. Unfortunately, I can't afford it.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-09-2011, 10:15 PM
 
24,511 posts, read 33,965,404 times
Reputation: 12762
Quote:
Originally Posted by unseengundam View Post
Upper middle class would be whole new definition. For example in Dallas (lower cost of living) I would say that would require $250k-$500k. They would need to able afford low $1-3 million homes. They would be retiring probably rich ($10 millions+ in network).
I understand what you're saying. It appears to me that you're bumping up each level of lifestyle.

In NJ (high cost of living), making $120,000, you can easily have $4 million to $8 million net worth (does not take into consideration raises, and increasing cost of living) upon retirement. So someone making $250k-$500k would certainly have a net worth well (and I mean very well) above $10 million.

Those are nice nest eggs and well above middle class.

On a side note, I calculated a very healthy retirement for myself at having a net worth of $4 million (includes estimated inflation), which will afford me a monthly income of $60,000/month. $60,000 sounds insanely nice today, but by the time I retire, I'd imagine it's just a little above nice.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-09-2011, 10:18 PM
 
24,511 posts, read 33,965,404 times
Reputation: 12762
Quote:
Originally Posted by unseengundam View Post
I would say you more of frugal working class person like me. I bet you do without buying a new car every 3 years. And you don't take those $10K (or even $5K) vacation each year.

Sure you can live a decent like but don't have access to luxury many people take for granted. If I didn't save for retirement or care about getting into debt, I would be living a MUCH nicer lifestyle in the middle class. Unfortunately, I can't afford it.
I think some of your middleclass desires are a little aggressive. Those include the 3-yr car upgrade and $10k vacations.

Even general wealthy people on average, keep their car for 3 years. many keep them fo 5 years. Sure, they buy a different level of car. But 3 years is agressive, IMO. My 2 year old car still feels new to me.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-09-2011, 10:41 PM
 
Location: Plymouth,Michigan/Quad Cities, (IA/IL)
328 posts, read 597,543 times
Reputation: 351
Quote:
Originally Posted by unseengundam View Post
Here is what I think most people consider a middle class lifestyle:
-Retire with same lifestyle as pre-retirement-We plan on this

-1-2 years worth of spending money in cash- Probably 1 years worth, depending on how you define spending money

-Enough money to buy a nice single family house (McMansion)-We would never live in a McMansion

-Be able afford to put kids through university-No kids

-Money to buy new cars every 3-5 years-My car is 7 years old. I have no plans to buy a new one. I only have 50,000 miles on it, so it should go another 7 years or more. My husband's Escape is 5 years old, and he would like to replace it in a couple of years. Both are paid for.

-Afford nice vacations each year (probably $10k+)The last vacation I went on was in 2000. I went to Europe for 2 weeks and spent less than $2000 total. My husband's family is in Colorado, so our next vacation will probably be there. It won't cost $10,000 though.

-Money to buy latest smartphone every 2 years,computers, and other electronics-We do like to have the latest phones and computers. Phones every 2 years and computers more like every 3-4 years. I also use Garmin and Polar heart rate monitors/GPS training watches. I usually have to replace them every 2 years or so.


I would define our lifestyle as middle class. The people in McMansions, going on $10,000 vacations and buying new cars regularly are what I would call upper class.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-09-2011, 10:49 PM
 
24,511 posts, read 33,965,404 times
Reputation: 12762
Quote:
Originally Posted by irongrl View Post

I would define our lifestyle as middle class. The people in McMansions, going on $10,000 vacations and buying new cars regularly are what I would call upper class.
I'm in agreement with you. Except, I don't know why upper middle class would want McMansions. They could afford regular large homes on normal yards.

McMansions are kinda crappy, don't you think? There's a reason why they're called McMansions... they're the fast food of the housing market. It turns out that no one really wants oversized homes on undersized lots that are all prefabricated to look the same and have inferior build quality. Owners of them are having trouble selling them now.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-09-2011, 10:54 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,670 posts, read 71,192,660 times
Reputation: 35846
The OP has defined a minimum standard of luxury and comfort that is way beyond the dreams of at least half the "middle-class" population. Including items that most people don't even desire, and wouldn't buy even if they could afford them. (Smartphones? $10K vacations? New car every 3 years? Mcmansion?) And then added that you have to have double the median income to achieve it.

What is novel about that idea?

By the way, just how do you define "1-2 years spending money" for a person who pathologically covets every single upgrade of electronic gewgaws that comes along, as one of their top six lifestlye priorities? Put in a standing order at Best Buy: "Ship me one of everything, top of the line, every two years".

Last edited by jtur88; 04-09-2011 at 11:10 PM..
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 > Personal Finance
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2017, 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