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Old 05-18-2014, 09:43 AM
 
11,224 posts, read 4,788,968 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tvdxer View Post
(except if you're newly upper middle class)
By and large a pretty accurate list for us 'newlies'!
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Old 05-18-2014, 10:38 AM
 
Location: Portal to the Pacific
6,638 posts, read 6,043,836 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lowexpectations View Post
I treat it as an expense and it's the first on that gets paid every payday. All other expenses are secondary in my mind because my retirement bill/financial security should be my biggest priority
Yeah, I guess we do too, except all our savings/investements are pulled out at the end of the month.. so it's not first. Our funds get diverted to a variety of investments, only one of which I adjust each month.
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Old 05-18-2014, 11:27 AM
 
Location: DFW
6,841 posts, read 12,546,687 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lowexpectations View Post
You are upper middle class if you pay more in taxes than the median income in the US. You are also probably upper middle class if your taxes and savings are the majority of your monthly expenses
Taxes and savings are also my biggest monthly "expenses" but my salary is in no way an "upper-middle-class" salary..
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Old 05-18-2014, 11:44 AM
 
Location: Portal to the Pacific
6,638 posts, read 6,043,836 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ragnarkar View Post
Taxes and savings are also my biggest monthly "expenses" but my salary is in no way an "upper-middle-class" salary..
Maybe you're higher than what you think you are or maybe you just spend very, very little... in any case, the fact that you're saving means that you are way better off than most Americans regardless where your salary actually stands.
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Old 05-18-2014, 11:47 AM
 
21,326 posts, read 15,525,387 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ragnarkar View Post
Taxes and savings are also my biggest monthly "expenses" but my salary is in no way an "upper-middle-class" salary..

As was pointed out above either you just spend very little or you are already upper middle class. If you just spend very little you will move into upper middle with the asset accumulation
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Old 05-19-2014, 09:41 PM
 
Location: Pac. NW
2,286 posts, read 1,769,882 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LordSquidworth View Post
Plaster is awful.
UMC'ers tend to live in older established neighborhoods - the "historic" districts. Those older homes (1950 or older) weren't built with newer materials.

That was my point.
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Old 05-19-2014, 11:34 PM
 
2,303 posts, read 2,423,320 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyingsaucermom View Post
Maybe you're higher than what you think you are or maybe you just spend very, very little... in any case, the fact that you're saving means that you are way better off than most Americans regardless where your salary actually stands.
Or the person just lives in a high tax area. Federal of 25%, State of 5%, those miscellaneous payroll taxes could be another 5%, and you're at 35% of your money going to income taxes. You then get to add in property taxes, which in some places(NJ for example) can be pretty high as well. 2% of of a $150k property means $250 a month, and if we really wanted to get crazy, include sales tax.

So yeah, I think you have to be pretty poor to not have taxes be your biggest expense. Either that or you're blowing money on something insane.
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Old 10-25-2014, 02:23 PM
 
Location: Seattle
20 posts, read 24,293 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by in_newengland View Post
Well, where I live the original post fits middle class. It also fits my sister who lives in Virginia and she is middle class. Her husband teaches in a college, probably not a full professor, and they're very middle class, not upper middle. Her kids did go to public schools but they took AP classes. Our parents both went to college and we fit the description--she backpacks and kayaks, etc.

We love art museums and her husband is interested in music--he directs a choir and plays some instrument. I've been to many classical music concerts and once, to an opera in NYC. We do it out of interest, though, not out of social pressure. I love museums of all kinds, especially art museums but it's out of interest, not to see and be seen. We're just middle class. But there is also a lower middle class and I guess there's a lower class and that class would also have its divisions. If there really ARE classes anymore and I think there are, at least where I live. Maybe a lot of lower middle class people are being considered middle class?

Upper middle class, from what I've seen, might have a small yacht and probably have two homes in nice places, travel extensively around the world, have the expensive foreign cars, a private plane. My husband knows a few--they share a private plane, they have a huge house, they have many foreign cars and just buy them whenever they feel like it for the fun of it, they belong to many country clubs--not just one. They fly their wives in the private plane to Martha's Vinyard to go shopping. They're not trying to keep up with the Joneses like the middle class, they ARE the Joneses. They do work though, they work a lot and are hardly ever home--their jobs seem very important. I have relatives who are upper middle--very successful lawyers who won't even speak to us, homes all over the place, extensive world travelers, extremely well dressed, etc.

Then there is the upper class who are mostly invisible. Probably most of us have probably never even met a true upper class person. I wouldn't even know who they are but they are the higher ups. From old money, dress and act a certain way, go to very very correct schools, even their prep schools are the best. Large second homes in extremely private areas that cannot be accessed by ordinary people. Maybe a third and a fourth home. Drivers to take them where they want to go. They have strong old ties to institutions like Harvard and Yale and belong to clubs that we don't even know about. They network and help each other to stay upper class and elitist. I don't thing there is much movement in or out of the true upper class, you are born into it. I'd say Rockefellers and people like that?

For the true upper class it's about elitism. For everybody else it's somewhat about money but more about what your interests are, how you conduct yourself, how you dress, your values, things like that. If I, as a middle class person, were put in a room with some upper middle class people, the differences would be obvious. My purse didn't cost $1000 and I would think it was stupid to pay that price. I'd go somewhere and get a much cheaper brand--and get it on sale. I think most people are versions of middle class.
This is spot on for the most part. You and I have similar views based upon what I have read in this response. However, there is a difference between a private jet and a private plane such as a Cessna. Also, the key difference between the UMC and anyone else below in the middle class is that the former are direct in everything that they do or say. Quite frankly, I have the equivalent of day pass privileges into this section of the middle class and am treated as a guest. I have had mediocre lawyers in my family for the past four generations so I would not say that I am a permanent member of the UMC. Still, I can easily recognize UMC characteristics when I see it. Your "upper middle class relatives" are newly minted members. It is natural for the first generation of UMC members to spurn contact with other relatives that are not UMC. As the generations pass, it comes full circle; a generation realizes that family history is important and that the past harbors unique stories and traditions. Four generations ago, my great grandfather was born into poverty and had to be adopted by wealthier extended relatives. My family has stopped striving two generations ago and simply maintain the status quo.
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Old 10-25-2014, 02:35 PM
 
174 posts, read 159,505 times
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If you live in any of the NAFTA countries that our government sold us all out to.
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Old 10-25-2014, 02:39 PM
 
Location: Seattle
20 posts, read 24,293 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tvdxer View Post
Your sketch may fit the lifestyles of the upper echelons of the Upper Middle Class, though I would not say it represents the upper-10% of the American income scale (of course, class and income can be separated, but let's just assume that they are not).

A yacht? My aunt, who co-owns a dental practice and I consider to be Upper Middle Class, has a sailboat. It's quite nice, but nothing unusual or extravagant. Here in Minnesota, by the way, all kinds of people own (motorized) boats. You even see them at trailer parks. A private plane? Maybe if their hobby is aviation, but I would not say it's typical. In the Upper or Capitalist Class - which comprises about 1% of the population - having a private plane is probably much more typical. And 3 or 4 homes that the household owns but does not rent out? I would definitely say UPPER class.

The thing that most differentiates the upper and upper-middle classes is whether they can maintain their lifestyle on returns from their assets, or whether they have to get up in the morning, go to job, and work. The former are upper class - even though many such individuals work many hours, they don't necessarily have to. The latter are upper middle class. They have to work, or their BMW X5 and sailboat will be repossessed, their 4,000 square foot home with the granite countertops, huge master bathroom, and geothermal heating will be foreclosed on, and they will not be able to pay the company that sends out the cleaning lady once or twice a week.

I tend to get a lot of my conceptions about social class from studies (both academic and private) and academics. Here's a good summary of current sociologists' thinking on class: Social class in the United States - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia . I like Gilbert the best as his system best reflects my experience, and I also have his textbook, the previous version of which (copyright 2008) can be found CHEAP on Amazon.
Your aunt is just middle-middle class. If she bought a sailboat then all the more so. A real sailboat that is passed on from generation to generation has a wooden hull. A dentist is solidly middle class, not upper middle class regardless of income and regardless of additional credentials such as orthodontics. The traditional professions are law, clergy and medicine. Also, a dentist touches one of the dirtiest parts of the body whereas a doctor touches some of the most vital parts of the same body though both are healing touches as opposed to a nurse's crap touch, which is lower class. Everything else is on point.
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