9 ways to know if you're middle class

There's no hard-and-fast definition, but surveys show what kind of income and lifestyle you're likely to have if you -- and others -- think you're middle class.

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244Comments
Dec 3, 2012 3:41PM
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Year and years ago I thought we were in the Middle Class at $35,000 to $40,000 a year, but the "Middle Class" seems to have left us in the dust now.  I guess, truth be known, we're in the "Upper Poverty" Class!  And both on Social Security now to make matters worse!
Dec 3, 2012 2:05PM
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This "article" is a crock of sh*t if you're in my situation...

I have a secure job, about $30K a year, and health insurance. And I get three weeks' paid vacation a year, but there's no way I'd blow $4K on one. I wouldn't own a home...that would be nothing more than an anchor around my neck...I need to be able to pull up stakes & bug out in a few days' notice (but that's just me...being single has many benefits). Been to college, under the old GI Bill, and my only child has his own brood (he and his wife combined make about $8K a month). I *loathe* Target as much as I do WallyWorld. It's a big sissy store, if you ask me. I have some cash stashed, but that's it. And as far a political leanings...I feel anyone affiliated with any political party should be shot in the face for treason.

Dec 3, 2012 1:34PM
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Working Poor- low income, unstable job, need help (Wal-Mart employee)

Working Class- ok income, unstable job, gets by (Union carpenter, teacher)

Middle Class- higher income, somewhat stable job but able to find new job easily, must be careful not to over-indulge (attorney, physician, cpa, small business owner)

Rich- has a lot of money for a specific period but no real long-term stream of revenue (lottery winner, pro-athelete)

Wealthy- works to develop constant streams of revenue.  Has enough to be out of work for at least 10 years under same lifetstyle.  Cares more about net worth than income.  (No specific career, could be same occupation as middle class or working class).

Dec 3, 2012 1:16PM
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My wife has all of the items but I have a hard time believing we're middle class.  I feel like we're upper lower class.  It's a relative term that policians label people to give them some sense of accomplishment.  How do you label someone making under $100K but has a good net worth due to responsible living compared to the $250K lawyer in the fancy house and fancy cars but has no real savings and living from paycheck to paycheck?  Who cares what class you think you are, just be smart about your money.
Dec 3, 2012 1:06PM
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i FIT ALL BUT 9, NO WAY WILL I EVER LEAN DEMOCRATIC.
Dec 3, 2012 12:48PM
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Am I the only one who is sick of so called "celebrities?"  Headline say "BREAKING NEWS" and then says princess kate is pregnant!!! Damn!! Is that BREAKING NEWS?  sounds like a broken rubber to me.  I intentionally did not capitalize "princess" or "kate" is case she reads this post.  I believe if she made a hard turd, the media would run around town showing it off.  I would asume she puts her panties on just like all other women.

Dec 3, 2012 12:21PM
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This describes what we are trying to do, not what we have actually achieved.  I made middle income, but I didn't do everything exactly perfectly, and also had a few unfortunate things happen, and boom, I completely failed.  Somethings were my own doing, and some were circumstances, but they happened just the same.  I guess my income was on the lower side of middle class, but my husband was often unemployed for long periods of time, and then a divorce, I couldn't make up the difference.  It's a very fragile thing.
Dec 3, 2012 12:20PM
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Well, I guess I am middle class, even in retirement. 8 out of 9 is solid. But, being Democ Rat? Not a chance. Anyone who meets the remaining 8 criteria would not have anything to do with that liberal political party. The middle class, that was described in this article, would never want to give up their hard earned savings to pay for someone too damn lazy to get of their fat a** and get a job. No, being Democ Rat and being a basic middle class is way out in left field. Probably at Yankee stadium.
Dec 3, 2012 12:15PM
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Middle class to me is you can save money and contribute to it on a regular basis. It comes down too middle class is a state of mind.
Dec 3, 2012 12:05PM
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Ok I guess I am lower middle class or border line poor then.  Work 2 jobs pay the bills have not had    a vacation in over 6 years unless you call taking a day off to paint the house or do yard work a vacation.  Have a small amount in savings (too small)  not that I don't try to save every  time I do something comes up that I need to spend what I saved.   However, I do have Health Insurance so I can consider myself rich in that aspect.
Dec 3, 2012 12:04PM
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I am middle class because I like others support the illegals that come into the USA. Their children receive free health care and education.  BTW, I don't recognize the US anymore. Beware, the middle class is a dying breed. Merry Christmas.
Dec 3, 2012 11:54AM
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Good Morning Everyone!!!

 

Ok, now that the lefties and righties have weighed in on their opinions, let's see some raw FACTS:

 

1.  Income.  making 60 to 250,000 is NOW the NEW "middle class".  With the prices of everything from cars, food and housing climbing higher and higher, it is reaching a level that those making 50k or less can't achieve anymore, leading to a NEW  "lower income" bracket.  The bar has been raised, and many can not acheive it.

2.  Target.  EVERY INCOME BRACKET SHOPS THERE, AS WELL AS WALMART. 

3.  College savings.  These days, for MANY, whether they are "rich", middle, lower class, or poor, this is non-existent.  Much of their money these days is spent on ESSENTIAL living costs such as fuel, rent, mortgage, food, etc.  States across the country also are cutting back on financial assistance, with their budgets already strained, making more of the burden of putting the kids through college back on the parents shoulders.  So while the thought of saving those pennies and dollars for the kids education is a noble one with good intentions, it (these days) is NOT reality.   And a parent these days, would rather put food on the table, pay for a car repair, or just be able to pay the mortgage rather than dump that money into a savings account that will sit dormant for years.

4.  Vacations.  These days, people are NOT taking the vacations they used to.  I personally have seen, this past season at 3 local Sprint Cup tracks that I go to each year.  Each race the grandstands are less and less full, the infield trailer parking is more and more empty, and there are less concession stands as well as vendor trailers.  And this is not isolated with racing.  More and more, places like Disneyland, Great Adventure, and other vacation resorts are losing patrons, simply because the middle/lower class/poor simply cannot afford the trip.

5.  Owning your own home.  Another failed philosophy that no longer rewards you after 30 years of a painful mortgage.  Many homes after the market collapse now are under water, with homeowners (yes most middle class), stuck with trying to make back at least 1/2 of what they spent paying it off. 

6.  Secure job:  Translation:  THERE IS NO SUCH THING ANYMORE.  A recent shining example of this, is what just happened with the Hostess company.  Even UNIONS are now seeing that they are NOT invulnerable to layoffs and plant closures.  Not to mention that once either the fiscal cliff hits, or rep's cave and allow massive tax increases on the rich, layoffs, closures, and unemployment ARE going to skyrocket.  That is definate.  It's just a matter of how much at this point.

7.  Healthcare.  Moot issue now, seeing that FORCED healthcare will be starting in about 30 days, thanks to Nobamacare.

8.  More people leaning to democrats?   Hmmmmm...  Yea, I gotta go with that one.  It's amazing that people re-elected Nobozo for 4 more years, and refused to hold him accountable for 16 TRILLION in debt.  Yet these same voters replaced the gov't with democratic majorities during the 2008 campaign, blaming BUSH and the GOP for the SAME exact issues, such as climbing unemployment, stagnant economy, wasteful spending...Go figure...

9.  Retirement.  Seeing that social security is now all but bankrupt, unless a MASSIVE increase is done with people's ss deductions, the system WILL crash and burn less than 20 years from now. 

 

All in all, the "middle class" that this writer describes is all but done.  The economy is about to crash and burn again, and the ONLY ones that will survive if the cliff does happen are the "poor", as well as the "rich". 

 

Just saying...

 

Sincrely,

 

A dis-satisfied customer and voter...

Dec 3, 2012 11:47AM
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The new definition= Making enough money that you should be debt free and have some funds to enjoy, but thanks to high prices, taxes, HEALTH INSURANCE (SCAMMERS!), rising prices on EVERYTHING, ...YOU DON'T.

 

THere wouldn't be so many of us if so many of them DIDN'T lean left! 

 

To say the majority of the Middle class is Democrat is half the problem.

Dec 3, 2012 11:43AM
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I've always considered us middle class even though I haven had a steady job in 20 years. I've been self employed since 1992. I think in that year my wife and I made an AGI of just under 100k combined . I'm not sure about the rest of the stuff. We live near a very large city and in our development I assume that most households make in the 150-300 k range. The houses aren't extravagant (3500 sqft), the cars are late model, but few buy new more frequently than every 4 years. I don't know of any foreclosures and few were foolish enough to use their houses as ATM's. Most of our neighbors refinanced in the mid  to late 2000's to take advantage of the lower rates but didn't take any cash out. Many have already put the kids through school (we're in our early 50's). Things seem to be a little rougher than in the past, but I remember the last 70's were kind of crummy for a lot of people. I don't see tomorrow being significantly different than yesterday. I don't know anyone that doesn't have a healthcare plan. I never bothered to graduate from college, my wife did but on average I've made twice what she has on a yearly basis. Things aren't perfect, but we haven't struggled since the first year I left the USN... We try and make informed decisions, don't spend more than we need, try and be generous to the community and try to be good family members,friends and neighbors... there isn't much more than that


Dec 3, 2012 11:33AM
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You are middle class if you can still afford to buy canned tuna. You are low income if you have to eat cat food.
Dec 3, 2012 11:24AM
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what middle class we have to pay for everything while the rich takes our money and so do the poor.
Dec 3, 2012 11:21AM
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Forget these 9 things and consder just one.  You are middle class if your "fees" and taxes go up next year and your take home pay goes down.  Then, you are middle class!

Dec 3, 2012 11:13AM
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I think blaming one party over the other is useless since neither party has our interests at heart. They are bought and paid for by lobbyists like labor unions, large corporations, and the biggest ever...AIPAC. These are the entities that REALLY control the country. Not your vote.

Think Obama is for the common man? Who was his biggest campaign contributor in 2008? The same one that supported Bush: Goldman Sachs. Think about it.

Dec 3, 2012 11:10AM
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Uh, y'all realize there's no such thing as a "secure job"?  Even politicians are only guaranteed the next 2, 4, or 6 years, depending on which office they hold.  If secure jobs existed, there would be no such thing as a golden parachute.

Secure jobs can only exist where there is a guaranteed pension.  The employer is going to get as much work as possible before paying for that retirement.

Dec 3, 2012 10:42AM
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What you haven't been told is this, if you believe you're middle class, you're at terrible risk.  The Wall Street con men will be coming for you.

It'll be based on something representative of your creditworthiness.  Lie a mortgage (see Great Subprime Moretgage Scam), credit cards (see Savings & Loan Scandal), a status symbol (see Planned Obsolesence Swindle), or stock portfolio (see Margin Buying Con), or some other way of getting you to borrow more than you can afford.  If they can tie it to a necessity, like shelter (the Mortgage Scam again), all the better.  So it'll probably be your health care.

Under a for-profit health care system it's perfectly legal to say "your money or your life".  You'll have to borrow just to stay alive.  You'll be drained of all your money, your property seized, then you'll be left to die.  Since there'll be plenty of debt remaining, a bailout will be demanded.  The last one was over a Trillion dollars, so the next one should finish the government.  The 1% will finally have what they've always wanted; an end to the pesky Bill of Rights.

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