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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Dec 7, 2012 2:52PM
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Well, since I spoke at resale shops., I would say I am lower class or MAYBE lower-middle. Doesn't matter. I have what I need.

 

Dec 7, 2012 2:41PM
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Living a Champaign life on a Beer Budget

 

I earn more money by myself than what the article claims is the family middle class income and my wife also does as well. So I guess that puts me in the VERY LOW end of the 1 percenter's that people say are getting rich. Trust me, I am not even close to rich. However, I see people all around me who I know have much lower income jobs and they are driving two nice cars, larger and nicer homes and all the extra toys like a boat or quads. They are going on yearly vacations to some pretty nice places as well. Me, I am shoveling my money into retirement and making sure my small home is paid off. I am starting to think, "Stupid Me".

 

So I scratched my head and wondered how are they affording all this when I know with my own pretty good wage that I couldn't afford it all....drum roll please - without going into a lot of debt?It is because these folks are neck high in debt. It part of the reason behind the housing crisis. There was a middle class living way beyond their means and buying an expensive home which put them on the edge of forclosure to begin with. So if one spouse lost their job, it was difficult to make the house payment. So guess what came out of that? A bail out and the same people are now able to go back and apply again for more government loans to get another home! I am starting to think "Supid Me".

 

Another problem are the people who are scamming the system. Yes, they may report the 'middle class' income of say $50k  a year, but there is a lot of extra fraudulent income being made that is not reported. Cash under the table for construction work is very prevalent. I see the rolls of cash and I have had some of these contractors tell me a good discount is available if I pay cash. I personally know of someone who is making $70k a year and gets food stamps. She claims to be separated from her husband and then she claims head of houshold with four children. She buys them the latest cell phones and electronics. I am starting to think "Stupid Me".

 

Get rid of all these tax loop holes and the class warfare about raising the taxes on the rich and just go with a flat tax for ALL. Better yet, go with a national sales tax only and that takes care of the under the table transactions to avoid paying taxes and it also eliminates the tax loop holes to begin wth. The more you spend, the more kids you have, the more you pay. Yes, "Stupid Me".

 

Dec 7, 2012 2:40PM
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They forgot. You're thousands of dollars in debt in school loans that you can barely afford to pay.
Dec 7, 2012 2:38PM
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I educated my young friend who grew up in Beverley Hills and was bemoaning that the fact he had fallen into my group, the middle class. I tried to cheer him up. I said if you are middle class you can take a vacation to St. Tropez, You can buy a Lamborgini, You can stay in the most expensive hotel in the world, You can sail around the world, You can shop in Bloomindales, You can own a Yacht, You can belong to a country Club.  But you can only do one of these things and not the others and you can only do it once in your life.
Dec 7, 2012 2:38PM
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There is no exact answers as to who is middle class.  I have a generous 6 figure salary and have been saving for my retirement since I was 22.  I shop at Macy's and target and consider myself to be "middle class."  The media puts such an emphasis on class but it is a very broad catageory with no definite structure or division lines.
Dec 7, 2012 2:37PM
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Much of this depends upon your lifestyle and where you live.   It also depends upon your education and the field in which you work.   Not every field does having a PhD improve your income.   In most fields, a PhD only improves your income if you intend to teach.   Very few if any CEO's of large companies have a PhD.   A STEM education generally pays the best but Americans tend to shy away from that kind of education and go with a liberal arts or business degree.  That is why so many are unemployed.   The unemployment rate for STEM is 2.5% while that of the general population is 7.7%.   A petroleum engineer with a 4 year degree with some experience can make 167 thou per year but the courses are tough and require both higher math and science.   Unless Americans change their outlook towards a technical education, they will continue to flounder financially while Asian immigrants do very well.  
Dec 7, 2012 2:37PM
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My family and I are "upper Class" my husband alone makes 6 digits a year and we shop at Target, and Walmart.  I dont think it matters how much you make, I think its consumer preference.   Where you shop doesnt put you in a class.

 

Dec 7, 2012 2:37PM
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Most who think they are middle class are actually working class. 

Upper Class - We all wish we were and think they got there by chance
Middle Class -  We all think we are here and they worked hard and got some good breaks to get here
Working Class - We actually are here and work hard but perhaps not smart or don't have the connections
No Class - Blame every class above for their woes and think government should fix it by taking money from those above and give it to them.
Dec 7, 2012 2:37PM
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Just about everyone is middle class.  If you are upper class, believe me, you know you are and you don't know very many people who are not.  If you are lower class, you know that too.

The other millions who are literate, work/are retired/in training, own/plan on owning houses/condos, get out the "good" china for holiday meals and have expectations that their children will exceed their own lifestyles fall into the great American Middle Class. 

Dec 7, 2012 2:34PM
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In The United States of America there are nine levels of classes; lower-lower, middle-lower, ................ ..............middle-upper, upper-upper! I think lower-lower starts with Honey Bo Bo and upper-upper ends with not Bill Gates, those that have had multi-millons of dollars for at least three generations.

God doesn't care and I don't either. Good People come from all levels and all walks of life!

 

Dec 7, 2012 2:33PM
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THERE IS NO CLASS SYSTEM IN AMERICA!!!

We are all individual citizens who are out to achieve what is best for us and our families.  Where in the Consitituion does it speak of a caste system?  We must reject the language of the left.

Dec 7, 2012 2:31PM
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THERE IS NO CLASS SYSTEM IN AMERICA!!!

We are all individual citizens who are

Dec 7, 2012 2:25PM
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As for me, I really detest any labels. I buy what I can afford. I enjoy having even a little bit of what I  earn put away. It could be $10.00 or $110.00.  I shop at Target, sure do. For a number of reasons. One would be, Wal-Mart charges more for printer ink. We use our printer a lot. I haven't been in a "class", since I was in high school. 
Dec 7, 2012 2:23PM
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Lots of Bush voters in this thread.  Why aren't you guys are freerepublic, Fox, or kkk.com?
Dec 7, 2012 2:19PM
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I bet King Obuma had them write this artical so it would make everybody feel better ! So you better watch out you better not cry Barrack-A -Clause is coming to town or should I say Vay-Cay !
Dec 7, 2012 2:18PM
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If you shop at WalMart you are not only hurting yourseof but you are hurting the entire country.  WalMart's products consist of about 85% "Made In China".  That will NOT solve our economic problems in this country.  Demand that the store where you do your shopping bring in more "Made in America" products, products that will last and not be junk in a few weeks.  Does anybody remember when you could hand down clothes?  Not when they are made in China, they are for the most part crappy, cheap, junk.  And DO NOT buy your pets food, treats, toys, or even bedding that has been made in China, it will harm them and may even kill them.  Bedding you can wash but hang outside, after washing, in fresh air for a day or two to get the bad chemicals out. 

 

 There is nothing wrong with being labeled middle class but shopping at WalMart puts you into the stupid class!

Dec 7, 2012 2:17PM
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I am sick of this label.  I am a high class person with a middle income.  Have you noticed that we never hear of the low class people or the high class people?
Dec 7, 2012 2:17PM
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No one mentioned that IF you are actually middle class (by money standard) you will get 25 K a year in SS when you are 66, since you made all that money and paid the SS taxes.

As  far as college, find out if you are within the IQ of over 110 so you are actually college material (about 30-35 %) otherwise save your money, instead of trying college and dropping out, it is worse for you not to complete college, if you come to me for a job, because you either can not because your IQ is under 100 (50 % of all) or you are not stable, and I do not need that for my engineering shop at all, I do not have time for daily babysitting!--AND hopefully you have not made a big college debt----I unfortunately I see a lot like that, DO NOT GO TO COLLEGE, IF YOUR IQ IS NOT MENT FOR IT!

Dec 7, 2012 2:17PM
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Such a silly article, I'm guessing the teenage inmates are running the asylum at MSN. The "Middle Class"  was buried a very long, long time ago, along with that group they took decent journanlism, original ideas, class and decorum... p.s. But um, like we totally know what you vote and where you shop, but I FEEL like, you forgot to mention um where you like, buy your coffee... like Starbucks you are sooo middle class congrats! ... thanks Gen Y fascinating incite!

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