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View Poll Results: What do you consider "Lower Middle Class"
20k - 50k 68 63.55%
60k - 90k 36 33.64%
100k - 130k 1 0.93%
130k - 160k 1 0.93%
160k+ 1 0.93%
Voters: 107. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 04-06-2009, 04:18 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Notmuchlonger View Post
I have a relative who makes around 75k a year in a major Texas city. He is military. He thinks he is lower middle class. Numerous examples might say otherwise. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
Well, the issue we are discussing here is income and how that indicates socioeconomic status.

But socioeconomic status goes WAY beyond merely income. Type of employment one is engaged in, education and training, lifestyle, and interests also come into play.

For example, a construction worker may make more than a school teacher, but socioeconomically, the school teacher may have higher socioeconomic standing. Same may apply to military. Enlisted military would only have so high of a standing socioeconomically. Not sure where your relative stands on the military hierarchy.
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Old 04-06-2009, 04:20 PM   #22
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I cannot understand the fascination with this type of question. Terms like upper middle class, lower middle class, etc had meanings within sociology back about the mid 20th century. Upper middle class was successful doctors, law partners, professors with some family money, accounting partners, successful business owners who had incomes at least as great as the professionals mentioned, etc. These people usually had a very nice lifestyle, domestic help though often not fulltime, savings, but still they needed to work. Upper class meant rich, as in they could stop working tomorrow and still have a lifestyle that would be envied by many. Lower middle class were skilled workers of all sorts. Middle middle class was what was not already decribed, and usually did not involve physical work or factory work.

These terms are only historically useful now. Today, marketers can take your zip code and one of two other facts about your habits or history and practically draw your picture.

Also, some cat with a big drug and anger problem can easily make money that buries most of these professionals as long as he can get a basketball through a hoop, or move a football down the field. This kind of turns these old classifications on their ears.

Ha
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Old 04-06-2009, 05:37 PM   #23
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To the OP - what radio/news are you listening to? I don't see how they can justify that kind of cutoff as "lower middle" unless, as someone said, you're in a very high-cost area. Even then I don't really buy it. I'm more inclined to go by census figures for median income and such.
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Old 04-06-2009, 06:19 PM   #24
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.... Maybe the one good thing that will come out of this whole economic mess is that people will finally go back to being satisfied with less materially and have more time and energy for the really important things....like friends and family. Am I sounding like an almost "old" lady or have I hit the mark??
Psst, several of us who have posted on this thread are older than you. I think there has been only one curmudgeon certificate issued, but I aspire to that rank more than I’d like to be rich. I’m trying to learn to say, “stay off my lawn” convincingly but I live in an apt. where the lawn consists of a single tree with about 5’x5’ of fenced dirt. A house down the street has neat little signs, “no bull, no poo,” it’s a more expensive block and I’m sure that person is in a higher level of middle class with more advanced curmudgeon credentials.

Back to OP: categories:

--Bernie Madoff or otherwise in jail or other institutionalized guest of the state
--Homeless or living on brother’s couch
--Working to pay expenses, no savings*
*(this is my nomination for “lower middle class," say up to$30,000 for one person, $50,000 for family of four).
--Homeowner or landowner
--On track for FI
--FI but working
--FIRE
--FI retired at later age
--Very wealthy
--Obscenely wealthy
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Old 04-06-2009, 06:53 PM   #25
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I rate people's "class" by how they treat me, and how I observe them treating others.

Someone who abuses me or anyone else, and treats them with contempt, is low-class trash to me, no matter how much $$, toys, or fancy education they may have.

Someone who is gracious to me and others is, by my definition, a person who has class, no matter what level of schooling they achieved or how many earthly possessions they own. (Please note, I love earthly posessions, and greatly respect education; but these do not, of themselves, confer class).

This is something I decided when still in my teens, and nothing I've experienced in life (and I've been through quite a lot) has ever changed my view.
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Old 04-06-2009, 07:17 PM   #26
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Who you calling "working class"?!?!
As I have been "gainfully employed" most of my life -- well, not counting the time lost at failed startups -- I proudly claim membership in the "working class".

That did not preclude me from my endeavor to graduate to the higher "ER class", where my wife has enjoyed permanent membership and I a provisional one.
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Old 04-06-2009, 08:17 PM   #27
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As I said, it is a stretch.
I suppose the way to get there would be to live in a high cost of living area, and have large medical expenses.
Granted, it is a stretch and it doesn't fit the statistics. But it is the only way I can see the original poster hearing this.
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Old 04-06-2009, 09:23 PM   #28
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That's exactly why I'm asking for realistic people to throw numbers out there. I find it very hard to believe that most working class adults see a 250k combined income lower middle class. Yet the media has no problem jamming this down our throats.
But since you tossed out the number of 125k/person, I thought I needed to help you out by voting $160k/person. What program were you watching or listening, the Real House Wives of Beverly Hills?
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Old 04-07-2009, 04:13 AM   #29
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I hear a lot of talk in the news and on the radio of what the typical lower middle income class family makes a year. The figure they throw out: 125k per person.
How could it be 125K per person? Multiply that by 300 million (the population of the US) and you get 37.5 trillion, which is nearly 3 times our GDP.
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Old 04-07-2009, 07:54 AM   #30
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To the OP - what radio/news are you listening to? I don't see how they can justify that kind of cutoff as "lower middle" unless, as someone said, you're in a very high-cost area. Even then I don't really buy it. I'm more inclined to go by census figures for median income and such.
I'm listening to talk radio in the Maryland/Virginia area. In particular, one talk show host claimed a couple working as a Nurse and a Police Officer would have no problem with overtime pulling 250k/year. I'm not buying it.
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Old 04-07-2009, 08:14 AM   #31
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I'm listening to talk radio...
Well, there's your problem.
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Old 04-07-2009, 08:19 AM   #32
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I hear a lot of talk in the news and on the radio of what the typical lower middle income class family makes a year. The figure they throw out: 125k per person.

.
What was the objective or context for th 125K statement?

We are getting a lot of this lately - class warfare/populism.

The way it works is the populist put out such statements then anyone with a opposing view must use facts to dispute it - emotion vs reason.

Emotion has won and it controls our future.


Household income in the United States - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In 2007, the median annual household income rose 1.3% to $50,233.00 according to the Census Bureau.[3]he real median earnings of men who worked full time, year-round climbed between 2006 and 2007, from $43,460 to $45,113. For women, the corresponding increase was from $33,437 to $35,102. The median income per household member (including all working and non-working members above the age of 14) was $26,036 in 2006
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Old 04-07-2009, 08:22 AM   #33
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I rate people's "class" by how they treat me, and how I observe them treating others.

Someone who abuses me or anyone else, and treats them with contempt, is low-class trash to me, no matter how much $$, toys, or fancy education they may have.

Someone who is gracious to me and others is, by my definition, a person who has class, no matter what level of schooling they achieved or how many earthly possessions they own. (Please note, I love earthly posessions, and greatly respect education; but these do not, of themselves, confer class).

This is something I decided when still in my teens, and nothing I've experienced in life (and I've been through quite a lot) has ever changed my view.

Very well said. Your description of "class" says it all. Money be damned.
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Old 04-07-2009, 08:25 AM   #34
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I hear a lot of talk in the news and on the radio of what the typical lower middle income class family makes a year. The figure they throw out: 125k per person.
Was this a story in the Trump News or something? It be impossible to describe $125K as lower middle for a family of four let alone a single person.
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Old 04-07-2009, 08:30 AM   #35
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Considering the average individual income is under $50K, i'd say lower middle class would have to be under that. I'd say lower middle class would be $20K-$40K. I make $45K and consider myself middle class not lower middle class. I'd call middle class $40K-$75K and upper middle class $75K-$125K. These are for one income households.
I like your definition. I think that works for my area of the country.
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Old 04-07-2009, 08:53 AM   #36
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I'm listening to talk radio in the Maryland/Virginia area. In particular, one talk show host claimed a couple working as a Nurse and a Police Officer would have no problem with overtime pulling 250k/year. I'm not buying it.
Ah, so when you say 'media' you really mean 'sillyness'.
I thought you meant you heard this as part of the news or something that wasn't strictly entertainment.
Do you buy anything from talk radio as factual?
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Old 04-07-2009, 09:01 AM   #37
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Do you buy anything from talk radio as factual?
Absolutely not, I just wanted to see what other people thought was the average for the lower middle class.
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Old 04-07-2009, 09:06 AM   #38
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Fair enough.
Just found the 'media jamming this down our throats' an odd comment.
As that is all talk radio does
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What about net worth?
Old 04-07-2009, 11:53 AM   #39
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What about net worth?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrinvest View Post
I hear a lot of talk in the news and on the radio of what the typical lower middle income class family makes a year. The figure they throw out: 125k per person.

I want to hear what the rest of you think of when you hear "middle class". I'm not worried about demographics just throw a number out of how much you think a working couple makes to be considered "middle class"

I guess my thought of "middle class" being around 80k really means "red beans and rice". If my family was making a quarter mil a year I'd hardly think I was lower anything in terms of money ...
Is it just the income that determines class or over all net worth? You could have one million in assets that produce 40 K in income. Are you lower middle class with one million in assets producing income? Don't think so.
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