Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Seven things the Middle Class can no longer afford
Old 10-23-2014, 07:04 AM   #1
Recycles dryer sheets
shotgunner's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 454
Seven things the Middle Class can no longer afford

I came across this article today. I am not sure what point the author is trying to make. Her list of 7 things the middle class can no longer afford strikes me as putting the people who can not afford such things well below middle class. Perhaps my perspective is skewed.

What she says the M/C can no longer afford:

- Vacations

- New Cars

- Paying off Debt

- Emergency Savings Account

- Retirement Accounts

- Medical Care

- Dental Care

7 Things the Middle Class Can’t Afford Anymore
__________________

__________________
Never surrender what you really want for what you want right now.
shotgunner is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 10-23-2014, 08:01 AM   #2
Moderator
rodi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: San Diego
Posts: 8,802
I think this is because we've expanded the term "middle class" to include everyone - including the top 10%.

A quick google shows a median household income in the US is $51k. If we assume a household with the median income is middle class - then it starts to make sense.
If that's for a family of 4 - then I'd agree that affording all of those things at the same time is rough.... Cars would need to be used, vacations less often, etc. But at least some of those items should be budgeted for.

(At least that's the way we handled it when our income dropped.)
__________________

__________________
Retired June 2014. No longer an enginerd - now I'm just a nerd.
micro pensions 7%, rental income 18%
rodi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-23-2014, 08:27 AM   #3
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
photoguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 2,301
I'm not sure that median household income is the right number to look at as it will include all sorts of people who are living by themselves. Census also produces family income numbers and it's quite a bit higher. E.g. For Illinois the median income for 4 member family is 82k.

https://www.census.gov/hhes/www/inco...SizeofFam1.xls

This is quite a bit higher, but I imagine it would still be tight to do everything on the list.


Sent from my iPad using Early Retirement Forum
__________________
photoguy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-23-2014, 08:46 AM   #4
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 8,615
Maybe the Middle Class chooses to spend their money on other things such as smart phones, data plans, private K-12 education, marijuana, maids, yard service, more bathrooms in the house, etc.?
__________________
LOL! is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-23-2014, 09:24 AM   #5
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
growing_older's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 2,608
This list doesn't match with reality as I see it. I work with a considerable manufacturing group who make no more than $45k, some of them as little as $30k. I see plenty of them taking vacations, getting reasonable medical and dental care, buying new cars and investing in our company 401k. What is the basis for asserting that middle class people can no longer afford these things.
__________________
growing_older is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-23-2014, 09:40 AM   #6
Full time employment: Posting here.
dtbach's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Madison
Posts: 751
Quote:
Originally Posted by growing_older View Post
What is the basis for asserting that middle class people can no longer afford these things.
Not really any basis at all. Guy just had to write a WOW! story. Middle class can't afford all these things at the same time, but plenty can afford several of these things each year.
__________________
Wild Bill shoulda taken more out of his IRA when he could have. . . .
dtbach is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-23-2014, 09:44 AM   #7
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Midpack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Chicagoland
Posts: 11,964
Interesting methodology. Find 7 sources of research showing that the middle class has reduced spending on 7 expenses, and conclude they can't afford any/all of them anymore. Might be that the "middle class" has had to make some choices they might not have long ago, but that does not mean they've had to forego them all.

I would guess the middle class folks (who've held on to their careers/jobs) who are having the most trouble would be those who bought way too much house and leverage on same, and can't/won't let go of the house. They probably feel like they can't afford much beyond real or supposed essentials.
Quote:
Originally Posted by dtbach View Post
Not really any basis at all. Guy just had to write a WOW! story. Middle class can't afford all these things at the same time, but plenty can afford several of these things each year. The article may be worth what we paid for it...
Here's the "Guy" BTW.
Attached Images
File Type: jpeg 4PBm4j42.jpeg (143.7 KB, 44 views)
__________________
No one agrees with other people's opinions; they merely agree with their own opinions -- expressed by somebody else. Sydney Tremayne
Retired Jun 2011 at age 57

Target AA: 60% equity funds / 35% bond funds / 5% cash
Target WR: Approx 2.5% Approx 20% SI (secure income, SS only)
Midpack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-23-2014, 09:48 AM   #8
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Mulligan's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 7,369
Quote:
Originally Posted by dtbach View Post
Not really any basis at all. Guy just had to write a WOW! story. Middle class can't afford all these things at the same time, but plenty can afford several of these things each year.

In my mind I have never been able to afford a new car as I have never had one. It is on my bucket list. Though I will have to be brave. The thought of paying sales tax on $30k plus, higher insurance, and first year impending personal property tax bill makes sky diving a less stressful bucket list item.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
__________________
Mulligan is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-23-2014, 09:50 AM   #9
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 3,695
The article ignores a lot of things in order to bolster the argument. What crap.
__________________
Living well is the best revenge!
Retired @ 52 in 2005
marko is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-23-2014, 10:45 AM   #10
Moderator Emeritus
Bestwifeever's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 16,372
Dang, we must be upper class! We do all those things! Thanks for the promotion, random opinionated blogger girl!
__________________
“Would you like an adventure now, or would you like to have your tea first?” J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan
Bestwifeever is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-23-2014, 10:48 AM   #11
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Torrance
Posts: 112
1 - Vacations - disagree

2 - New Cars - disagree

3 - Paying off Debt - agree

4 - Emergency Savings Account - agree

5 - Retirement Accounts - agree

6 - Medical Care - disagree

7 - Dental Care disagree

The reason they can't afford 3,4, and 5 is because they piss away all their money on 1 and 2 and all the other toys they're Entitled To.

My brother is practically indigent and the Feds and California have given him magnificent medical care and perfunctory dental care, long before ObamaCare was implemented.
__________________
bob boag is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-23-2014, 10:52 AM   #12
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 3,695
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bestwifeever View Post
Dang, we must be upper class! We do all those things! Thanks for the promotion, random opinionated blogger girl!
+1
My grandad used to say "whenever someone is talking about 'helping the middle class', they don't mean you...they mean the people on welfare".
__________________
Living well is the best revenge!
Retired @ 52 in 2005
marko is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-23-2014, 10:52 AM   #13
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 2,056
One thing that bugs me is how that article mentioned that the average price of a new car these days is around $32,000. That's because people think they *need* a $55,000 half-ton truck or a $40,000 minivan.

If you reign it in somewhat, you can get still get a decent car for not a lot of money. A base level midsized car probably wouldn't set you back more than $20-22K these days. And what's "base level" these days is pretty nice. Standard a/c, automatic, power windows, nice stereo, etc. And even with a 4-cyl engine, these cars will put most V-8's of yesteryear to shame.
__________________
Andre1969 is offline   Reply With Quote
Restoration of the Aristocracy will fix this (contains crazy)
Old 10-23-2014, 01:12 PM   #14
Moderator Emeritus
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 4,929
Restoration of the Aristocracy will fix this (contains crazy)

Quote:
Originally Posted by shotgunner View Post
What she says the M/C can no longer afford:

- Vacations

- New Cars

- Paying off Debt

- Emergency Savings Account

- Retirement Accounts

- Medical Care

- Dental Care

7 Things the Middle Class Can’t Afford Anymore

It's a good start.

We currently have a society with a large middle class, and smaller populations living in extreme poverty or wealth, a 'diamond-shaped' distribution. This is historically an unusual wealth vs population mix, associated with Demotist systems. Such systems are prone to crashes or failures (France 1793-1794, with their Demotist upheaval, Soviet Union 1934-1940 with the purges, or the USA 1861-1865 with the overthrow of basic property rights).



The Neoreactionary Movement seeks to correct this unstable situation and restore stability to society. (This is a real movement, popular within the 400 Families.)

Quote:
Michael Anissimov wrote:
Demotist systems, that is, systems ruled by the “People,” such as Democracy and Communism, are predictably less financially stable than aristocratic systems. On average, they undergo more recessions and hold more debt. They are more susceptible to market crashes. They waste more resources. Each dollar goes further towards improving standard of living for the average person in an aristocratic system than in a Democratic one.
In a society restored to a stable social pyramid, such items that can not be afforded by the base population may be gifted to them from time to time by those higher in the pyramid, as a reward for their efforts in supporting society, via suitable private charities.

For more exciting details on the Dark Enlightenment (caution - contains crazy): BAM! POW! OOF! - The Dark Enlightenment (The Complete Series) by Nick Land
__________________
M Paquette is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-23-2014, 03:21 PM   #15
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
haha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Hooverville
Posts: 22,380
Quote:
Originally Posted by M Paquette View Post
It's a good start.

We currently have a society with a large middle class, and smaller populations living in extreme poverty or wealth, a 'diamond-shaped' distribution. This is historically an unusual wealth vs population mix, associated with Demotist systems. Such systems are prone to crashes or failures (France 1793-1794, with their Demotist upheaval, Soviet Union 1934-1940 with the purges, or the USA 1861-1865 with the overthrow of basic property rights).



The Neoreactionary Movement seeks to correct this unstable situation and restore stability to society. (This is a real movement, popular within the 400 Families.)

In a society restored to a stable social pyramid, such items that can not be afforded by the base population may be gifted to them from time to time by those higher in the pyramid, as a reward for their efforts in supporting society, via suitable private charities.

For more exciting details on the Dark Enlightenment (caution - contains crazy): BAM! POW! OOF! - The Dark Enlightenment (The Complete Series) by Nick Land
From the Bam! Pow! Oof! site above,

"Social solidarity, in precise contrast, is the parasite’s friend. By cropping out all high-frequency feedback mechanisms (such as market signals), and replacing them with sluggish, infra-red loops that pass through a centralized forum of ‘general will’, a radically democratized society insulates parasitism from what it does, transforming local, painfully dysfunctional, intolerable, and thus urgently corrected behavior patterns into global, numbed, and chronic socio-political pathologies."

Pretty hard to refute.
__________________
"As a general rule, the more dangerous or inappropriate a conversation, the more interesting it is."-Scott Adams
haha is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-23-2014, 03:57 PM   #16
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Pasadena CA
Posts: 2,695
Quote:
Originally Posted by M Paquette View Post
It's a good start.

USA 1861-1865 with the overthrow of basic property rights).
1861-65, so you mean like slavery?
__________________
T.S. Eliot:
Old men ought to be explorers
yakers is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-23-2014, 04:54 PM   #17
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 461
Quote:
Originally Posted by shotgunner View Post
I came across this article today. I am not sure what point the author is trying to make. Her list of 7 things the middle class can no longer afford strikes me as putting the people who can not afford such things well below middle class. Perhaps my perspective is skewed.

What she says the M/C can no longer afford:

- Vacations

- New Cars

- Paying off Debt

- Emergency Savings Account

- Retirement Accounts

- Medical Care

- Dental Care

7 Things the Middle Class Can’t Afford Anymore
I heard about this "letter to a fellow zillionaire" today on NPR. Its pretty interesting.
Its a long read so I just posted the last part of it.

Dear 1%ers, many of our fellow citizens are starting to believe that capitalism itself is the problem. I disagree, and I’m sure you do too. Capitalism, when well managed, is the greatest social technology ever invented to create prosperity in human societies. But capitalism left unchecked tends toward concentration and collapse. It can be managed either to benefit the few in the near term or the many in the long term. The work of democracies is to bend it to the latter. That is why investments in the middle class work. And tax breaks for rich people like us don’t. Balancing the power of workers and billionaires by raising the minimum wage isn’t bad for capitalism. It’s an indispensable tool smart capitalists use to make capitalism stable and sustainable. And no one has a bigger stake in that than zillionaires like us.
The oldest and most important conflict in human societies is the battle over the concentration of wealth and power. The folks like us at the top have always told those at the bottom that our respective positions are righteous and good for all. Historically, we called that divine right. Today we have trickle-down economics.
What nonsense this is. Am I really such a superior person? Do I belong at the center of the moral as well as economic universe? Do you?
My family, the Hanauers, started in Germany selling feathers and pillows. They got chased out of Germany by Hitler and ended up in Seattle owning another pillow company. Three generations later, I benefited from that. Then I got as lucky as a person could possibly get in the Internet age by having a buddy in Seattle named Bezos. I look at the average Joe on the street, and I say, “There but for the grace of Jeff go I.” Even the best of us, in the worst of circumstances, are barefoot, standing by a dirt road, selling fruit. We should never forget that, or forget that the United States of America and its middle class made us, rather than the other way around.
Or we could sit back, do nothing, enjoy our yachts. And wait for the pitchforks.
Nick Hanauer is a Seattle-based entrepreneur.


Read more: The Pitchforks Are Coming… For Us Plutocrats - Nick Hanauer - POLITICO Magazine
__________________
purplesky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-23-2014, 05:10 PM   #18
Moderator
Walt34's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Eastern WV Panhandle
Posts: 16,501
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andre1969 View Post
If you reign it in somewhat, you can get still get a decent car for not a lot of money. A base level midsized car probably wouldn't set you back more than $20-22K these days.
The new Honda Accord we bought last December was a hair over $23k out the door and that wasn't even the base model, but one up from it. We wanted the electric seat that would move more than fore & aft for DW's back issues.

We haven't been on a vacation in quite a while but apathy is the primary reason for that. Besides, I'm retired so every day is a vacation day anyway.

Paying off debt? What is this "debt" thing they speak of?

Emergency savings? Yup, I could write a check for a $50k pickup truck, but why? The 12-year-old one I have runs just fine.

Retirement accounts, medical care, dental care, done, done, and done.
__________________
I heard the call to do nothing. So I answered it.
Walt34 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-23-2014, 05:13 PM   #19
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
robnplunder's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Bay Area
Posts: 2,124
Range of "middle" is too subjective for this kind of article to be spot on. I tend to ignore this kind of article.

One question though ....

Can average people in this forum relate to the article & where the author is coming from? Most folks in this forum seem to be multi-millionaires who can (and have been for some time) afford everything in the list.
__________________
Pura Vida
robnplunder is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-23-2014, 05:16 PM   #20
Moderator
ziggy29's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Texas
Posts: 15,612
Quote:
Originally Posted by shotgunner View Post
What she says the M/C can no longer afford:

- Vacations

- New Cars

- Paying off Debt

- Emergency Savings Account

- Retirement Accounts

- Medical Care

- Dental Care
I'd simply say that these are hopefully not ordered in terms of her priorities. Because if you indulge in the first two wants, you'll have little left for the remaining needs.

Yes, I think the middle class is getting squeezed and real wages are not keeping up with the cost of living, but I also think there's a lot of "leakage" in a typical middle class budget. Twenty here, fifty there, and the end of the month your "how did my money go here" budget is larger than most of the others.
__________________

__________________
"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?" -- Joe Dominguez (1938 - 1997)

RIP to Reemy, my avatar dog (2003 - 9/16/2017)
ziggy29 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Rise of the middle-class millionaire omni550 FIRE and Money 17 03-07-2008 05:22 PM
Can I record seven TV channels simultaneously & digitally? Nords Other topics 27 07-08-2007 02:34 PM
Can I retire in 7 seven years Outby7 Hi, I am... 5 11-23-2005 12:34 PM
Any middle class ER wannabe's? laurence Young Dreamers 67 04-14-2005 09:51 AM
Decline of the U.S. Middle Class? Cut-Throat Life after FIRE 83 09-10-2004 08:32 AM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:00 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.