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Old 02-20-2021, 12:18 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by jkern View Post
Median income is a little misleading. It's not just full time employees, it includes anybody who works part time too.
I wouldn't say that's misleading to include all workers. They are people, too, and they have incomes. And the same thing would apply to average incomes, but that's less meaningful because of fewer very high incomes disproportionately bringing up the average. At the median point, you're into mostly full time workers, anyway. This might explain it better:

https://dqydj.com/average-median-top...e-percentiles/
  • Median individual income means half of all individual workers made more, while half made less money in a full-year.
  • Average individual income means we add up every worker's earnings in a full-year then divide by the number of workers.
Median individual income: $43,206.00
Average individual income: $62,518.13
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Old 02-20-2021, 02:37 PM   #62
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Originally Posted by Out-to-Lunch View Post
No. To find average, you take all the incomes, add them up, and divide by the number of households.

To find the median, you find the income that has the same number of households above this number and below it.

Said another way: If Elon Musk walked into a bar, the average net worth would skyrocket. But the median net worth would either change by 1, or not change at all.
Makes sense. Is there a way to find out a city’s average and median?
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Old 02-21-2021, 04:43 AM   #63
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Since you can't get a reasonable family place in San Diego where I live for less than $3K/mo, and utilities here are crazy, I would say $150k is middle class for a family (maybe $80k with house and car paid off).

For us, we have refinanced our mortgage down to about $2800/mo, which is very reasonable for our place in Point Loma. Property taxes and insurance are $1k/mo, utilities (including internet/cable/cell) are about $1k/mo, child care about $1k/mo, food/grocery/shopping and Amazon subscriptions about $1.5k/mo, 2x car payments and insurance $1.1k/mo. That is already $8.4k/mo or a little under $100k/yr.

We could certainly slim down, but as a dual working family we make enough and still save invest decently. I guess the question is what is middle class?
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Old 02-21-2021, 05:24 AM   #64
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Yeah, not in NJ for sure.


I listed the base expenses above of $18,200. Add in our now paid off mortgage and what we currently pay for health insurance and we'd be at nearly $31,000.


That's before food, gas, clothing, entertainment, travel, car registration and maintenance, home repairs, etc. Add in some money for gifts, charity, and savings and you're well over 50K easily.


We currently spend about 80K (less since COVID hit but that's the pre-COVID norm).
One shocking figure is that the starting salary of a police officer in Paterson NJ is $34K A year.
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Old 02-21-2021, 08:52 AM   #65
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One shocking figure is that the starting salary of a police officer in Paterson NJ is $34K A year.
Yeah, that's not buying you a middle class existence in NJ unless you have a spouse with an income at least as high or preferably higher than yours. It's also why many police officers work 2nd jobs doing security work or something else.
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Old 02-21-2021, 09:19 AM   #66
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Yeah, that's not buying you a middle class existence in NJ unless you have a spouse with an income at least as high or preferably higher than yours. It's also why many police officers work 2nd jobs doing security work or something else.

Normally when talking about incomes for middle class regarding a couple with both working, you would use the combined income, not just one spouse making low wages claiming he/she can live a middle class life on minimum wage when the other spouse is raking in $50K/yr.
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Old 02-21-2021, 09:31 AM   #67
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So are you saying the “average income” in that link only counts full time workers?

Thanks
Murf
No, I think both include part time workers.
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Old 02-21-2021, 09:43 AM   #68
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Do you factor in sunk costs? We've paid off our mortgage in High COL southern California and can live quite comfortably on $50-60K. Add in a mortgage and it can go up considerably.
This is my thinking as well. I think you can live a reasonable middle class lifestyle on $30K-60K anywhere in the country with a paid-off house that reflects the middle class(not a million $ home). I live on less than $30K with a mortgage but it's a relatively cheap mortgage and my lifestyle would be considered lower class by most on here. Obviously there are variables such as kids. If you are a dual income household with 2 pre-school kids that have to go to daycare then you're not going to be living on less than $60K/yr most likely. If you are a single or couple who is retired with a paid off house then $40K is very much doable especially with ACA subsidies anywhere in the country.
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Old 02-21-2021, 09:48 AM   #69
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One shocking figure is that the starting salary of a police officer in Paterson NJ is $34K A year.
Really? Here in small town Wisconsin where the police just sit in their car 75% of the time they start at almost $30/hr. Average regular street cop here is probably making double what you say they make in NJ.
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Old 02-21-2021, 10:06 AM   #70
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Since you can't get a reasonable family place in San Diego where I live for less than $3K/mo, and utilities here are crazy, I would say $150k is middle class for a family (maybe $80k with house and car paid off).

For us, we have refinanced our mortgage down to about $2800/mo, which is very reasonable for our place in Point Loma. Property taxes and insurance are $1k/mo, utilities (including internet/cable/cell) are about $1k/mo, child care about $1k/mo, food/grocery/shopping and Amazon subscriptions about $1.5k/mo, 2x car payments and insurance $1.1k/mo. That is already $8.4k/mo or a little under $100k/yr.

We could certainly slim down, but as a dual working family we make enough and still save invest decently. I guess the question is what is middle class?
If you can buy a million dollar house your not middle class in my book. ( Your property taxes in prop 13 land suggest you paid a million or bought a 500k house in mello roos land )

When I was making $125k as a single mother saving for retirement my take home pay after taxes and 401k was about 5k a month. 50% of that went to the mortgage and the other 50% paid for everything else including vacations. I felt very middle class in SoCal.
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Old 02-21-2021, 10:33 AM   #71
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If you can buy a million dollar house your not middle class in my book. ( Your property taxes in prop 13 land suggest you paid a million or bought a 500k house in mello roos land )

When I was making $125k as a single mother saving for retirement my take home pay after taxes and 401k was about 5k a month. 50% of that went to the mortgage and the other 50% paid for everything else including vacations. I felt very middle class in SoCal.
Here is the SF Bay Area a $1M house is a starter house. My daughter (29 yrs) just bought her house for a few thousand under $1M. It's a smallish home, smallish lot and somewhat of a fixer. What most people around the country would consider a middle class house would cost about $1.25M here.
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Old 02-21-2021, 10:39 AM   #72
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Normally when talking about incomes for middle class regarding a couple with both working, you would use the combined income, not just one spouse making low wages claiming he/she can live a middle class life on minimum wage when the other spouse is raking in $50K/yr.
Definitely.


This also speaks to how things have changed, though. When I was growing up, almost no women I knew (relatives, friends' parents, etc.) worked except for the occasional teacher or nurse. We were solidly middle class, as was everyone we knew, and it was all on one income. How many people in similar jobs are able to swing that today? One of my best friends growing up had a father who was a Philadelphia cop. Mom didn't work. They lived very nicely with all of the usual amenities that the rest of us had. Today that's probably impossible in most cases.
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Old 02-21-2021, 10:46 AM   #73
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If you can buy a million dollar house your not middle class in my book. ( Your property taxes in prop 13 land suggest you paid a million or bought a 500k house in mello roos land )



When I was making $125k as a single mother saving for retirement my take home pay after taxes and 401k was about 5k a month. 50% of that went to the mortgage and the other 50% paid for everything else including vacations. I felt very middle class in SoCal.
We paid $695k for a 900sf small home, and liquidated a lot of our taxable accounts to spend $250k in additions and upgrades to give us a middle class size house in an upper class area. Unfortunately, the upgrades reset our property taxes with a new valuation.

My point is our mortgage is equivalent of what you would pay for a 3bd 2ba middle class house in Chula Vista or somewhere inland.
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Old 02-21-2021, 11:06 AM   #74
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I wouldn't say that's misleading to include all workers. They are people, too, and they have incomes. And the same thing would apply to average incomes, but that's less meaningful because of fewer very high incomes disproportionately bringing up the average. At the median point, you're into mostly full time workers, anyway. This might explain it better:

https://dqydj.com/average-median-top...e-percentiles/
  • Median individual income means half of all individual workers made more, while half made less money in a full-year.
  • Average individual income means we add up every worker's earnings in a full-year then divide by the number of workers.
Median individual income: $43,206.00
Average individual income: $62,518.13

The 2019 Census has different numbers, US Household median income listed as $65,712.

https://www.census.gov/library/visua...ld-income.html
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Old 02-21-2021, 11:10 AM   #75
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I’m not sure what purpose it serves to talk about how much you need to live middle class on an international forum. Someone living on the coasts will need substantially more than someone living in lower cost parts of the country. It would seem to be more meaningful to have this discussion within your community or county.
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Old 02-21-2021, 11:40 AM   #76
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The money required for a "middle-class" lifestyle varies greatly depending upon a number of factors, including location; house costs; family size; taxes; healthcare costs; needs of dependents.
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Old 02-21-2021, 12:12 PM   #77
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The 2019 Census has different numbers, US Household median income listed as $65,712.

https://www.census.gov/library/visua...ld-income.html
That's not just a different number. That's a completely different statistic. The earlier request I responded to was asking specifically for "individual" income since a household can have multiple earners. Your figure and link is referring to "household" income.

Reference for previous post:
https://www.early-retirement.org/for...ml#post2564329
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Originally Posted by F.I.R.E User View Post
Where can we find the average income for individuals and not household.

Household can mean multiple people.
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Old 02-21-2021, 12:22 PM   #78
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Makes sense. Is there a way to find out a city’s average and median?
http://www.city-data.com/ has some of that data.
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Old 02-21-2021, 02:27 PM   #79
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Honestly I am spending as much as I can (since my retirement is over-funded).
This sure sounds like a great problem to have!
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Old 02-21-2021, 03:10 PM   #80
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Not individual though.
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