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Old 09-08-2018, 08:40 AM   #1
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Interesting PEW Poll

Disclaimer, not a poll but an income calculator on where you sit in the scheme of things based on location, income, sex and age.
Are you in the U.S. middle class? Try our income calculator | Pew Research Center
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Old 09-08-2018, 10:32 AM   #2
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Thanks! We are squarely in the middle.
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Old 09-08-2018, 10:40 AM   #3
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That was a surprise! I regard myself as somewhere around middle class to upper middle class but the results say that I am in the upper class.

After playing around with it for a while, I discovered that if my AGI had been even just $529 less than it was, I would be in the middle class. So, I guess I am in the lower upper class.
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Old 09-08-2018, 10:41 AM   #4
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Smack dab in the middle.
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Old 09-08-2018, 10:43 AM   #5
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Interesting, I am still in the boring old middle class and loving it!!

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Old 09-08-2018, 11:01 AM   #6
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That was a surprise! I regard myself as somewhere around middle class to upper middle class but the results say that I am in the upper class.

After playing around with it for a while, I discovered that if my AGI had been even just $529 less than it was, I would be in the middle class. So, I guess I am in the lower upper class.
I always thought you had a lot of class
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Old 09-08-2018, 11:12 AM   #7
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I always thought you had a lot of class
Thank you!
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Old 09-08-2018, 11:16 AM   #8
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We could spend as upper class, but don't see the need/desire to do that yet.
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Old 09-08-2018, 11:32 AM   #9
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+1 If I input what we actually spend, we are middle in both Vermont and Sarasota, if I input our max spending per Firecalc, we are upper in both places.
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Old 09-08-2018, 11:35 AM   #10
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+1 If I input what we actually spend, we are middle in both Vermont and Sarasota, if I input our max spending per Firecalc, we are upper in both places.
+2 in Tampa Florida.
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Old 09-08-2018, 11:40 AM   #11
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We could spend as upper class, but don't see the need/desire to do that yet.
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+1 If I input what we actually spend, we are middle in both Vermont and Sarasota, if I input our max spending per Firecalc, we are upper in both places.
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+2 in Tampa Florida.
Are you all looking at some other calculator, or have I gone temporarily insane?

THIS calculator does not include anything related to spending whatsoever. It asks for "Household income before taxes", not spending.

Might want to try it again and pay attention to what you are inputting.

P.S. - - if I erroneously entered what I am spending, rather than "Household income before taxes", then the results would be lower class for me.
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Old 09-08-2018, 11:56 AM   #12
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While I see your point, I think for many of us that spending is more relevant than income... income can have oddities.... do we include capital gains? Roth conversions that are totally discretionary and simply moving money from one pocket to another? Non-taxable SS? How about interest and dividends from tax-deferred accounts... these are technically income and add to wealth but are not taxed and not typically included in household income as defined by the government and pollsters. Similarly, for those still working but that are super-savers do you count gross, take-home or take-home less taxable savings?

IOW to me, low, middle and upper are a reflection of lifestyle rather than income. How would one classify someone earns $500,000 a year but spends $100,000 a year.... an upper class income with a middle class lifestyle I suppose.... and it migh be vice versa for people who continually incur credit in excess and/or refinance and live above their means.

That said, just by conicidence, our income per our tax return is about what we spend annually, but that includes Roth conversions that are really just moving money from the tax-deferred pock to the tax-free pocket.
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Old 09-08-2018, 11:58 AM   #13
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When I was working I would have been in upper class. Since I have retired I'm in the lower class but have more money now then I ever had in my life.
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Old 09-08-2018, 12:02 PM   #14
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IOW to me, low, middle and upper are a reflection of lifestyle rather than income. How would one classify someone earns $500,000 a year but spends $100,000 a year....
Yeah, like Warren Buffet! He is really frugal, and doesn't spend much on his house or car IIRC.
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Old 09-08-2018, 12:08 PM   #15
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Middle.
But our daughter is upper. Yea.
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Old 09-08-2018, 12:08 PM   #16
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Are you all looking at some other calculator, or have I gone temporarily insane?

THIS calculator does not include anything related to spending whatsoever. It asks for "Household income before taxes", not spending.
Our primary sources of income right now are either SS or taxable IRA withdrawals. How much we withdraw each year from the IRA is highly dependent on what we spend that year. For this year, we would fit in the upper group because we withdrew more money for one time related expenses to getting our house ready to sell. For next year and thereafter, I anticipate that our income will be in the middle group. That is -- we won't withdraw money from the IRA that we don't intend to spend. Therefore, our income will be less.
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Old 09-08-2018, 12:10 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by W2R View Post
Are you all looking at some other calculator, or have I gone temporarily insane?

THIS calculator does not include anything related to spending whatsoever. It asks for "Household income before taxes", not spending.

Might want to try it again and pay attention to what you are inputting.

P.S. - - if I erroneously entered what I am spending, rather than "Household income before taxes", then the results would be lower class for me.
I knowingly used spending, which IMO is more reflective in retirement than taxable income.
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Old 09-08-2018, 12:43 PM   #18
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Lower Middle Upper Class
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Old 09-08-2018, 12:57 PM   #19
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Yeah, like Warren Buffet! He is really frugal, and doesn't spend much on his house or car IIRC.
He said he even used to mow his own lawn on the weekends till he was in his 60s'. It's one of the things he says he is most proud of.

I just turned 61 and have decided to reassess the lawn situation on a year-by-year basis from now on.
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Old 09-08-2018, 01:03 PM   #20
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When I was working I was just below C-suite and while mowing my lawn on my riding lawn mower I often wondered whether our CEO and CFO mowed their own lawns... I suspect not but I never remembered to aks them. I still mow mine but admit to thinking about outsourcing it.
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