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How much money do you have to make to be middle class?

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ringmastery Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-09-04 05:24 PM
Original message
How much money do you have to make to be middle class?
is $30k a year middle class or poor?

$50k?

$75k?
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skooooo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-09-04 05:25 PM
Response to Original message
1. with out without family???


Are the sums you give there for one person, a couple, or a family??
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ringmastery Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-09-04 05:27 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. I'm thinking a single person can get by fine with $30k
but what would be middle class for a family? $50K?
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smirkymonkey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-09-04 10:22 PM
Response to Reply #3
12. Not in a large coastal city...
in NYC, $30k is practically poverty level even for a single person - mostly because rent is so outrageous. I think it varies regionally.

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politicat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-09-04 05:26 PM
Response to Original message
2. And where?
Here, in one of the most expensive Zip codes in the country, 50K + 2 kids is nearly poverty.

But where my sister is, that's a great life. (I'm in Boulder County, CO, she's at Camp Lejeune, NC)

Politicat
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ThomWV Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-09-04 05:27 PM
Response to Original message
4. I'd Say around the low 40's for a small family
Sounds about right to me. I believe the median US family income is somewhere around $45K. Could be wrong on that though and I'm sure someone will correct me if I am.
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Deja Q Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-09-04 05:28 PM
Response to Original message
5. Without family?
$40k MINIMUM to be middle class.

Liveable wage is $30k/yr. For one person. $30k/yr for a family or (1 adult + 1 kid) is poor.

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Donkeyboy75 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-10-04 12:02 AM
Response to Reply #5
15. Although not comfortable, I stayed out of debt in the city of Chicago
making $18,000 a year from 1998-2000. It requires making sacrifices, but there's no way I could have supported children.
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doni_georgia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-09-04 05:34 PM
Response to Original message
6. Here in GA
In a USA Today story about middle income families, they listed families with incomes between $25,000 and $75,000. Here in Atlanta there is no way you could support a family on $25,000. That would qualify you for free lunch in the schools. May be some places in the country where $25,000 is middle income, but not here.
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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-09-04 05:34 PM
Response to Original message
7. Generally speaking, middle class means you can afford
...household help, whether or not you have household help. I'm speaking of a nanny, an au pair, a pool man, anybody who takes care of the things that working class people do themselves.

Middle class is a lot richer than most of us have any hope of being. We're pretty much solidly working class in the US, and falling farther away from the middle class ideal every day.
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malachibk Donating Member (780 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-09-04 05:36 PM
Response to Original message
8. That's a difficult question
I live in NYC and $30,000 will barely be enough to pay rent, bills and buy yourself a metrocard each month. I imagine the same amount in say, oh, Kentucky will stretch a bit more. The average cost of an apartment in Manhattan is now $1,000,000.

Unfortunately none of that is factored in when applying for school loans or trying to determine who's in the "middle class".

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DBoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-09-04 05:44 PM
Response to Original message
9. What is middle class
Edited on Sun May-09-04 06:03 PM by DBoon
I take middle class to mean:

- You own a home, can afford mortgage, insurance, taxes and upkeep
- You can afford to raise a family (a middle class that does not reproduce it self is not sustainable. We should not have to live like monks.)
- You can afford to send your kids to college (ok, maybe a state school, but still send to college)
- Everyone in you household has adequate medical coverage
- You have some money left over for recreational activities

The answer to "what does it take to be middle class" is "how much do you need to make to afford this". Tally up the cost, figure out the income it takes to meet this, and there you have it.

On Edit:
- And you can afford either for one spouse to take time from work to maintain the household or you can afford paid help instead
- And I assumed that you can afford at least one and likely two working automobiles.
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readmylips Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-09-04 05:58 PM
Response to Original message
10. Working Class is the New Politically Correct Word....
Middle Class is long gone. Today's working class are the ones sending their children off to war because they can't afford college money. People who earn 100K to 150K, mostly middle management, are struggling too. Their jobs are being cut off just before retirement. Yet, they have expensive homes, children still in college, etc.

The very poor in this country have given up on the American dream which was to move up the latter of better comfort and success. The working class have joined the poor class, we've all become the same. You have the wealthy, and the super wealthy, below are all working class, including the poor who need to work 16 hrs a day to make ends meet.
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AndyHammond1970 Donating Member (124 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-09-04 07:11 PM
Response to Original message
11. A 5 tiered set up would be more correct
from least to most wealth and income

1 Poor===20K and less
2 Working class====20k to 50k
3 Professional class 50k to 100k
4 Entrepreneur class----100k to 250k
5 Property class========250k and above

I know the numbers don't completely jive right. Lawyers are professionals and many make more than 100k but the gist of it is there: poor people, regular working class that used to be the manufacturing industries and the better service and service manager jobs, the hi tech and hi skill jobs that require usually College or extended training, the Entrepreneur Class is the small to medium business owners and then the Property class at the top are the true wealth holders. Economic Social mobility is somewhat possible, but seldom can anyone climb more than one rung above where they start. The numbers of course aren't set in stone, regionally they would be somewhat different but the essence of the structure still remains. All this to say this: the economic policy's of the Republican only benefit class 5 but 3-5 are very Republican and class two is still somewhat split. I am at present writing a book on this. but this is sorta the idea that kicked me off.
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JHB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-09-04 10:33 PM
Response to Reply #11
13. Quibble over where you put small business owners...
...Unless you want to add a "tiny business" class: the traditional "mom & pop" types. Rarely see those in the 100K+ range.

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serryjw Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-09-04 11:59 PM
Response to Reply #11
14. Good breakdown.........
But remember....It's not what you make but what you keep......High end of #3 is where you can finally invest in your future. If you make over $75k in your own business you can write off many expenses a salaried person can't.

My brother is retired. We used to have this argument all time. His house and cars were paid for. As a single person in a major city you can't live decently in a salaried position if you don't make $50K.
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rumguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-10-04 12:05 AM
Response to Original message
16. $250,000
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