(Closed) Do you think 250k/year is middle class?

posted 6 years ago in Finances
  • poll: Do you think 250k/year is a good place to draw the line for higher taxes?

    Yes, that's a good place to draw the line

    No, the line should be lower

    No, the line should be higher

    Not sure.

  • Post # 76
    523 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: October 2016

    lol I’m with some of the others who feel like they’re in an alternate reality, but maybe it’s because of where I live. My SO and I make far less than 250K, like FAR less and we are comfortable. We each have our own cars, we have an apartment, pay our bills on time, go out for dinner and other fun things, and are saving for a down  payment on a home. Not rolling in dough or anything, but I didn’t feel poor until I read this thread. haha Around here if you’re making 80k you’re pretty well off.  I live in central Virginia in a small town. I grew up in New Jersey, so I guess I get it. I remeber my parents having a similar lifestyle as they do now and my dad was making far more than he does here.

    Post # 77
    7815 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper
    • Wedding: February 1997

    This is so incredibly dependent on cost of living. I have seen almost identical homes in different areas selling for radically different prices. Around here, even the difference between a home in a larger city suburb and a rural area can be enormous, with rural homes often fetching less than half of what the same home would go for in a more desirable area. Now, change states, and the difference is even bigger. What would buy a person a palatial estate in my state wouldn’t buy much in NYC, for example. 

    So for a national average it might work, but most people will strongly feel it is either too high or too low, depending on where they live.

    Post # 78
    209 posts
    Helper bee

    Student loans factor into this majorly!  

    Post # 79
    1703 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: October 2015

    Where I live, that would definitely put you in the upper upper middle class. I live in an affluent suburb and median income is $90K. 

    For the nation as a whole, I think $250K is a good average to draw the line between higher taxes and not. 

    Post # 80
    1042 posts
    Bumble bee

    Fiance and I combined will be at about $220K, and we are definitely what I would consider to be middle class. We are renting a small house, have car payments, and are saving ~$3,500 a month combined toward retirement/life insurance/investments. Let me tell you: after taxes, that salary already takes a huge nose dive (about a third goes to taxes, and it will only get worse once we get the “marriage penalty”). While we don’t have to worry about affording the cell phone bill or heating bill month-to-month, there really is not much left after retirement savings, rainy day savings, bills, utilities, etc. We don’t live a lavish lifestyle, rarely eat out, any vacations tend to be paid for by hotel points and airline miles, and I rarely go shopping for new clothes, things, etc. We are stressing about how to pay for a wedding like anybody else would be. To me, upper class means a much more lavish lifestyle, being able to own a nice house and cars, never having to stress about money, etc. Once we have kids especially, I think we’ll be more at a comfortably-making-do point, but we are definitely not rich. 

    Post # 81
    322 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: May 2016

    This thread is blowing my mind. Thank you for sharing those stats howsweetitis.

    Granted I don’t live in the US (I’m in Canada) but it’s pretty much common sense that living in the top 1.5% wealth bracket of the country doesn’t make you “middle class”. Feeling the pinch after retirement savings, investments, etc. doesn’t mean you’re in a tenuous economic position. There are tons and tons of people who literally can’t save anything – and plenty who are going into debt every month for the bare necessities.

    Again, I’m in Canada, but there was just an article today about how nearly half of people in the country are less than $200 away per month from not being able to pay their bills.

    Anyway, here’s an American calculator… FYI, $250,000 for a household of 4 people in NYC and the DC area both still ranked as “upper”: http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2015/12/09/are-you-in-the-american-middle-class/

    Post # 82
    912 posts
    Busy bee

    Uh, considering my husband and I live in the Bay Area for 20% of that amount…250k is VERY upper middle class to me. Maybe not if you have a huge house, expensive cars, etc. But sheesh that’s a ton of money!

    Post # 83
    300 posts
    Helper bee

    It really depends, My husband and I make roughly there with combined but we are in our 20s. He is entering 30s. However, my parents bought us our home all paid out. If we didn’t own our home would cost 5k a month to rent on the market for a tiny one bedroom We also dont have loans. I live in manhattan, near union square and most jobs for recent grad students aren’t even close to that number. You are lucky if you even make 100k.

    Combine income at 250 is really good, unless you are an investment banker or have your own business. Even the top law frims after graduating from IVY or top 10 law schools only offers 140k starting then it might go to 300k later on ( if you make it, insane working hours). Most places will offer a recent law graduate 80-100k lol…  Most people don’t make nearly that amount.

    250k you can live really nicely if you don;t have payments to make. I don’t know what you eat, but when I cook it only cost 20k a year the most on food. We also don’t shop much other than buying bags. If I didn’t want to save, we could afford few trips. 

    However, most people in my building without helps all make quite decent amount probably above 250k, all the units are sold for 1.2 million – 3 millions ( not including penthouses those are 8-10) I guess it would be middle class even towards lower? But if you don’t have payments or kids, everything changes. That income is alot if you don’t need to worry. 

    I wouldn’t consider it rich also, I consider my dad is well off and he has the black card. ( i wish i could steal it) …For me rich is when you have that black card ๐Ÿ™‚ but my standard of rich might be different and skwerd. I have rich friends who dosen’t think they are rich in comparsion but I think that is insane. It depends on your persepctive and up bringing. We don;t have kids yet and when we do , the expensive private tuition kicks in, we might be at a different place.( these things all changes depending on who you have to provide) I went to nyu and how much my parents paid is insane. I don’t think 250k can allow me to pay my kid’s nyu tuition. 

    Without help we probably need to make twice the amout close to half m to live the way we live. ( that is insane) 

    But right now, I am happy where we are and don’t desire to make more, if we do okay good for us. We save at least half of what we make, planning to buy properties and rent them out as investments. 

    Post # 84
    10125 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: City, State

    Totally depends on where you live.  You may be upper middle or upper class in Hastings, Nebraska.  But, in NYC or San Fran, not so much.

    Post # 85
    1282 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: May 2016

    I’m in the UK. We don’t determine class by income at all, so it was absolutely fascinating to read this. I would assess someone’s class by their accent, their attitudes, the words and grammar they use, the way they eat, the company they keep, where they were educated, the cultural pursuits they enjoy. I often meet people who earn three times what I do, who are definitely of what would be deemed (note: I said ‘deemed’!!) to be a ‘lower’ social class than me, and any British person would quickly be able to assess that within about 2 minutes without any reference to payslips!

    The value of the car they drive or the house they live in, and what they earn wouldn’t come into it!

    We are probably much, much snobbier than Americans! hehe ๐Ÿ˜‰

    PS. I’m not thread-jacking! I just found it interesting. Probably best this carries on as an Americans only discussion! ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ™‚

    Post # 86
    320 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: December 2014

    Where I’m from the cost of living is low. That would be considered rich or at the very least upper middle class.

    Post # 87
    938 posts
    Busy bee

    View original reply
    leonatigra:  “Middle Class” in the context of this thread is about economic class, not so much social class though of course they are often interconnected.

    “I often meet people who earn three times what I do, who are definitely of what would be deemed (note: I said ‘deemed’!!) to be a ‘lower’ social class than me”

    The same is true for me.  There are lower class or low brow behaviors, manners and pursuits and their are higher class or high brow behaviors, manners and pursuits.  And the whole range of them can be found within most if not all economic classes.  I don’t know if this is correct or not but I do have the impression that what is deemed as low brow or high brow is more subjective here than in the UK.  More of an individualist concept than clear lines drawn that all people follow.  I could be totally off on that though!  


    Post # 88
    1302 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: October 2010

    To me. 250k is rich. In reality of where I live that’s very high uppety-up middle class lol

    Post # 89
    1465 posts
    Bumble bee

    I didn’t vote because I am a huge fan of the flat tax.  Everyone pays their fair share.

    Post # 90
    5046 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: May 2014

    View original reply
    havenspartyof2:  Wohoo! I’m working class! Lol! And it’s likely never going to change for me unless I win the lottery. Boo. Oh well, at least other things in life make me happy besides money.

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