What Are the Signs That You’ve Made It to the Middle Class?

Jan 24, 2024 By Susan Kelly

The financial ability to send those children to college. Today, however, most people believe that these are no longer necessary components of success. People of all income levels want to be in the middle. Let's not concentrate on the amount of money we have but look at the six aspects of lifestyle that define middle-class status.

Imagine That You Belong to the Middle Class

In an attempt to define what exactly constitutes the middle class, several different income thresholds have been proposed. Add to this the fact that Americans have a broad range of opinions on what constitutes the middle class in terms of income. The 2018 Planning and Progress Study conducted by Northwestern Mutual found that most Americans (68 percent) consider themselves in the middle class. Most people think (78 percent) that to be considered middle class, an annual income must be less than $100,000, 52 percent say that the range must be between $50,000 and $99,999, and 26 percent believe that it must be less than $50,000.

Although it has been widely reported that the middle class is losing ground, the economic effect of the economic crisis and lockdown has, of course, made things worse for all different sorts of families, each of which has a different income level and different ways of living.

Signs You Are Middle Class

While there is no official financial standard, these six signs characterize the middle class. They serve as a point of reference for us. If you can answer "yes" to each of the following six questions, it is quite probable that you belong to at least the middle class:

Ownership of a Home

Homeownership will always represent the pinnacle of the American ideal. The transition from renting to buying a home symbolizes success and advancement in life. Because the price range of the median house varies so much from city to city throughout the United States, the degree to which a person can accomplish this objective is highly dependent on the city in which they live.

Owning a Car

When you own a vehicle, you have the flexibility to go anywhere you want, whenever you want, and the luxury of bypassing the restricted timetables and crowded conditions afforded by other modes of public transit, such as buses and subways. Again, this aspect of the cost of automobiles is very variable, and so is the kind of vehicle necessary. A used Hyundai is a good choice for a vehicle with one driver. Another indicator that this objective has been met is the purchase of a brand-new BMW.

A University Education for the Youngsters

Providing one's children the best possible start in life is the main focus for families that fall into the middle class. There is a wide range of potential spending, from the low tens of thousands to the hundreds of thousands of dollars, associated with sending children to college. The price tag will differ significantly depending on whether or not those youngsters attend a university or college.

Safety Net for Retirement

Nearly everyone has the ambition of living comfortably into their retirement years. It is a sign of achievement and a reward for the years of toil that has gone into achieving it. Once again, the definitions used make a significant impact. The funds you will need to sustain yourself in your later years may vary dramatically depending on whether you want to live in a townhouse in Peoria, Illinois, or in a villa in the south of France with a staff of ten people when you retire.

Insurance for Medical Care

To afford adequate medical care for oneself and one's family should be a primary focus for wage workers in the middle class. Due to the high and growing expense of medical treatment and prescription medications, having health insurance has become an ever-increasing necessity; in the case of severe sickness or accident, going without it may have substantial detrimental effects on one's financial stability.

Vacation with the Family

Middle-class families almost always take some vacation each year. When a family can afford a trip, it demonstrates that they have achieved a level of financial and professional success that allows them to reward themselves by switching their attention from work to pleasure.

Why Did It Disappear?

According to research produced by the Pew Research Center in September of 2018, about half of the population in the United States (52 percent) is considered to be middle class. Nevertheless, even this razor-thin majority indicates a longer-term pattern of a declining middle class compared to the decades that came before it.

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