Joining the middle class is viewed as a hallmark for success. Have you made it there yet? There is no official financial standard that defines the middle class but there are certain benchmarks that point to the classification. It is not exactly focused on the dollars but your lifestyle. Find out how you measure up using the six signs below.
1. Owning a home
The American dream changes shape and colors depending on the era but one thing remains constant: home ownership is a part of it. The step up from renting to owning signifies prosperity and achievement, a clear sign that you are moving up financially. However, this goal varies significantly depending on your address because median home price ranges differ widely across the country.
2. Owning a car
A car is not just a vehicle but a sign of freedom of movement, a luxury that you enjoy compared to the rest of the population trapped in the limited schedules and cramped quarters of mass transportation. Like home ownership, this goal also varies widely because of the cost and kinds of car available to people.
3. College education for your children
Helping their children get ahead in life is a common characteristic of middle class families. This often manifests in saving up and paying for the college education of children. Depending on the school you have your eyes on, this can cost anywhere from low tens of thousands of dollars to hundreds of thousands.
4. Having a retirement fund
Retiring attests to a lifetime of hard work. How and when you retire is determined by your retirement fund. Once again, this can be arbitrary depending on where you choose to spend your later years. The price tag will definitely be high if you dream of living in a villa in the South of France with 10 staff or a cozy cottage in Bali overlooking rice fields and having a simple life.
5. Enough healthcare coverage
This is an important goal for middle-class wage earners. Healthcare is an urgent need and being unprepared can send your finances into ruin.