Ever seem like living middle class is dying, a dead end or diminished?

Discussion in 'Financial Cents' started by oil pan 4, Aug 6, 2018.

  1. oil pan 4

    oil pan 4 Monkey+++

    Because that's precisely what's happening.
    Some food for thought.

    The Number Of Americans Living In Their Vehicles “Explodes” As The Middle Class Continues To Disappear

    Exploding collage tuition costs, health care costs increasing at around 10x that of inflation, food, energy, cars all increasing in cost faster than what the average person can keep up with.
    Then what happens during the next recession?
    This is why we all need a war chest with stacks of bills and PM. If you think the USD is going to implode over night then other items of negotiable value such as gold coins.

    You have 2 choices, embrace the suck, learn to love the suck.
    Or large out lays of capital to maybe pay off your home, build your own infrastructure to off set the rapidly rising cost of everything.
    Of course somethings you are forced to pay for that you can never own like insurance so don't know what to say there.
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2018
    Ura-Ki, Bandit99, Motomom34 and 2 others like this.
  2. duane

    duane Monkey+++

    The democraps have as a new goal Medicare for all to solve all the US health problems. My wife and I after working all our lives, I am 80 and still work part time, now pay over $10,000 a year for our "free" Medicare, Part B, Part D,and Supplemental Blue Cross- Blue Shield, and still aren't covered for dental, hearing aids, eye glasses, Nursing home long term care. Obummer care on steroids, poor enough government covers it all, rich enough and is peanuts, in between and what used to be called middle class, sc****. Can gamble at that fixed slot called Wall Street, get nothing for interest on CD's from the banks and in the end for most families it makes no difference as the nursing homes will take all you have saved anyhow. In 1960 at New Mexico State University, in state tuition was $200 a year, living in WW2 barracks was about $1 a day, and cheapest meal plan, 1 meal per day, was about $300 a year. Part time job working on telemetry data reduction for Applied Physics Labs was about $300 a month. Went to college full time and put money in bank and at that time did not have GI bill for education. The education benefits ended with end of Korea war and we didn't get them retroactively until middle 1960's or so. Most of new traps to get middle class, property tax, education costs, health insurance, long term care, high cost of food, fuel, and housing, etc didn't fully hit until Nixon and after. In the 1960's working electronics without a college degree we could go to school, buy house and cars, go on vacations or buy vacation homes, on one income and put money away and of course every major company had good medical and pension plans. None of that is true today.
  3. Tempstar

    Tempstar Monkey+++

    All incentives for the middle class worker are gone in this country. It seems that someone has figured a way to get in your pocket for anything you do. When I owned a business, I counted on cash customers. As the use of credit cards grew and I had to start taking them, then giving 4% to the card company, I started to wake up. 4% may not seem like much until your customer wants to put a $7000 heat pump on it. Then employee rules changed for healthcare. Then FICA went up. Then vehicle insurance, gasoline, oil ( $1 a quart on sale, oil is now $5+ per quart) and every other little thing needed to run the business. Of course it hit the employees as well who then wanted raises. I thought and agonized for months trying to figure out a cash business to go into, but somewhere along the way credit and debit cards had become king, leaving no way to have untracked income. Now, before you judge, there has never been a small business owner who didn't put cash from sales into their pocket, either as an income supplement or a reserve for hard times. I did both. So as cash fell to the wayside, I then really noticed that more and more ways were being figured out to get a percentage of my profits. In 1996 I priced my jobs at cost of the equipment plus 100%, which after labor and materials netted out to around 45% profit. In 2013 when I shuttered the business, the same formula netted 13-18%. Still a profit right? Wrong, the bookkeeper, secretary and myself had to be paid from that. For 15 tears my balance sheet showed a net profit and for the last two years of operation I showed a 9% and 14% net loss. If I went up on price I got less jobs even though I did geothermal and had little competition. People simply didn't use the geothermal if the price was too high.
    I posted that rant to say this: If you depend on middle class income you'll have to live below middle class standards now. As they figure ways to get into your pocket even more, expect to have to survive on even less as costs continue to rise and pay remains stagnant.
    duane, Gator 45/70, Yard Dart and 3 others like this.
  4. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    Third choice is, embrace that you are now lower class. Maybe upper lower class. Actually no one has been able to define what the middle class is anymore.

    Define 2018 middle class income and middle class standards. I swear I knew what they were in the 90's- early 2000's but now I don't. People have so much hidden credit card debt that IMO, nice house in the burbs is deceiving.
  5. mysterymet

    mysterymet Monkey+++

    There is still a middle class left but it is smaller now. Your technical professionals who used to be considered upper middle class are now what is left of the middle class. We are considered necessary evils by the people on top. They can’t screw us too bad because we can leave for a competitor. That might not last in the future but its here now. Just don’t go crazy buying stupid crap and stay away from credit cards!
    Zimmy, Gator 45/70, Tempstar and 5 others like this.
  6. oil pan 4

    oil pan 4 Monkey+++

    Embrace the suck lol.
    Zimmy and Gator 45/70 like this.
  7. Bandit99

    Bandit99 Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    Nothing has infuriated me more than "they figure ways to get into your pocket" since I have been back. I know the folks here on the forum get sick of my rantings and ravings about it but I honestly can't help myself because it is so...unfair. I get so angry at times that I literally scream curses because they just will not leave me alone or give me a break. I feel like they have me cornered...and they do. I am a guy that has done everything correct in that I saved and invested my money, purchased my home and cars with cash, and don't have one dime in credit or unpaid bills.

    And, it's the simple and small things that show how petty and completely greedy our governments have become that drive me to screams. For example, I am screwing around building Hoop Houses for wood storage because I must submit plans and have a permit to build a simple shed for firewood. For wood storage? Are they joking? No they are not... Or, how about one needs a permit to enter a Park? Wait a minute, didn't I pay taxes, a lot of taxes? Apparently not enough so they impose a special fee, all legal, of course.

    And, the medical insurance....why does people in this country always talk about medical insurance instead of 'medical care'? If there is a number #1 corruption in this country it's medical which gets the grand prize. The perfect blackmail and all perfectly legal. What a wake up call when I went to Canada to purchase my medicine. I'd expected it to be a bit cheaper but 6X cheaper? Opps! Someone is playing me for a fool...but not only me, the entire nation. Then they play the propaganda how great the medical here is but I know different. I spent a life overseas and been to lots of doctors and hospitals in many, many countries and the medical here is no better and in many cases it is worse...since I have had my records lost and blood tests ruin since my return, I can and do make that statement. And, now they are talking about the unbearable costs if they make a National Healthcare system, more likely they will lose billions in profit. Tough. This country needs to get its priorities straight and the first one is to use tax dollars for the tax payer not to protect, feed, or loan money to the rest of the world. Those days need to end...
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2018
    Gator 45/70, Motomom34 and Ura-Ki like this.
  8. DKR

    DKR Raconteur of the first stripe

    What happened?

    The demographics bomb has exploded.

    • Social Security: Last year, 24 percent of the budget, or $916 billion, paid for Social Security, which provided monthly retirement benefits averaging $1,360 to 41 million retired workers in December 2016. Social Security also provided benefits to 3 million spouses and children of retired workers, 6 million surviving children and spouses of deceased workers, and 10.6 million disabled workers and their eligible dependents in December 2016.
    • Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP, and marketplace subsidies: Four health insurance programs — Medicare, Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplace subsidies — together accounted for 26 percent of the budget in 2016, or $1 trillion. Nearly three-fifths of this amount, or $594 billion, went to Medicare, which provides health coverage to around 57 million people who are over age 65 or have disabilities. The rest of this category funds Medicaid, CHIP, and ACA subsidy and exchange costs. In a typical month, Medicaid and CHIP provide health care or long-term care to about 74 million low-income children, parents, elderly people, and people with disabilities. (Both Medicaid and CHIP require matching payments from the states.) In 2016, 9 million of the 11 million people enrolled in health insurance exchanges received ACA subsidies, at an estimated cost of about $31 billion.


    Over half of the budget goes to 'welfare' - paid for or not. Japan is in the same boat. And both boats are sinking.
    duane, Zimmy, Gator 45/70 and 2 others like this.
  9. Ura-Ki

    Ura-Ki Grampa Monkey

    Yup, if it were not for the lower class, I would have no class at all! I spent 20 years in the service making what amounts to about $3.00 an hour, and having to pay tax on that! Then I retired and started a business making $1200.00 a day for approx 6 months work per year! I also worked a second job making around $1400 per week, both put me in a good place, solidly in the middle of middle class, but I'm retired now, living off my combined pension from the service which amounts to about $3100 per month! I have no debt, but my living expenses are pretty high. I have ranch operating expenses, fuel expenses, health insurance which costs me about $800 a month, and then all my tax liabilities and insurance on every thing else. All are as up to a net income of around $1200 a month to live on, and that means feeding and caring for 2 people! None of this includes the sale procedes of my business, which I will not be listing, but I still have to live on that untill it runs out! Point is, if I only relief on my Mil. Pension, I would be royally screwed!
  10. Zimmy

    Zimmy Wait, I'm not ready!

    I've watched the economy eat away my middle class income. I've worked as a millwright, I/C/E tech, factory lab tech, safety guy, HAZMAT/Fire Brigade leader, production supervisor and dispatcher in my city experience.

    In the '80s I dreamed of making $40k/yr. My dad was a Dallas city engineer and PE. He got paid big money for brains and work ethics. He was the smartest man that I even knew.

    In the '90s $50k/yr was fat money even if I worked a lot of OT to get there at $8/hr. Pay rocketed as skills improved and soon that was base pay. There was a lot of dancing and BBQs at Rancho Zimmy in those days. Lots of charity and sharing of wealth. No friend in true need did without.

    I'm now 50 and back at $50k/yr with a state job. Mrs Z doesn't work outside the household anymore. I'm debt and addiction free and struggling for any luxury. Thank God I got the kids through University years ago. I'm slowly eating my preps and trade stocks. I'm also restructuring the farm to fit outside niche markets instead of just for our use.

    I don't have the slightest idea how a younger family with income under $50k/yr can survive. The debts and expenses of the young are staggering. I suspect the $400k houses and $140k worth of vehicles are crippling debt with interest hikes waiting to strike at the first late payment.
  11. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    You are absolutely correct. I know I always talk about medical insurance. I am drowning in medical insurance premiums and deductibles so much that medical insurance is a luxury. It is a shame but that is how the system has become. People wait until they really are sick before going to get medical care.
  12. Ura-Ki

    Ura-Ki Grampa Monkey

    I have dropped my Medical insurance, the premiums are simply off the charts, I will be forced to take my chances, even having both of us well versed in the medical world, it's going to be tough!

    I remember the days of $18.00 an hour jobs being "Dream Jobs" with a yearly income of about $46k, now I look at that and have to ask how in hell could I survive on that? Like I said earlier, I have no debt, every thing is payed for/paid off, and the wife no longer needs to work, and is having to figure out her retirement fund to stretch it as far as possible! Combined, I would say we are OK for now, We do have investments that typically do well, and our mean income puts us solid in the middle, but that's a dream world and we know it, when the economy drops again, were going to be struggling a bit. We do have one big ass, serious Iron in the fire, and that will take care of us for the eventual decline and see us through any trouble with zero suffering or having to choose what to do with out! This is our new normal!
  13. Bandit99

    Bandit99 Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    @Ura-Ki "I have dropped my Medical insurance..."
    You probably know that you will get hit with a fine at the end of the year...I imagine the fine will be less than the premiums as that's how I had to play it also. I got hit for $8300 (if I remember correctly, trying to forget) and I was so angry I couldn't speak for 3 days without 4 letter expletives coming out of my mouth. The mandatory insurance crap stops next year, 2019, but unfortunately that doesn't help one this year.

    I read all these posts and charts and think...what in the world is this country going to do? It cannot go on like this forever...
    duane, Gator 45/70 and Ura-Ki like this.
  14. Ura-Ki

    Ura-Ki Grampa Monkey

    My "Fine" was less then two months premiums for my self, the wife is the one who got burned, hers was over $2000! Never steal money from a Ukranian Woman, she still swears like a Marine!
    What's worse, they sent us to collections before we even received the demand letters! We managed to get the collection dropped, then made special payment arrangements, as in there not getting one skinny penny!
  15. Zimmy

    Zimmy Wait, I'm not ready!

    I don't blame all of it on government mandated taxes and insurance.

    Many employers now use turnover as the only gauge of whether they are paying enough in wages. As wages for the whole industry depress there's often nowhere else to go for a substantial improvement.
    Gator 45/70 likes this.
  16. oil pan 4

    oil pan 4 Monkey+++

    In 1999 $10 an hour under the tabe was great money.
    Now making more than double that and paying taxes, insurance, for everyones welfare ect and I'm in an economically depressed area where minimum wage is the norm and the cost of living is cheap compared to the cost of living in the big chity.
    I used to think when I make over $20 an hour I would be living like a James Bond villain.
    Nope after all the crap my pay check pays for I'm doing the equivalent of about $13 to $14 an hour under the table.
    There are busty hooters girls that make me look like a Pakistani dirt farmer.
    Gator 45/70, Thunder5Ranch and Zimmy like this.
  17. oil pan 4

    oil pan 4 Monkey+++

    Some new stats I saw says 1 out of 4 millennials will likey die in debt.
    Gator 45/70 likes this.
  18. Gator 45/70

    Gator 45/70 Monkey+++

    Tell us more about these busty hooters girls plz?
    Dont, Zimmy and VisuTrac like this.
  19. Merkun

    Merkun furious dreamer

    I'm still annoyed by the lack of definition of "middle class." Seems like no matter apparent wealth, no one is happy because the "middle class" is always a couple thousand higher. Methinks the value of wealth is inflating faster than education can keep up.
    Gator 45/70 and Dunerunner like this.
  20. Gator 45/70

    Gator 45/70 Monkey+++

    Well like one of brothers said working on the slope in AK
    If your making less than 6 figures then your considered poor....I'm like ,Shut the Hell up !
    oldawg and Zimmy like this.
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