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7 Things Worrying the Middle Class

by Mike

Yesterday I came across an article titled 7 Stressors Sapping the Middle Class. It describes some of the main concerns that middle class families have in today’s economy.

1. Falling income.  This is one that I have experienced first hand.  My family took a major income hit when my wife quit her job to stay home with the kids and it was a tough adjustment.  And last year my company didn’t give out raises because of the bad economy.

2.  Reduced savings/net worth.  Our home’s value has dropped significantly since the housing bubble burst, and we have been forced to tap into savings a few times.

3.  High healthcare costs.  I feel this one too…I’m paying higher premiums for less coverage.  My plan’s deductibles have gone up and instead of covering 90% after deductibles they now only cover 80% in most cases.

4.  Child care/elder care expenses.  Since my wife stays home to raise the kids we don’t have to worry about day care.  Actually she stays home largely because day care is so expensive that it isn’t worth it because pretty much her whole salary would go to pay for it.

Elder care is on our minds a lot as my father-in-law’s health deteriorates.  We’ve moved him in with us and we’re trying to convert our garage into a bedroom for him but dealing with our town has been infuriating…I’ll save that post for another day.

5.  College costs.  My oldest is almost 6 so I have some time before I have to worry about her going off to college.  But with 3 kids to educate this will be a huge concern of mine in about 12 years.

6.  Housing Costs.  We bought our house in 2003 and fortunately we’re not upside down in our mortgage like some people we know.  But our original plan was to move after 5 years and that didn’t work out so well.  We were a two-income family with our first child on the way then.  Now we’re a single income family with 3 kids to feed.  And living in Northeast New Jersey is expensive both in housing costs and property taxes.  We’re thinking of moving to Central or South Jersey where it’s a little cheaper.

7.  False expectations.  Gone are the days where you stayed with a company for thirty or forty years and retired with a sizable pension and a gold watch.   Working hard and getting an education guarantee you nothing in today’s world.

What do you think?  What other concerns do you have?

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Money Beagle

This is spot on correct. Great article, in fact I think I will use it as a basis for an article on my site and of course give a link back and shout out!
.-= Money Beagle´s last blog ..Weekly Blog Roundup: March 26, 2010 =-.

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Mike

I’m glad you liked it! Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

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Mrs. Frugal

I think this list really nails it. Last year we made some very tough decisions to restructure our finances but it has paid off for us this year. We no longer carry the same amount of stress in these areas that we did. I would say though that Health Care is still a big area of concern because of the high cost and the unscrupulous tactics that insurance companies use against consumers. Hopefully we’ll see some positive changes in the coming years.
.-= Mrs. Frugal´s last blog ..Live in a Foreign Country for 2-3 Weeks For As Little As $300 =-.

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Financial Samurai

Gotta say, I’m concerned about every single one of the things you mention, and yet the gov’t doesn’t consider me middle class.

Another one of my concerns is that the harder I work, the more I will make, and the more I will be taxed. Doesn’t seem right. Tell me what I’m paying for, and I’ll agree better.

Best, Sam
.-= Financial Samurai´s last blog ..The Mental To Physical Connection For A Healthier Lifestyle =-.

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Mike

Hey Sam, thanks for stopping by and commenting.

I agree that taxes are another concern. The frustrating thing is that so much of our tax money is wasted or simply unaccounted for. If I could look around and see improvements and advances all around I’d be less likely to complain, but our basic infrastructure is falling down around us and we’ve already lost ground to other nations in education levels. We really need to refocus our priorities as a nation.

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FinancialBondage

what worries me is higher taxes for the middle class. it’s coming. To help pay for the health care reform that is being shoved down our throats.

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Mike

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