Tonight, we’re going to talk about something very deep, escaping the middle class. That is going to be a problem for many people.
If you don’t want to read it, you can watch this video.
The middle class or what is supposedly the middle class pays the largest amount of taxes. The reality is you pay many taxes that you don’t consider taxes. The lottery is a voluntary tax. Where does the money go? It goes to the government.
Traffic tickets are another involuntary tax you pay when you get pulled over. Forty-nine to fifty percent of all of your dollars are going somewhere. It’s like all of your dollars are torn in half.
The only way you can escape the lower or middle class is you’ve got to earn more money. Where you need to be is at $200K as a couple and at $125K as an individual. There aren’t a lot of jobs paying that.
Fifty-one percent of America doesn’t make $30K a year, seriously. Thirty-eight percent of Americans make less than $20K a year. Sixty-two percent of all Americans make less than $40K. Seventy one percent of all Americans make less than $50K.
If you fall in these ranges, you’re not even good. What did I just tell you? Half of every dollar that you get goes to some kind of tax. So, it’s not really good.
When you are caught up in inertia – you have to have significant velocity to push you out of that. Many, many years ago, this was my conundrum. I was sitting there in my room in the boarding house and I was thinking, how the hell do I get out of here.
My issues were not racism. My pressing issues were all 100% economic. Economics dictated where I lived. Economics dictated how I lived. At that point, I wasn’t even making $20K a year.
If you make more income and move up in class, you are going to insulate yourself from a lot of bullshit. Not from all bullshit. No.
Typically, as someone from the middle class, everything you do is predicated on money. Decisions about the trips you take and what food you eat are decided by money. This is huge.
Eating healthy and eating well is not cheap. I’m not going to say it is expensive because the food you eat dictates your health. That’s reality.
For this discussion, we’ll define the middle class as those people earning from $20K to $50K. In reality, for practical purposes, $20K to $50K is poverty level. Let’s say you’re at the top of that group earning $50K. If you have a good tax situation, you pay minimally $10K in taxes. That leaves you with $40K or $3333 per month. Let’s say you have a low mortgage or rent payment of $850 per month. That brings you down to $2400 now. This is where the shit gets dicey.
You have a new car with a $350 payment. Then you spend $250 for gas and $112 for insurance. Now we’re down to $1900 per month. That’s for one person and doesn’t include anyone else. Let’s go ahead and subtract out another $800 a month for utilities and food. That brings you to $971. We’ll assume that’s your money to blow. Now, let’s say your transmission blows. Now you are in debt.
Even at this higher level of this income range, all it takes is one thing to happen and BAM, you’re out of it. That’s why you’ve got to get out of these income ranges.
All the government numbers are skewed. They talk about household income which might be two or three wage earners.
I have been through each of these stages from no money to $20K to $50K to $70K to $100K to $150K.
I’m going to tell you what happened with that $150K. That’s when I got my first big check. I was working for the office furniture company. I did a big deal and I got to the office. There’s this envelope with my name on it. I pulled this check out for $64K. It was the most money I’d ever had at one time in my fucking life.
I went out and I bought a new BMW. I got fucking generous and was leaving $20 tips.
When I finally got to the income level of $150K, I could do what I wanted, how I wanted and was still paying all my bills and still saving money. Once you’re making $150K to $200K, you’ve got a cushion.
Like, if you’re at $200K and your car breaks down, you can buy a new car with cash in a matter of months, or you can finance it at some ridiculous rate and pay it off in four or five months.
When you are in this $20 to $50K range, when the car breaks down; it’s a drama. When someone gets sick, it’s a drama.
When my partner died, I didn’t work for six fucking months. I didn’t do shit for six months.
I’m going to talk about why the middle class doesn’t exist. The system is rigged. If you are at an income level that doesn’t allow you to live how you want all of the time and you get sick and can’t work for a few months, you go literally from classy to ashy and you are suddenly poor.
Let’s say you make $80K a year. You have great credit, but you have no recurring income. You have no passive income. You have no property. You have no investments. You’re poor.
I know it sounds crazy. But once again, I’m giving you what I’ve gone though. I’m teaching you what I have learned. You want to get to a point where you have way more money than you need.
If you are under $80K, you are very vulnerable. Even if you have really good savings habits. Let’s say you save $25K per year for five years and you now have $125K in savings in the bank, liquid.
Then something happens and you can’t work for a year. Let’s go back to the Great Recession. We saw people that had $200K or $300K in their 401K – all gone. I’m talking about this to illustrate a point. Even when you have as much as $125K in the bank, it can go really quickly if something goes wrong.
Typically, if you are young and healthy and you don’t have a lot of debt, you are fine. As you get older, that shit’s going to change.
If you can get your earnings to $125K to $200K, you can live very well. You can invest 50% of your income. If you are between $20K to $50K, everything is a struggle. You have to save up for vacations or go in debt. You have to think about everything you want to do. That doesn’t leave a lot of bandwidth for starting a business or escaping the hell hole.
When you change class, your circle of friends changes. When that happens, your opportunities increase.
If everybody you know is broke, where are the opportunities?
In the $20K to $50K range, all I thought about was, please don’t let shit go wrong. That was the main thought in my mind. When all you think about is surviving, that’s all you are going to do.
Now I think about how can I make more money.
It’s going to take a plan. It’s going to take some money. You have to change your environment to move up.
You have to escape the $20K to $50K income range. The middle class doesn’t exist. You are either a “have” or “have not.”
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