The New York Times has an article titled: When Labeling Yourself Middle Class Can Hold You Back. It cites some interesting statistics that point out the “middle class” is a mindset rather than an income level.
If you think I’m exaggerating, take a look at a recent Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll. The results revealed that what we define as middle class has more to do with how we think of ourselves than any particular number. Not too surprisingly, we tend to compare ourselves against what we know:
■ 48 percent of people earning $40,000 – $50,000 consider an income of $50,000 middle class.
■ 50 percent of people earning $50,000 – $75,000 consider their income middle class.
■ 39 percent of people earning $75,000 – $100,000 consider their income middle class.
The larger point is that many people who think of themselves as middle class are holding themselves back because they don’t take advantage of the tools that are available to them. The so-called “rich” use professional investment managers to protect what they have and get richer. Why shouldn’t the middle class also use experts to do the same thing? Do you want to send your kids to college, buy a bigger, better house, save and invest for that really great retirement? From the article:
There is no reason we shouldn’t be using every tool available to help us improve the odds we’ll reach those goals. It doesn’t matter that we may not have as many options as those available to an investment banker. We owe it to ourselves to understand the options we do have and then make plans that get us to where we want to go.
We’re making a similar mistake if we assume we won’t find people to help us when we do need more help. The reasons often come down to money. Time after time, people will tell me they aren’t seeking help because they can’t afford it.
The problem with this assumption is that it ignores the professionals — C.P.A.’s, lawyers, advisers — who make it their mission to help people who don’t have seven-figure balance sheets. There are plenty of them out there; we just need to take the time to find one if we need help.
At Korving & Company, that’s our mission and we take it very seriously. We put our clients’ interests ahead of our own. Get in touch today!