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My Personal Finance Pyramid Update – Lower (Upper Middle Class)

My Personal Finance Pyramid

If you have read this blog in the past, you know that I created a visual chart to gauge my personal finance progress as I climb a wealth pyramid that I have created.  The pyramid (based off of Maslow’s Pyramid of Needs) seemed to be a great representation of such a wealth-pursuing journey.  In many ways, it helps me visualize the various levels and created milestones for me to watch for, since I love feedback!  So without further ado, here is my update on my progress climbing my “Personal Finance Pyramid“!

I have obtained the level of Lower “Upper Middle Class” status!  sort of…

Financial Pyramid

You are probably wondering why I wrote “sort of“.

Well, during the run of the stock market after “The Great Recession”, I managed to climb up to the lower green bar of the “Upper Middle Class” status area.  But now since the stock market has dipped again, I’ve fallen in the upper portion of the Asset Accumulation level again.  Close to “Upper Middle Class”, but not quite.

Upper Middle Class is actually a tricky category to be placed in since it’s more than just wealth and income.  In my part of the country, currently I fulfill those requirements… but the standard of living is lower where I live vs a larger city like New York.  As for eduction, I believe I fulfill those requirements, but barely.  No fancy ivy league schools in my past college life.

Another reasons I consider my family “lower upper middle class is because we live at a more frugal state than others in my city with comparable income.  But that said, many of my neighbors make a similar amount of income, so I’m not that far off.  My house is just a little over 2,000 sq feet though, so it’s smaller than the norm is these days.

Now for the Upper Middle Class lifestyle versus my current “middle class” lifestyle.

I have and do a lot of the same things as the upper middle class does, but instead of a Lexus I have a Toyota Camry.  And instead of taking vacations overseas, I still go on entire family vacations typically to the beach.  Oh, I could afford to take overseas vacations, but I would like to build up my dividend stream first to fund such activities.  Besides, I’m still growing my Wealth Snowball that was created in the Asset Accumulation level.  I guess lower “upper middle class” would mean that I have one foot in the Asset Accumulation level, and one foot in the Upper Middle Class level.

What financial numbers does it take to be considered the Upper Middle Class?

  • Household Income of over $100,000 (or for an individual to be at or above $95,000 in year 2012).  Update (2013): I’ve recently read that a good starting number is around $120,000.
  • Net Worth of around 500k+  (at least in 2012)

Anyway, that’s my assessment of my current state.  If the market keeps dipping though, there is a good chance that I’ll slip entirely back into the “Asset Accumulation” phase.

I hope the stock market has been more gentle with you than it has with me lately!





10 Responses to My Personal Finance Pyramid Update – Lower (Upper Middle Class)

  1. Have you ever seen John Wooden’s (former UCLA Basketball Coach) Pyramid of Success? I got to know him because he was my mother’s neighbor for 30+ years and I relate to his values expressed in his pyramid.

    I am in a different place, asset preservation and growth. lass is less important because I think it is a state of mind despite surpassing the minimums.

    • Never seen that pyramid before, but pretty cool though (I googled it).

      I guess pyramids are based on experiences we gain through life. That’s why my pyramid is more defined at the bottom and gets less defined at the higher up levels. I can see myself getting to the crossover point, but beyond that it’s all empty for me. But who knows.

      I’m still trying to get to that crossover point, but I do know that asset class diversification helps reduce stress. And I’m guessing that in your scenario, stress is very reduced 🙂

    • After researching it, I’ve come to realize that there really isn’t any set number and it’s all specific to the community where you live. For some the number could be 100k, for other 500k and for others 40k… Quite amazing actually since it all relative to their personal environment. 🙂

      Oh the 100k is household income, but family is fairly close to the same number as household, or at least close enough.

      Thanks for the encouragement! 🙂

    • I’m really afraid I’m going to fall back into that phase. I’m right on the border… Even in Upper Middle Class, I’m still accumulating assets still though too.

  2. I am still in the bottom of this pyramid. I am satisfied. I earn more than spend a little so in the end of the month I have budget in green numbers. I am starting to invest to make more gain every month. Wish all good luck 😉