Jan 26 2013

Can you live in California on a $60,000 a year household income? Living the middle class lifestyle in California on $60,000 a year.

Can you live comfortably in California making $60,000 a year?  It really depends on what you define as comfortably.  We should note that the median household income in the US is $50,000 and in California it isn’t much higher.  California gets a notorious rap of being an expensive state but this is if the entire […]

May 28 2012

Saying goodbye to the middle class concept of retirement – many workers plan to work up until they are 80 well beyond the typical life expectancy of Americans. How long will $25,000 last in retirement?

The romantic concept of being able to retire on a sunny beach with endless drinks is a modern notion largely pushed by mainstream advertising.  It is hard for many middle class Americans to imagine a world where retirement is a luxury for the very few.  However that is the path we are now following.  The […]

Feb 11 2012

United States of Dollar Stores – dollar stores see a rise in households making $70,000 a year or higher as a customer base. What does the rise of dollar stores say about the middle class?

Before 2000 dollar stores were largely seen as a bazaar of quirky trinkets and plastic oddities.  Many sold excess volume of products, even selling old Super Bowl t-shirts of teams that did not win.  Yet the dollar store of today is not the one of even one decade ago.  The disillusionment of the middle class […]

Oct 10 2011

The wonder years – over 70 percent of GDP comes from personal consumption. For the past decade home equity and credit from other sources fueled growth because of falling household incomes. What happens when credit contracts and home equity evaporates?

In a debt based economy a credit crisis is similar to an uncontrollable virus spreading from house to house.  The slow infection hibernated for decades until it went into a pandemic.  It is troubling to see how the middle class is slowly being dismantled.  However there is one silver lining of the home price correction.  […]

Oct 3 2011

Living paycheck to paycheck with the housing albatross – Survey finds one in three Americans unable to make their mortgage or rent payment beyond one month if they lost their job. 61 percent unable to make payments beyond five months.

One of the unnerving revelations brought about by the current recession is how many Americans are living precariously close to the economic edge.  The Band-Aid of credit cards, home equity loans, and other vehicles of debt masked the problem for many years.  Debt was rolled over on a continuous basis and as long as the […]

Jul 27 2011

How to spend $9 trillion in 10 years. How in the financial world did we end up with over $14 trillion in Federal government debt?

If we do a slow rewind back to 2001 U.S. debt stood at $5.8 trillion.  This today would seem like a bargain.  So how in the world did we end up with the current $14.3 trillion figure in a matter of ten years?  People like to ignore history but if you don’t know where your […]

Jul 21 2011

The four horsemen of the middle class apocalypse – what does it say that we as a nation bailed out the financially wealthy too big to fail banks yet failed to bail out the middle class?

What made the U.S. the envy of the world was the belief that if you worked hard enough and had the right kind of grit and intelligence that you would be able to enjoy the fruits of your labor.  This is what built the solid middle class after World War II.  The majority of people […]

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