The majority of our population is considered middle class, but what is middle class?

It is sometimes loosely described as those who are neither rich nor poor — or as individuals who are neither in the top 20 per cent nor the bottom 20 per cent of income earners. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) defines a member of the middle class as anyone who earns between 75 per cent and 200 per cent of median household income after tax. Based on the most recent data available from Statistics Canada, in this country that means anywhere from about $45,000 to $120,000. The gap between the rich and poor is widening at a much faster rate in the last few years.  

Call me crazy, but it seems like a lot of these are things the middle class already can’t afford.  Someone asked finance experts to name things people in the middle class won’t be able to afford five years from now.

Here’s what they came up with . . .

1.  Extended family vacations.  Especially trips overseas.  But even just taking a week off to go to the beach is hard for a lot of people now.

2.  New cars.  Prices have gone up significantly in the past five years, and it looks like that trend will probably continue.

3.  Private school.  The rise in tuition is far outpacing gains in income.

4.  Enjoying retirement.  People who retire in the next five years might need to really rein things in to make sure they don’t blow through their savings.  Especially because we’re living longer than we used to.

5.  Homes.  Especially in cities and other high-demand areas.  It’s just harder to afford a home now than ever before.

Our world is changing faster and our incomes can’t keep up. I’m not a greedy person but I want to be comfortable. We shouldn’t have to go without this day and age for food, housing, education and all the other essentials. Greed has set in and we need do better.

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