Individuals who fall between the working class and the upper class within a societal hierarchy. In Western cultures, persons in the middle class tend to have a higher proportion of college degrees than those in the working class, have more income available for consumption and may own property. Those in the ……. often are employed as professionals, managers and civil servants. Investopedia
To provide an understanding of the meaning of middle class and the categories of individuals that belongs to this socio-economic class, here are ways to determine the middle class.
Your level of education determines where you belong in the social class. While a first degree or a higher diploma certificate may help you get ahead and earn you a good income, professional certifications and/or second degree will move you up the income ladder. For you to fit into the middle class bracket of the society, you must be educated.
Home ownership is an important criteria for the categorization of the socio-economic class. While it is recognized the home differs in types and categories and relative to income. A home in a densely populated and local environment may not be compared with a home in the highbrow in price and convenience. The experts generally believes that a member this class must own a home of at least a 3 bedroom apartment built on a one and half plot of land to provide enough space for gardens and children to play.
A good job with health and retirement benefits is another important criteria for categorization of the middle class income earner. Most employers in Nigeria has however jettisoned the retirement benefit owing to the Pension Fund Scheme of the federal government. This notwithstanding, You will be recognized as a member of this class if you have a good job with reasonable income with provisions for health benefits or you and your family and adequate benefit for you at retirement.
Retirement savings is another important criteria for being a member of the middle class. It is expected that you have money saved for retirement before you can be classified as a part of the middle class. The Pension Scheme of the government has significantly taken care of this. The amount saved is however a major consideration. The income experts believes that you should have enough savings that will guarantee to take care of your monthly expenses for a period of at least 25 years after retirement.
Fully paid annual vacation is another important consideration for a middle class. It is expected that a member of the middle class should earn enough income to be able to go on paid vacation with his family at least once a year. Where to go for vacation will vary from one individual to another depending on income. Vacation to locations within Nigeria may be a good consideration for some especially with the currently economic circumstance in the country, while some will prefers places outside of Nigeria. Annual vacation is a must for consideration as a middle class.
Automobile Ownership is another important consideration for a middle class. Availability of cheap and convenient means of transportation not withstanding it is expected that an income earners should earn enough income to own automobiles either on lease or fully paid for. Some income experts are of the opinion that a middle class family should own 3 cars at the least. One for the husband, another for the wife and a third for the family. His ability to change any of the cars at will is an important determinant for this class. Type of automobile and whether new or used cars not withstanding but it is generally believes that the cars must be functional and serviceable.
Savings for children education
A middle class income family must have enough saved for the education of their children. The type of school may however vary from one family to another. While some will be able to afford expensive private schools some will only be able to afford government schools. A middle income family should be able to provide funding for all the children up to the university level.
You may want to check out out other articles on “how to build your savings” and “here are 8 ways to retire well” for some enlightenment on budget and savings.