General Question

talljasperman's avatar

What class is someone who makes 20 grand a year, no kids?

Asked by talljasperman (18143 points ) August 16th, 2013

Where are the cut-off incomes for lower, upper, and middle class in Canada, the US or your home country if you don’t live in either?

I was told that a family with two children needs more than 30 grand a year to get out of poverty in Canada.

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17 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

It depends on your location, your expenses, your benefits, your career or job, your educational background, your beverage of choice and how many tattoos you have.

GoldieAV16's avatar

I would call that poverty in the USA.

Rent or house payments are going to run at least $750 a month for anything decent. Another $200 for health insurance/medical/dental costs. $100 for utilities. $200 for car, gas and auto insurance. $400 for food. $100 for clothes, household supplies, necessities.

That about does it. Not any money left for entertainment, savings, education, vacation, retirement, or any kind of upwards mobility.

LuckyGuy's avatar

That is $10 per hour, 40 hours per week. I’d call that the working class poor level. You are stuck unless you find a way out.
Often the way out is to either get married and share expenses, or have a child and go on public assistance. Sad.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

That would be considered lower class, but who cares? Honestly, who cares?

GoldieAV16's avatar

I care. I think if we live in a society that is not assisting our people to find a way to achieve economic security we’re shortchanging ourselves. People who are worried about where the next meal is going to come from, or whether they are going to buy medicine or pay the electric bill this month, have no resources left – financially, emotionally, or physically, to put anything back into the society that we all draw from.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

@GoldieAV16 Thank you for caring. The OP lives in Canada where there is a wide social safety net that will enable him to live independently and securely on that amount of money.

marinelife's avatar

Low middle class in Canada according to the statistics. Source

talljasperman's avatar

@marinelife I’m a $100 or so dollars over the poverty line.

bkcunningham's avatar

Honestly, who cares? I agree.

To get out of poverty. What does that even mean? If you are happy, healthy, have a roof over your heads, food to eat and are engaging in honest work and not going into debt, who cares if someone classifies you as in the poverty level. It is like we’ve been brainwashed into striving for some invisible goal. Relax. Live. Love. Enjoy. Smile. Hug somebody. Have fun.

JLeslie's avatar

I wouldn’t worry about it. When I earned $25k a year I was the same person as when I earned double, and now my household income is even more than that with my husband. When I was earning $25k I lived with a roommate in a very nice place and I didn’t even think about whether I was classified as poor, middle class, etc. In Canada you don’t have to worry about medical care so that is a bonus, although I guess maybe your wage is taxed more than the US. Or, maybe if you are at the poverty level you barely pay any income tax like here, if any. I know many people in NYC who had to live with roomates when they were earning $50k it’s so expensive there. It depends where you live.

YARNLADY's avatar

Upwardly mobile, in other words the UM class.

gondwanalon's avatar

Don’t waste your time stagnated in low paying jobs. Work hard and get the education and skills that you need and prepare for a successful financial future. Take charge of your life now. Plan for your future and make it happen. You can do it.

I was living in poverty while in my 20’s as I worked at fast food restaurants while going to college. It took me 6 years and much sacrifice to earn a B.A. degree which opened many doors of opportunity. I’ve worked hard and played hard all my life and have reached upper-middle class level of success. I’m ready to retire now with 2 nice retirements from 2 different companies, and have a relatively large investment portfolio and also have own home fully paid off. I will not even need to apply social security benefits.

Good luck to you!

livelaughlove21's avatar

Down here, a job that earns you $10/hr is a pretty decent one. My husband supported himself at that for two years on his own. Life isn’t luxurious at $20K per year, but down here in South Carolina, it’s not poverty either. The average household earns $50K with 2 kids here.

My job of choice after getting my degree starts off at $29K and requires a Bachelor’s degree. You gotta start somewhere. Having an education does not guarantee you a great salary.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

I was happy making around that living on my own in my first apartment. Life was much less complicated then though. If you are happy and still saving for the future then it’s all good.

SadieMartinPaul's avatar

Canada helps its citizens; the U.S. has disdain for anyone who doesn’t earn a big salary and have the ability to pay for expensive things (such as healthcare).

I own a nice, but tiny, one-bedroom condominium. It would rent for about $1,600 per month. Granted, I live in an urban area, where things are expensive, but still… In this region, anyone with $20K annual income is impoverished.

downtide's avatar

£20,000 is obviously more (by about a third) than US$20,000 and it would be about the minimum you’d need as a single person to be able to live without struggling, plus put a bit away for a pension, provided you live in a northern city where rent is cheaper. In London and the south-east you’d need much more than that.

bkcunningham's avatar

So, if we need help we can call Canada? Can you give me a number, @SadieMartinPaul, so I can pass it out to those in need?

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