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Upper

Based on Pew’s analysis, a household of three needs an income of $156,600 to meet the definition of upper class, which amounts to more than double the national median.

In analyzing the trends, Pew points out that the wealthiest households are the only ones to have seen gains in wealth after the start of the Great Recession. Between 2007 and 2016, the median net worth of the top 20% increased 13% to $1.2 million.

Of course, it’s still important to protect your wealth regardless of what economic tier you fall under. By having a diversified portfolio, those in the upper class can maintain their position.

Those that meet this criteria might want to focus on hedging against inflation and investing in assets that have a low correlation with traditional holdings.

Commercial real estate is a solid option for inflation hedging. And private equity firm First National Realty Partners makes investing in this asset accessible.

With FNRP, accredited investors can collect quarterly cash flow through a diverse portfolio of grocery-anchored real estate. FNRP’s team of experts manages every component of the investment life cycle for you, vetting each investment opportunity that comes your way.

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Middle

Many Americans associate themselves with the middle class. A Gallup survey in 2022 shows that just over half of respondents identified as either middle or upper middle class.

Based on Pew’s calculator, middle class earners are actually those whose income falls between $52,200 and $156,600, or two-thirds to double the national median when adjusted for local cost of living and household size. In 2021, the median income was $70,784, according to Census Bureau data.

If you fall in this bracket, investing your earnings is important and can help increase your wealth and build a cushion of savings. However, if you’re unsure about where to begin when it comes to investing or navigating other aspects of your finances, consider working with a professional.

WiserAdvisor’s free matching service helps you find a financial adviser that can help you reach your goals. All it takes is a few minutes to answer some questions about yourself, and WiserAdvisor will provide you with a personalized match of two to three advisers.

Lower

Based on Pew’s analysis, a three-person household would be considered low income if they’re bringing in less than $52,200 a year. This group makes up a significant chunk of the U.S. population, with about 38% of households making less than $50,000 in 2021.

It’s important to highlight the disparity in opportunities for advancement for low-income households. While middle-class households rely on home equity to build their net worth and upper-class families rely on financial assets and investments to build their wealth, Pew found lower-income earners have fewer options to get ahead.

But not all hope is for lower-income earners, as there are ways to optimize your income and build up your wealth no matter where you stand.

First, storing your cash in a high-interest savings account could deliver returns of over 4%, while the U.S. Bank's standard savings APY of 0.01%.

Your economic status doesn’t have to determine whether you can become an investor either. With Acorns — an automated investing platform — investors of all levels can build their portfolios.

When you make a purchase on your credit or debit card, Acorns automatically rounds up the price to the nearest dollar and places the excess into a smart investment portfolio.

Start now and you can get a $20 bonus investment tp help you effortlessly save money and watch your wealth grow.

And if you’re looking to start diversifying your portfolio, Arrived makes real estate investing accessible to all types of investors.

Basked by world-class investors like Jeff Bezos, Arrived allows you to invest in fractional shares of rental and vacation properties, sparing you the burden of property management.

You can start by browsing through their curated selection of properties, each vetted for potential appreciation and income generation. Then, you can choose the number of shares you’d like to buy and start investing with as little as $100.

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Moneywise Moneywise Editorial Team

The Moneywise Editorial Team is a group of passionate financial experts, seasoned journalists, and content creators who are deeply committed to providing unbiased, relevant, and accurate financial information. With years of combined industry experience, our team is dedicated to maintaining the highest journalistic standards and delivering informative and engaging content. From personal finance and investing to retirement planning and business finance, we cover a broad range of topics to suit the financial needs of our diverse readership. You can trust the Moneywise Editorial Team to empower you with the knowledge and tools necessary to make wise financial decisions.

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The content provided on Moneywise is information to help users become financially literate. It is neither tax nor legal advice, is not intended to be relied upon as a forecast, research or investment advice, and is not a recommendation, offer or solicitation to buy or sell any securities or to adopt any investment strategy. Tax, investment and all other decisions should be made, as appropriate, only with guidance from a qualified professional. We make no representation or warranty of any kind, either express or implied, with respect to the data provided, the timeliness thereof, the results to be obtained by the use thereof or any other matter.