16 Telltale Signs Someone Belongs To The Upper Middle Class 

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Over half of Americans identify as middle class, but only 15% consider themselves upper middle class. For many, a strong middle class promotes favorable conditions for the economy to grow. But, compared to the 70s, it is shrinking, though the upper middle class is on the rise, according to a report by Urban Institute. So, how do you know if someone’s upper middle class or whether you belong in it? Here are some telltale signs.

Diversified portfolio


When you’re in the upper middle class, your portfolio is highly diversified, giving you a better chance of quickly paying off significant investments like mortgages. The upper middle class has a high net worth with stocks and rental properties, especially if they come from generational wealth. Typically, anyone with a net worth of up to $2 million is considered upper middle class, though these numbers are rising. 

Higher education 


The upper middle class is often seen as a group of educated professionals working toward the top. That’s why many have PhDs or MBAs from some of the world’s most prestigious universities. The highest education commonly leads to high-earning and respectable positions in any field. 

Minimal financial strains


Those in the upper middle class have little to no stress when it comes to unpredicted expenses. This group does not live from paycheck to paycheck and can afford what seems impossible for many people. While generational wealth can play a role, some upper-middle-class families worked their way to secure financial stability. 

High income 


What defines an upper middle class varies from state to state. The incomes are high, so even when they pay for all necessities, they still have enough to keep up with their investment portfolios, vacations, dinners, and brand-name clothes. The upper middle class lives comfortably, and according to the Urban Institute, annual income is between $100,000 to $300,000. However, it is much higher in states like New York or California. 

Better life quality 


The upper middle class has enough to afford excellent and safe neighborhoods, healthcare, and activities that are out of reach for many people. They can also afford the best foods and do not have to worry about sudden trips to the ER. They are more likely to invest in traveling, advanced education, or self-improvement, which leads to more fulfilling lives. 

Highly desired careers


The upper-middle class is often defined by its work, so it takes great pride in its careers. It frequently makes a profit by running small businesses that are not competitive or operating what are typically considered blue-collar jobs. Many are dentists, lawyers, and scientists with respectable reputations in their fields. 

Solid social network

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Thanks to education and financial stability, the upper middle class enjoys solid social connections and uses them to their advantage in their chosen careers. They often mingle in similar circles or among people from the upper class. Many start making connections while in school, and these friendships last a lifetime, securing potential futures for the new generations. 

Cultural opportunities


Since most people from the upper middle class come from elite universities, they enjoy cultural outings. They are commonly open to learning and advancing their knowledge. The upper middle class is highly intellectual and known to support various arts. 

Frequent travels


The upper-middle class is well-traveled, and though they don’t usually own private jets, they travel in style. They enjoy exploring new cultures or relaxing at five-star resorts. Their vacations are well-planned since they still have busy careers and other obligations. 

Lower stress levels


Most people know they have reached the upper middle class once they realize their finances are no longer causing them stress. Financial stability brings peace and hope, especially for those who built their fortune on their own. Seeing your hard work pay off gives many a sense of accomplishment and leaves more room to think about the future. 

Philanthropic work


Part of social networking is made through philanthropic work. This is where the high middle class meets the upper class, though things sound more contrived than they are. Many enjoy helping communities, making charitable donations, or hosting fundraisers. It is an honor to them and a way to give back. 

Political influence

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The upper middle class also donates to their political parties of choice, giving them a better way of making their voices heard. Some are involved in politics directly, so they have a direct say in important issues, from taxes to healthcare. The actual influence lies in the hands of the wealthiest, but unlike most people, the upper middle class is well represented. 

Two or more income streams

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The upper middle class can access other income streams besides a high-paying job. These incomes come from rentals, investments, or owning a family business. They do not solely depend on their income, so their net worth seems much higher than their annual salaries. 

Great healthcare plans


While some may consider the upper middle class wealthy, others may disagree. However, when it comes to healthcare, they have some of the best insurance plans that cover a variety of medical issues. This is a highly health-conscious group, so they are more likely to give up on designer items or first-class seats than to be stingy when it comes to medical expenses. 

Retirement savings


The upper middle class takes a similar approach to retirement planning as with healthcare insurance. Their detailed and well-thought-out planning, as well as their ownership of assets, allowed them to retire early. However, many stay on their jobs because they give them purpose and stability. 

More traditional family life


Families are more traditional, and parents typically want children to receive the best education while enjoying a stable environment. The children go to the best schools and work with private tutors, though parents are very involved despite their busy schedules.

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Kate Smith, a self-proclaimed word nerd who relishes the power of language to inform, entertain, and inspire. Kate's passion for sharing knowledge and sparking meaningful conversations fuels her every word.