5 Differences Between the Rich and Middle Class

According to a study conducted by the Pew Charitable Trust, the percentage of middle class households has shrunk in all 50 states since the year 2000.

This becomes even more significant when you consider that the median income has also dropped in most states, when adjusted for inflation.

Yup, it appears we’re moving closer towards a two-tiered society – rich and poor … with the middle class slowly starting to evaporate.

That old saying … “The Rich Get Richer, and the Poor Get Poorer” has started to play itself out right here in the good ole US of A.

So how do you insure ending up on the “rich side” of the ledger?

The answer to that can be a whole book, but for now, one thing I can tell you for sure is that you MUST begin or continue emulating the psychology, habits, and rituals of the rich … if you want to end up rich!

Here are some differences between the rich and the middle class to learn from …

1. The Middle Class Climb the Corporate Ladder, the Rich Own the Ladder

The middle class tends to work for “the man”.  The rich tend to ‘BE THE MAN”.

So who is the prototypical American Millionaire?  In “The Millionaire Next Door”, author Thomas Stanley found the following:

* 1 in 5 are retired.

* About two-thirds who are currently working are self-employed.

* 3 out of 4 who are self-employed consider themselves to be entrepreneurs.

* Most of the others are self-employed professionals, such as doctors and accountants.

* Many of the types of businesses they own (or owned) would be considered very normal (or even dull!), including: Welders, contractors, auctioneers, rice farmers, owners of mobile-home parks, pest controllers, coin and stamp dealers, paving contractors, etc.

2. The Middle Class are Friends with Everyone, the Rich Choose Wisely

Many years ago, I remember hearing that who you are is who you associate with.  I didn’t quite believe it at the time, but man is this so true!

The power of association, I’ve come to discover, is without a doubt one of the biggest factors that determines your plight in life.

Want to be an optimist that mostly sees the great possibilities in life?  It’ll be difficult if you’re hanging around a bunch of pessimists and downers.

Have a goal of being in a dream relationship?  Might be kinda tough if you’re spending a lot of time with single or divorced people who tend to bitch and complain about their ex’s and past relationships all day … and then not do much to improve things.

Ever find yourself stuck at a certain income level that you can’t break the ceiling on?  Take a look at the incomes of the 5 closest people you associate with most for a clue on why.

Want to create wealth?  It’ll be tough if you’re not hanging around with, studying, and/or emulating wealthy people.

I know this is easier said than done sometimes, because the ones dragging us down are oftentimes the ones closest to us (spouse, family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, etc).

I’m not saying cast them away necessarily, but you CAN begin limiting your exposure … and start seeking out relationships that can help propel you instead.

3. The Middle Class Live Above their Means, the Rich Live Below

Here are more survey results about wealthy Americans from “The Millionaire Next Door”:

  • They live far below their means and have little or no debt. Most pay off their credit cards every month; 40% have no home mortgage at all.
  • Most are frugal – they prepare shopping lists, resole their shoes and save a lot of money — but they are not misers; they live balanced lives.
  • 97% are homeowners; they tend to live in fine homes in older neighborhoods. (Only 27% have ever built their “dream home.”)
  • Not one millionaire had anything nice to say about gambling.

Not quite the picture of the wealthy we see painted on MTV Cribs, right?

Now don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against lavishness, excess, or having massive bling.  If that’s what gets you going, I say go for it!

I just recommend FIRST getting to ‘super rich” status before you start living it up like Donald Trump. :)

4. The Middle Class Believe in Hard Work, the Rich Believe in Leverage

My father was the hardest working man I knew.

We grew up on a farm and saw him work from sun up to sun down, basically 7 days a week.

I remember him taking only one long vacation, and once in a while, the occasional trip to Nevada for an overnight stay at one of the casino’s.

My brother and I, from a very early age, were definitely instilled with an extreme work ethic.

Which I think is good for the most part.  But there’s also some downside as well, if you just leave it at that.

Because as I learned later in life, it’s only half of the equation.

The other half?  You have to work smart.

And that means leverage.  By utilizing other people, technology, and resources.

No man is an island.  And there’s no such thing as “self made”.

In order to do great things in life, including creating riches for yourself, it’s going to require lots of help.

And lots of leverage in multiple ways.

“Give me lever long enough, and I can move the world.”

- Archimedes

5. The Middle Class Focus More on Living Comfortably, the Rich Embrace Being Uncomfortable

Getting rich usually requires doing something exceptional, extraordinary, or out of the norm.

It requires growth and challenge, which typically means having to go through a lot of uncomfortable situations.  This is the price of success.

You see, it’s comfortable to work for someone else.  It’s comfortable just putting your money in a mutual fund and letting someone else worry about it.

But it’s not the path to riches.

Starting your own business on the other hand?  I guarantee you’ll experience lots of discomfort.

Want to build a multi-million dollar real estate portfolio?  Lots of growth opportunities waiting for you.

Deepak Chopra says “the magic happens in the gap”, meaning those times of uncertainty, chaos, and discomfort … when you don’t quite know what will happen.

But it’s also during times like this when the magic happens.  When you’re forced to make something happen.  When wealth is created.

You just have to be willing to embrace it … and eventually conquer it.

(c) IR Press, Inc.