11 Things Middle Class Won’t Be Able To Afford In Next 5 Years

Inflation rates are climbing higher, making everyday items increasingly expensive. While the wealthy may not feel the pinch, the middle class faces significant financial pressure. We aim to help you prepare for the future by highlighting items that may become unaffordable in the coming years.

Extended Family Trips

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Many families might struggle to make a road trip  or visit  Disney World adventure. Gas prices are increasing, and plane tickets aren’t getting any cheaper.

In addition, staying at hotels or vacation rentals keeps costing more. This means those big family reunions at the beach might have to be put on hold. Instead, families might need to get creative with cheaper staycations or travel options closer to home.

New Cars

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The excitement of driving off that shiny new car might soon become a dream due to inflation. There’s a shortage of computer chips needed to build cars, so car prices are staying high.

To make matters worse, car loan interest rates are also expected to rise. This means the monthly payments for a new car will be even more expensive. In fact, The loan interest rates are also between 5.64-14.78% for new cars and 7.66%-21.55% for used cars.

Private School Tuition

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Private schools have always been expensive, but get ready for the worst. Private school costs are expected to keep going up even faster than the general cost of living. This means even families who could afford private school before might be unable to do it anymore.

With everyone’s expenses increasing, many families might have to send their kids to public schools. This could lead to more students in each class and fewer resources available. Overall impact can be substandard education.

Homeownership and Real Estate

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In the next five years, the dream of owning a home might seem further away for many middle-class families. The price of houses and apartments has been steadily climbing, and it’s expected to continue the same way.

This means saving for a down payment and affording a mortgage will become even more challenging. Landlords raise their prices to keep up with the rising cost of real estate. Thus, renting might become tougher as well.

Healthcare Costs

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Staying healthy isn’t cheap, and it will only get more expensive.  Doctor visits, medications, and hospital stays are expected to rise faster than average income.  This could lead to health problems going untreated and causing bigger issues down the road.

According to this study, about half of U.S. adults say it is difficult to afford health care costs, and one in four say they or a family member in their household had problems paying for health care in the past 12 months.

Leisure and Travel in Retirement

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In the next five years, the middle class may forget about relaxing on a beach after a lifetime of hard work. While retirement should be a time to enjoy yourself, affording those dream vacations may be challenging.

The rising cost of living will likely eat away at retirement savings, leaving less money for travel, entertainment, or even everyday expenses. Recently, an Australian couple booked a total of 500 days’ ride as it was cheaper than a retirement home.

Already a recent study claims that the magic number of retirement has increased soaring well beyond inflation rates and expanding by an astounding 53%, from the $951,000 target reported in 2020.

‘Safe’ Investments for Retirees

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Retirees look for reliable investments to live comfortably. However, they might find even “safe” options losing their edge.  Interest rates on savings accounts and bonds, considered secure choices, are expected to stay low.

This means retirees won’t earn much on their money. This could make it harder to keep up with rising living costs. So, retirees might need to consider alternative investments. Options that carry more risk but offer the potential for higher returns.

Premium Streaming Services

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Switching to streaming services initially seemed budget-friendly, but it’s changed. With so many streaming services offering different content, the urge to subscribe to many platforms can add up.

Each extra service adds another monthly bill, which can be a bad expense. Plus, the cost of premium streaming services is increasing day by day. Already, people spend almost $552/ year on streaming services. According to Statista, in 2019, the companies were making $54.86 per user, which has now increased to $76.58 in 2024.

Fitness & Wellness Services

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Staying healthy is crucial, but gym memberships, yoga classes etc can be expensive. These costs can put a strain on a middle-class family’s budget. The good news is there are many free or low-cost alternatives. Local parks often have walking groups or exercise classes. Free online resources offer workout routines or yoga tutorials. With a little creativity, you can stay healthy without draining your savings account.

Organic Food

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While the “healthy glow” of organic produce might be appealing, the price tag is likely to become a major turn-off for middle-class families. Unlike traditional farming, organic farming uses natural methods.

This is why yields are often lower and labor costs are higher. This translates to pricier organic options at the grocery store. Thus, many families might have to choose affordability over the perceived health benefits of organic food.

Cultural & Art Experiences

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From museum visits to concerts and theater shows, cultural experiences enrich our lives.  However, these activities are on track to become less accessible for middle-class families.  Ticket prices for museums and shows are expected to rise due to increasing costs for venues, artists, and security. Most museums have an updated entry fee of $30 for adults. This stagnant wage trend could force many middle-class families to cut back on these experiences.

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