Don’t be upset with me for telling you the truth. Someone needs to tell you the reality of the situation. The bottom 80% of American earners have almost no chance of having any shot at financial freedom and if they achieve it they will be very late in life. Current stastics validate this with almost seventy-six percent of Americans living paycheck to paycheck. Why? They don’t earn enough.

America doesn’t have a spending or debt problem it has an earning problem.

Median income of the middle class is the new broke. Median income is approximately $52,000 leaving you constantly frustrated as to why there is no money to save, invest or pay down credit cards. Do the math – after state and federal income taxes, social security, medicare withholdings there is barely enough money left over for basic living expenses. Car payments, rent, food and clothing are non-negotiable basic needs which cost the average American household $51,000 per year. If median income in America is $52,000 and average cost to live is $51,000 before taxes you see you have a situation. The pundits tell you to save, invest in a 401k but its all bunk.

Your goal should not be to save more first it should be to make more first.

Get yourself in the top 20% earners.

This means you need to get your before tax earnings to $104,000 per year.   Seems impossible when you are making $40,000 but it is not. I know, I did it.

When I first got started on my financial journey of creating financial freedom I had a negative net worth, owed the government $40k and my mom $3000. I was making $2000 a month and trying to figure out what to do. The first thing I did was seek out a financial education, learning what the people at the top were earning – not the people at the bottom and the middle. If you want financial freedom you must quit getting your advice from those who have never achieved it or given up on it.

Most people don’t get to the income levels necessary because they are made to believe they get by on less. You can’t! People aren’t getting by they are becoming victimized by their economic condition. Even people in the upper levels can be wiped out.

If you want financial freedom you must quit getting your advice from those who have never achieved it or given up on it.

The first thing you must do is take your attention from savings to earning. Here is what you must do.

  1. Make a decision to get your income into the top 20% earners or higher. Quit saying you can’t or don’t know how, commit first I will help you figure out how.
  2. Do the real math on your current earnings and quit trying to make sense of it. (see below)
  3. Find a vehicle to get you there. There are so many ways to earn extra money that doesn’t require college, debt or money. Once you fully commit to earning more those opportunities will start to reveal themselves.
  4. Don’t quit until you accomplish your income targets. Your freedom depends on doing this.

Here is the math. Top 20% earn $104,000. That will leave you with $74,888 after taxes.

Median Income – $52,000 before taxes, medicare, social security withholding. Keep in mind the average American family of 2 plus one is $51k. The middle class is the new broke. Quit making sense of median income. One medical hardship not covered by your healthcare insurance and you can easily wipe out your entire family.

“The middle class is the new broke.”

Set your targets on the top and do whatever it takes to get yourself there:

  • Top 20% earn $104,000 and have only $74,888 after federal taxes.
  • Top 10% – $145,000 will leave you with $104,000 after federal taxes.
  • Top 5% – $205,000 will leave you with $147,000 after federal taxes.
  • Top 1% – $400,000 will leave you with $268,000 after federal taxes.

Keep in mind that these examples assume you pay no state income tax and that applies only to residents of Florida, Washington, Texas, Tennesse, and Nevada.

If you live in Californa or NY you get whacked by another 10-13%. Get your thinking right if you want to get your money right. This isn’t your momma’s or daddy’s economy. You owe it to yourself, your family and your dreams to change how you think about money and what you do to earn it. Make “Who’s got my money” your new battle cry and whatever it takes your commitment.

Hope this helps,

Grant Cardone

This Saturday I’m hosting three live events at 8 AM, 1 PM and 6 PM EST –reserve your seat here. I’ll be answering your questions live on Follow-Up and other income earning techniques. If you registered for the event last Thursday, you get access to the Saturday event free.