U.S. News and World Reports has a brief but good summary of the challenges facing the middle class.
These challenges include:
Reduced Savings/Net Worth
High Health Care Costs
High Childcare and/or Elder Care Costs
High College Costs
High Housing Costs
Unfortunately, the article undermines itself by citing "false expectations" as a problem also. The article argues that the attitude that effort is not enough to succeed is false. But then the article concludes that those "who work harder" will succeed.
The article trips up on the real issue facing America--declining social mobility due to structurally embedded loss of opportunity.
Credit Writedowns gets this problem, which is described in this post about structural declines in job opportunities
I find it very problematic for news outlets such as US News and World Report to gloss over this fundamental problem that must be addressed by policy or the middle class in America will largely disappear...