While everyone wonders where the middle class has gone, not everyone agrees on its definition. So a government task force pinpointed six financial aspirations that characterize life in the middle class, providing a blueprint for those who want to live in the center.First is home ownership. It remains the American dream, and buying a home represents a certain level of prosperity. Home prices vary widely by geographic region, however, making your zip code one of the largest barriers to home ownership. Second is owning an automobile. A car facilitates freedom of movement, which means avoiding the inconveniences of mass transportation. Car costs vary widely, as does the suitability of a car for its owner. Some want a truck, while others crave a BMW. Third is a college education for kids. Helping children complete a college education is a main goal for the middle class. College costs can run into tens of thousands of dollars, so start saving early. Fourth is retirement security. A comfortable retirement is your reward for decades of work. Depending on your lifestyle, your goal could be retirement anywhere from the south of France to the Rust Belt. Fifth is healthcare coverage. Middle-class workers want insurance for themselves and their families. The rising costs of medical care make such an ambition difficult, but serious financial problems can result without coverage. And sixth is taking a family vacation. Being able to rest and focus on leisure is a sign of success. Reaching these goals requires budgeting, planning and investing. But hard work and luck are important, too. As motion-picture mogul Samuel Goldwyn once said, “The harder I work, the luckier I get.”