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Old 12-15-2016, 08:01 AM
 
3,364 posts, read 3,072,611 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Serious Conversation View Post
I can see that as an aspirational dream, but not one that many common people are likely to hit.

1 and 2 should be fairly doable, especially with student loans.

3 really isn't for most people. If you have no other than debt and a low mortgage #1, maybe you could swing a cheap vacation place. Unfortunately, many of us are limited by PTO so we could be there a couple weeks a year, max, until retirement. I personally do not know anyone with two homes.

4 is a definite luxury. Again, I'm limited by time away from work. I don't have enough vacation to be able to travel extensively. It's possible for a well to do retiree or someone with a lot of flexibility.

5 is becoming increasingly difficult for everyone.

6 is doable, but the higher the income, the easier it is.

7 can flip both ways. I know highly paid people who love their jobs and those who hate it. I know lower people the same way.

Most people are going to have compromise significantly on these bullet points.
Like someone said - the American Dream/what makes one happy is very specific to each person. And you last sentence re compromise - I guess it depends on your circle of friends.


1. No kids, but I set up stock reinvestment plans for my grandniece and grandnephew when they were born. Did the same thing for their dad when he was a baby.

2. I buy a brand new truck every 10 years. My current truck is 3 years old (and only 15,600 miles on it).

3. One house is fine (especially since I just bought it 3 years ago). I'll VRBO for the vacation places. And I'll likely sell the house and move eventually. House has essentially doubled in value so getting out while the market is still hot might be the thing to do. Problem is I'd have to spend a lot more to live in the condo building I want to live in. Not interested in living somewhere cheap so I'll likely stay awhile. #firstworldproblems

4. Travel every year to place like Europe, Australia, or New Zealand. I also include a trip to somewhere in the USA that is far from our home that we want to see. --Ditto. I traveled extensively when I lived in California (NZ, Brazil, France, Hawaii - all multiple times and often a couple times a year). And - I get 6 weeks vacation and know a lot of people with two homes.

5. Just me and we have good insurance at my work.

6. Regular progress towards a good retirement I intend to take later in life (probably age 70) because I enjoy my work. --Ditto. I like my job and they pay me well. --I'm thinking of staying to the 35 year mark (since that would involve a very large monetary gift).

7. ====> Being able to have some control over a work environment is good and to be surrounded by pleasant or at least reasonable coworkers.<======= This is really important and I'm lucky enough to have it.

8. One thing that will definitely be included in my retirement budget is money for my hobbies - my bicycles and swimming and ice skating and season hockey tickets.

Quote:
I tend to believe all or most of these are reasonable achievable goals for people who are ambitious, educated, and not afraid of hard work. I have also found that those who have dreams and a strong sense of accomplishment tend to do better in life than those who just want enough to get by. The first step towards getting something is to want it. The way you go about getting it makes the difference, but it all starts with a dream.
THIS. I totally agree with this.
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Old 12-15-2016, 05:42 PM
 
Location: Las Vegas
13,912 posts, read 25,402,332 times
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My parents were Greatest Generation and until the meltdown of 2008, I was on track and doing better than they did. But they beat me in the end. Oh well!

I never did want that much 'stuff'. All those engines to maintain? No thanks! I have 1 paid for car, and 1 smallish paid for house. I don't have everything but I have enough. I live within my means and I am debt free. What I do have is freedom. For the first time in my life, I can do exactly as I please.
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Old 12-15-2016, 10:24 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
23,819 posts, read 17,734,769 times
Reputation: 27881
Quote:
Originally Posted by N.Cal View Post
Like someone said - the American Dream/what makes one happy is very specific to each person. And you last sentence re compromise - I guess it depends on your circle of friends.


1. No kids, but I set up stock reinvestment plans for my grandniece and grandnephew when they were born. Did the same thing for their dad when he was a baby.

2. I buy a brand new truck every 10 years. My current truck is 3 years old (and only 15,600 miles on it).

3. One house is fine (especially since I just bought it 3 years ago). I'll VRBO for the vacation places. And I'll likely sell the house and move eventually. House has essentially doubled in value so getting out while the market is still hot might be the thing to do. Problem is I'd have to spend a lot more to live in the condo building I want to live in. Not interested in living somewhere cheap so I'll likely stay awhile. #firstworldproblems

4. Travel every year to place like Europe, Australia, or New Zealand. I also include a trip to somewhere in the USA that is far from our home that we want to see. --Ditto. I traveled extensively when I lived in California (NZ, Brazil, France, Hawaii - all multiple times and often a couple times a year). And - I get 6 weeks vacation and know a lot of people with two homes.

5. Just me and we have good insurance at my work.

6. Regular progress towards a good retirement I intend to take later in life (probably age 70) because I enjoy my work. --Ditto. I like my job and they pay me well. --I'm thinking of staying to the 35 year mark (since that would involve a very large monetary gift).

7. ====> Being able to have some control over a work environment is good and to be surrounded by pleasant or at least reasonable coworkers.<======= This is really important and I'm lucky enough to have it.

8. One thing that will definitely be included in my retirement budget is money for my hobbies - my bicycles and swimming and ice skating and season hockey tickets.
w
You're certainly in rarefied air for a Tennessean - but before I forget, you're from California, probably kept your CA salary, bought into a nice spot in east Nashville for what was then likely pennies on the dollar compared to a prestigious CA lifestyle, then that home appreciated handsomely and so has your net worth. You've ridden the best of the best appreciation, are a major beneficiary from the no income tax (you're likely high income), and have profited handsomely in this state, yet consistently complain about it.

The median HHI here in Kingsport is around $33k. We've had contracting gross metro product every year since 2012, and are less than 1% above the economic output we were before the recession - at this rate, we'll likely have regressed in absolute gross metro product over a decade come next year. Maybe we're a unique case of screw up, but I'd say the pattern holds true for most of Tennessee outside of metro Nashville. I know as a wealthy east Nashvillian, that this kind of situation is likely completely alien to you and your peers, but it's the case in the majority of this state.

How many overseas trips is the average person around here taking? None - most have probably overseas none to once in their lifetimes, much less annually. Most of my friends and peers cannot swing a trip to Florida so they settle for Myrtle Beach. I'm doing far better than the average here, but I cannot afford a trip to Oz annually.

Most middle aged to senior adults are woefully underprepared for retirement. Many cannot fund their own retirements adequately, much less able to start savings programs for family members a generation or two on down, like you've done with your great nieces and nephews.

The fact that one house is "fine" implies the financial ability to afford more than one place, perhaps quite casually. Most of my Tennessee friends are under $15/hr, can't qualify for a mortgage, and are paying rapidly increasing rents, seeing none of the equity that better off or luckier homeowners have been able to achieve. Rising rent keeps poor people poor - homeowners gain from equity and future predictability of fixed costs.

Health insurance is hard to come by in this part of the state, as most of the jobs are low wage and low skill, employees are fungible, so why give them benefits beyond the legal minimums?

Most folks have no control over their working environment because they are an average working stiff - again, fungible and disposable.

I understand your frustration sometimes, but the prospective of most metro of Nashville is so profoundly skewed compared to the rest of the state that folks need to step back and realize most of their statesmen are really hurting and not participating in the prosperity you are a part of.
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Old 12-15-2016, 11:18 PM
 
3,364 posts, read 3,072,611 times
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Quote:
a Tennessean - but before I forget, you're from California, probably kept your CA salary, bought into a nice spot in east Nashville
I'm not a Tennessean. You are correct that I am a Californian - temporarily in Tennessee.
I do not live in East Nashville.

Quote:
Maybe we're a unique case of screw up, but I'd say the pattern holds true for most of Tennessee outside of metro Nashville.
I was born and raised in a small town in the Midwest and I'm the first one in my family to have gone to college. My father was a mailman and never made that much money but he did pass on working hard and striving to be better. And he still has that attitude and it definitely stuck with me. My brother too, who never went to college, but has become very successful in his own right staying in our small town. We were never given anything but instead, busted our arses to get where we are. When I first moved to California I made a whopping $18,000 a year so I worked another part-time job at night just to try and get ahead. So you will have to forgive me if your "woe is me" act doesn't sit with me.
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Old 12-16-2016, 06:50 PM
 
Location: Florida
5,314 posts, read 3,062,069 times
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I am much older than a Boomer, but in my younger days we always had his and hers cars, a sailboat on a trailer that the whole family could enjoy, plus a camping trailer that we took from the FL Keys to Quebec with many side trips along the way. It made us more cohesive as a family, and it was fun.

We were never high rollers, but used our resources carefully. Our first camper was used and cost us $400 in 1969. A sailboat requires limited maintenance when stored properly and teaches more skills.
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Old 12-18-2016, 05:09 PM
 
Location: Colorado
79 posts, read 54,210 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CatHerder View Post
Not exactly. The Greatest Generation, my parents, had a great retirement. My Boomer husband and I can't touch it, despite having three more degrees and one more full-time job than they did. And three less kids. And paying off the credit card completely each month. And no international travel every year. And no expensive resort and cruise vacations twice a year. And no new car every three years. And consistently living below our means. Yes, we Boomers are living the good life, all right!
The "great retirement" and "doing better than the parents" are boomer stereotypes that don't fit many boomers I know, but we are mostly average, and the average middle of the middle class of any generation are doing less well every year. I (and many boomers like me) will never have the secure, affluent retirement of my Silent Generation mother and her friends, because I will not have the pensions and inheritances that they had - only what I can save on my average salary. An average salary does not provide multiple homes, cars, boats, RVs etc. without a load of debt, even for boomers. I realized (not soon enough!) that I could have stuff or I could have freedom - not both.

My American Dream is to save enough for a decent, if frugal life while having control over how I spend my life. I am debt-free, have a paid-off tiny condo, and save what I can. I can get there, assuming health stays good and crazy insurance prices don't chase me out of the country; and would never sell my freedom for boats and cars and more stuff (though I would love the vacations).
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Old 12-18-2016, 08:54 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
23,819 posts, read 17,734,769 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MissMischief View Post
The "great retirement" and "doing better than the parents" are boomer stereotypes that don't fit many boomers I know, but we are mostly average, and the average middle of the middle class of any generation are doing less well every year. I (and many boomers like me) will never have the secure, affluent retirement of my Silent Generation mother and her friends, because I will not have the pensions and inheritances that they had - only what I can save on my average salary. An average salary does not provide multiple homes, cars, boats, RVs etc. without a load of debt, even for boomers. I realized (not soon enough!) that I could have stuff or I could have freedom - not both.

My American Dream is to save enough for a decent, if frugal life while having control over how I spend my life. I am debt-free, have a paid-off tiny condo, and save what I can. I can get there, assuming health stays good and crazy insurance prices don't chase me out of the country; and would never sell my freedom for boats and cars and more stuff (though I would love the vacations).
Precisely. Those who have those amenities are upper middle class, at worst, to downright affluent and either not knowing it or posturing.
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Old 12-19-2016, 07:48 AM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
30,006 posts, read 54,769,813 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Serious Conversation View Post
Precisely. Those who have those amenities are upper middle class, at worst, to downright affluent and either not knowing it or posturing.
It really depends on the cost of living where you are, and where you move (if you do) after retiring. While I'm not quite at the median family income for our city ($160k) and we are not affluent, in fact that median income is just solid middle class here. Affluent is more like $250k or more. We surely cannot afford to stay here when we retire and our income is basically cut in half. At that point, however, the 3 cars will be paid off, and we'll have enough equity in the house to pay cash in a less expensive area.
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Old 12-23-2016, 12:09 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,798,299 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hemlock140 View Post
It really depends on the cost of living where you are, and where you move (if you do) after retiring. While I'm not quite at the median family income for our city ($160k) and we are not affluent, in fact that median income is just solid middle class here. Affluent is more like $250k or more. We surely cannot afford to stay here when we retire and our income is basically cut in half. At that point, however, the 3 cars will be paid off, and we'll have enough equity in the house to pay cash in a less expensive area.
Non-sequitur. Being at the median family income in a particular city does not ipso facto make one middle class. That is because whole cities can be affluent or poor. If they are large cities there will be a mix, of course. The city in which you live, as shown by its median family income of $160k, is a city of mostly affluent people. So is Beverly Hills, California. You are playing word games.
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Old 12-24-2016, 09:31 AM
mlb
 
Location: North Monterey County
3,224 posts, read 2,879,370 times
Reputation: 4947
I have 6 siblings.... we all - pretty much - encompass the Baby Boomer Generation - the oldest born in '43 and the youngest in '61.

We are NOT all alike in our ideals of what the American Dream means for each of us.

And we live all over the country/world.... so that changes our differences as well.

You cannot put it in a box and sell it.

It does mean different things to different people.
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