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Old 11-07-2016, 06:25 AM
13,320 posts, read 25,565,364 times
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My American dream,equality before the law.
Enough money to give some away.

Minimal stuff and less ego.
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Old 11-07-2016, 06:29 AM
Location: southwestern PA
20,419 posts, read 37,656,752 times
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Originally Posted by janedoe1972 View Post
Baby Boomers! Is your idea of The American Dream the traditional "two cars, boat or RV, house that is paid off, etc"?
Never was.
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Old 11-07-2016, 06:30 AM
Location: Location: Happy Place
3,696 posts, read 1,870,935 times
Reputation: 11331
We are baby boomers, born in 48 and 55, and we own one car and a house. We are happy. I will retire next year. No debt. I guess that is the American Dream.

I've always been a renter, but husband wanted a house, so here we are. I've grown to like my own house - less noise, more privacy, etc.
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Old 11-07-2016, 06:42 AM
Location: Divided Tribes of America
13,715 posts, read 5,524,666 times
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My dream is to escape wage slavery by retiring as soon as possible.

If that means living in a van...down by the river...so be it.
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Old 11-07-2016, 07:45 AM
568 posts, read 249,189 times
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I'm a semi-retired Boomer, no debt, always looking for a place located in a very safe, walkable city, close to a large medical center or university with lots of activities for retired persons, and with good public transportation. Wonder where I might find that? Maybe it's just a Utopian dream that does not exist!
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Old 11-07-2016, 07:49 AM
Location: Chicago area
14,407 posts, read 7,926,626 times
Reputation: 53535
I don't think there is a one size fits all of the definition of the American dream. Some people dream big, others dream of just getting by.

My dream doesn't include a boat, a fancy car, or a mansion. I do not want to rent because you have to conform to some one elses wishes on how to live in their property, and economically, it just doesn't make sense. Okay that Victorian mansion would be nice, and that new Porsche in the drive would be the icing on the cake. It's a fun dream that I could easily make a reality, but would I have to sacrifice the happiness of living here in Mayberry to have it? Even beautiful houses can be a prison.

My American dream never consisted of two kids, a white picket fence, and being a stay at home mom. Instead I have two dogs and a cat, a black iron fence that makes the front look like a mini grave yard, and lots of shorties that go home after our adventures. Perfect for me, not so much for others.
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Old 11-07-2016, 08:00 AM
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
29,806 posts, read 54,470,896 times
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At age 64, we have 3 cars, a modest boat, and a big house with a small mortgage. We can afford to eat out a few times a month and take nice vacations. None of that has ever been my dream, however. For me it was a comfortable and happy life, a loving wife to grow old with, having 2-3 kids that grow up to be successful, hopefully more so than us, and grandkids to enjoy watching grow up. We bought our first house at ages 26/25, I bought my first car at age 14, and other than a couple of difficult years in the recession, have never experienced a bad financial time. I have never dreamed of a paid off mortgage, simply because I would never expect to stay in the same home for 30 years. When we retire in 3-4 years we expect to sell and have enough equity to pay cash when we downsize to a less expensive area, but that's not something we dream about. We could keep the cash and rent, it's not a big deal either way.
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Old 11-07-2016, 08:09 AM
Location: Tennessee
23,587 posts, read 17,574,904 times
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Of course some of this is generational, but it still varies so much from person to person you can't paint with a broad brush.

IMO, renting often makes tenants poor. You have lots of restrictions that owners don't have, and often the supposed benefits of renting don't even materialize.

I rented for my two years in Indiana, and while it wasn't a nightmare, it was a hassle a lot of times. The heat pump was undersized and thirty years old, and had to run continuously to try and keep the apartment at 70 in the summer. This caused my power bills to skyrocket. Of course, I told the landlord and they said the unit was fine. If I owned, I could have a second company to look at the unit, or simply have it replaced. As a renter, I have no other option other than moving to accept what the landlord says.

I looked at a new townhome in a mixed development of units for sale and for rent yesterday. The townhome for sale was $99,000 and was a 2 BR/2 BA unit about 1,100 sq ft with a garage. Assuming 20% down, estimated PITI was $433/month. COA fee was $100/month. The unit rents for $995/month. Even if you assume a lower downpayment (say 5% conventional) and the COA fee, the rental unit is probably going to be a third more expensive the first lease term than the owned unit, and the rental is likely to get more expensive annually, while the owner has his costs mostly locked in.

For people with a normal income, I don't see how renting long term is sustainable. Many areas (read: places with good jobs) often have restrictive building codes (Bay Area, Boston, DC come to mind) of one form or another and high rates of population growth, so this leaves lots of people chasing a relatively static housing supply. My current area in Tennessee has had relatively little new housing construction, especially on apartments, and what new construction that is going up is mostly for rent as that's what is the most profitable to build. I have been looking for newer condo/townhome construction and all I'm finding is mostly units to rent, not for sale.

I love boating but have never been able to afford my own boat. Uncle owned a $100k cabin cruiser for several years and several smaller boats a couple of jet skis. There were about five years when I was in college or just had my first job out of college and would take the boats out myself - peaceful. I would rather join a boat club for $200-$300/month and have access to several boats without the costs of owning. I wouldn't want to own a boat.

The less outstanding bills you have, the better.
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Old 11-07-2016, 08:13 AM
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I never had any desire to own a boat even though I live very close to the Mississippi river. Always wanted a small RV and have that now. I live frugally but don't feel deprived. Then again I have never been much of 'keep up with the joneses type'
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Old 11-07-2016, 08:14 AM
Location: San Diego
1,084 posts, read 713,592 times
Reputation: 1350
The one with the most toys wins

While I wouldn't qualify for this I do own these all paid for.

2015 RV
2011 4x4 Truck
2007 SUV
2008 Sports car
2016 Golf Cart

Also own 4 houses with 2 of them paid for.

The cars are gluttonous and I know it. Besides the depreciation the annual registration and insurance is a splurge.

I got a very late start and didn't have much to speak of and like your SO was kind of depressed about it.
When opportunity knocked I seized it and held on tight. While I wasn't doing "bad" in my forties, wasn't going to have a very good retirement without any pension. Basically funded my retirement from age 51-59.
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