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Old 11-07-2016, 09:42 AM
 
9,459 posts, read 5,265,339 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by janedoe1972 View Post
I am a Generation X in a relationship with a Baby Boomer and my idea of The American Dream is so radically different than his. I don't believe you need a boat/RV or even to live in a house to be happy. You like your job, are content with your trailer/condo/apartment, have enough money for bills and savings as well as a little entertainment on the side, and have a family who loves you...THAT is my idea of The American Dream. But that isn't enough for my significant other. He just cannot bring himself to count his blessings and be happy. He says it has nothing to do with me...it is just something he is upset with himself about, that he didn't achieve HIS idea of success. He is even convinced that if we do not live in a house (with a mortgage, not a rental house) by the time our son is in school that other kids will make fun of him.
Not all Boomers have that particular dream. I never had it.
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Old 11-07-2016, 10:00 AM
 
13,932 posts, read 7,422,661 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by randomparent View Post
The top 5% nationally is $166k. While a comfortable living, depending on your metro, it's not enough to fund a yacht or vacation home, though you'll probably have a fairly nice car.
Top-5% household income in metro-Boston is $266K. 35 years of that and you have the nice house, the vacation home, and the other toys if you want them. It's not like you go out and buy a trophy home, a vacation home, and a yacht at age 30. You buy those things as you accumulate wealth.

Top 5% household income nationally is far higher than $166K. That was the 2009 Great Recession number. Try $190K for 2016. Welcome to income stratification.
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Old 11-07-2016, 10:03 AM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
30,687 posts, read 49,469,539 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheShadow View Post
... If you spend a little time on this forum, you will notice a theme...the folks who lived below their means during their employed years will have money saved/invested to live a nice retirement. Those who get in over their heads end up living on Soc Sec alone, or perhaps never being able to retire.
I agree.

When I was single. A few times I told my 'vision' of my future to whatever girl I was dating. It commonly resulted in that being the last date said girl would go with me.

One time after dating a girl for a while, I told her my goal. She said that she could see herself dedicating her life toward that same goal. That was in 1981. We got married that year.

Today we are both retired. We live on 150 acres of dense forest land, with river frontage. We have a large home that we built. We are on solar-power and soon to be solar-thermal heating. We are organic farmers. We raise pigs, poultry and honey bees. We sell honey, maple, fiddleheads, pork and a wide selection of herbs.

We have no debt, a few cars, a dump truck and a tractor.

I am not high income. I make roughly the same as flipping burgers [Minimum-Wage].





This was our shared 'vision' for our future.
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Old 11-07-2016, 10:04 AM
 
13,322 posts, read 25,574,131 times
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I think there is a big difference between people's individual dreams for their futures and a generic "American dream." Maybe those without imagination or strong sense of self just appropriate a vague image from advertising or something as to what "stuff" constitutes their hopes and dreams.

I always wanted personal control over the circumstances of my life- not to have to care for children or take orders from a money-bringing husband. I considered that whatever I chose was my choice, not necessarily a dream but a plan.

I never wanted a suburban life (had only seen dull houses and too big at that) in suburbs. I remember thinking, when living in pre-software Cambridge, "All I want is a nice studio apartment in a safe neighborhood and a reliable car, how much can that cost?" Fast forward to the real estate explosion in the whole area, and there's a new answer. So after fighting the real estate/rent control/psychotic neighbors/urban wars, I moved to a small town. Dream became a VERY modest paid-for three-room very beat-up cottage and a mobile home in mountain Colorado. Even more reliable car needed.

Figured out that I needed a job with a pension and stopped trying different things/dreams, going back to school etc., although I had gotten my RN at age 28 as a safety measure. Went back to an RN job for the fourth time and stayed there and am looking at a great pension in 2018. Little cottage fell apart and I had to build a new house. Built my dream house (small, custom contemporary) way more than I ever hoped for. Sold the mobile home because I couldn't figure out a way to spend summers 2200 miles from my job (and need a car and what about pets etc. etc.- all the issues of two homes, never mind 2200 miles apart).

So here I sit in my dream home, building my smaller retirement home 2200 miles away and will sell dream home, already have a buyer for 2018. Will drive reliable car and pets to retirement home and town.

Those are personal dreams that moved with the times and maturation. My American dream has always been from my grandparents who, on the Jewish side, moved to the U.S. to avoid being drafted for life in the Czar's army (thereby saving their descendants from the world wars in Ukraine and of course the Holocaust). So my American dream has nothing to do with accumulation and everything to do with social justice, equality before the law (the latter more related to being female than being ethnically half Jewish) and individual rights and responsibilities. Freedom from racism, working towards a betterment in society in whatever way available, both in employment and avocation (and charitable donations).

That's my American dream.
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Old 11-07-2016, 10:12 AM
 
Location: The analog world
17,086 posts, read 9,876,349 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeoffD View Post
Top-5% household income in metro-Boston is $266K. 35 years of that and you have the nice house, the vacation home, and the other toys if you want them. It's not like you go out and buy a trophy home, a vacation home, and a yacht at age 30. You buy those things as you accumulate wealth.

Top 5% household income nationally is far higher than $166K. That was the 2009 Great Recession number. Try $190K for 2016. Welcome to income stratification.
Which is close to our household income, and we haven't been earning that our entire careers. Just like nobody goes out and buys a trophy home, a vacation home, and yacht at age 30, very few average that kind of income over a lifetime of working.

Put simply, although we are within the top 10% for our region, there are no yachts or vacation homes in our budget, although we do have a paid off house and two paid off cars (one just over two years old and the other coming up on eighteen). The rest of our money goes to living expenses, retirement, and college funds for our children. Our lifestyle is nothing extravagant, although comfortable. We own a smallish three-bedroom house in which two kids shared a room (the oldest is away at college) that definitely would not make the cover of Architectural Digest. It's just a simple suburban tract house in a neighborhood filled with identical houses. If people are paying for vacation homes and yachts on $190k a year, then they're not putting anything away for the future. Although I have nothing to complain about, a couple hundred grand a year doesn't go nearly as far as you think it does.
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Old 11-07-2016, 10:32 AM
 
106 posts, read 89,942 times
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It sounds like your man is comparing himself to others, rather than being grateful for the things he has.

I think you hit the nail right on the head with that statement.

Also, I love apartment living...He abhors it. But we have no choice right now because the rent houses we can afford are in the crummy area of town. We cannot get a mortgage because his credit sucks and - although my credit is good - I have to build my work history back up (currently employed 22-30 hrs a week).
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Old 11-07-2016, 10:38 AM
 
13,322 posts, read 25,574,131 times
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^^^
Is his credit poor because of spending money he doesn't have? That sure isn't a dream come true. I agree with those who don't think his "boomer" age is the issue, but that he's absorbed advertising and imagery (my take on it) in place of a true sense of self.
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Old 11-07-2016, 10:50 AM
 
2,952 posts, read 1,641,144 times
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A boat is a hole in the water of which one pours money - former boat owner.


Nothing is worse than living with someone who is miserable.

Start a gratitude journal. Have him write down one thing a day, even if its that he got out of bed this AM. Soon it will be easy to come up with 10 things, his ife, his health, roof over his head, even if he doesn't own it. What ever other blessing he has. A great wife who is easy to please.
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Old 11-07-2016, 11:42 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
23,606 posts, read 17,589,896 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by randomparent View Post
Which is close to our household income, and we haven't been earning that our entire careers. Just like nobody goes out and buys a trophy home, a vacation home, and yacht at age 30, very few average that kind of income over a lifetime of working.

Put simply, although we are within the top 10% for our region, there are no yachts or vacation homes in our budget, although we do have a paid off house and two paid off cars (one just over two years old and the other coming up on eighteen). The rest of our money goes to living expenses, retirement, and college funds for our children. Our lifestyle is nothing extravagant, although comfortable. We own a smallish three-bedroom house in which two kids shared a room (the oldest is away at college) that definitely would not make the cover of Architectural Digest. It's just a simple suburban tract house in a neighborhood filled with identical houses. If people are paying for vacation homes and yachts on $190k a year, then they're not putting anything away for the future. Although I have nothing to complain about, a couple hundred grand a year doesn't go nearly as far as you think it does.
Honestly depends on the area too.

Around here, a 3BR/2BA suburban tract house will probably hit you for between $150k-$200k. You can find plenty of older, smaller homes for less than that.

There are plenty of gently used, nice cars for $10k. For someone making $190k, those cars would be easy to purchase in cash, avoiding interest charges.

Our property taxes here are very low (guesstimate is a little more than .5% of market value annually, so your $200k house would probably have property taxes of around $1200/yr). A similar house in a Chicago suburb might go for $500k-$600k with property tax bills well into the five figures. There is no state income tax. Gasoline, auto registration are also very cheap. Not everything is cheap (groceries are high) but total tax bill is low.

A family with a $190k could easily buy a nice boat and a reasonable vacation condo in Florida. They aren't going to be buying 100' yachts with plenty of beachfront in Naples, but it's doable.

In many areas though that $190k isn't going to go that far between high property prices, property taxes, and income taxes.
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Old 11-07-2016, 11:55 AM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,622 posts, read 39,986,663 times
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small % here want this: (not me).
"two cars, boat or RV, house that is paid off, etc"
http://www.city-data.com/forum/membe...y-flexible.jpg

Life / priorities / dreams / realities change. Be flexible or be miserable.
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