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Old 11-06-2016, 08:41 PM
 
106 posts, read 89,714 times
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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.
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Old 11-06-2016, 09:19 PM
 
Location: The Berk in Denver, CO USA
14,013 posts, read 20,317,250 times
Reputation: 22724
Am a Boomer. Age 68.
Happy with life, marriage, health, expectations for the future.
1 car for 10 years now. Great.
No mortgage for 5.5 years. Own house.
Never owned a boat. Never wanted to own a boat. Or, a 2nd house.
Great neighbors who are also friends.
Walk everywhere.
Eat great meals cooked at home. Drink wine everyday.
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Old 11-06-2016, 10:40 PM
 
Location: Haiku
4,056 posts, read 2,566,050 times
Reputation: 5975
I don't think the American dream has much to do with the details of the dream, but has more to do with good old fashioned competition. Nobody wants to feel like a laggard and if all your friends (which is mostly your generation) are buying a bunch of useless stuff, then you feel like you gotta keep up so you buy useless stuff too. Or you look like you can't hack it which for many people is a humiliation.

So, bottom line is I don't think you're going to win this argument on logic. Your boomer beau is a victim of his generation's ethos.

BTW, I am a boomer and have some useless stuff but not a boat or an RV.
My weakness is serial remodeling of the house. I am always improving it. Perfection is elusive.
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Old 11-06-2016, 11:19 PM
 
Location: Planet Woof
3,139 posts, read 3,504,154 times
Reputation: 9889
I can't see generalizations like this about any ''generation'' having any real merit.
That's him, not all ''Baby Boomers''.
Many of us ''old hippies'' were anti-materialistic And our ideal was to live simply off of the land.
Uh-huh.
That's your man and if you two are so far apart value and goal-wise, then maybe that's the real point here, not some pre-conceived notion of why he is like he is.
I doubt he'll change so work it out or move on! LOL
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Old 11-07-2016, 04:58 AM
 
Location: Eastern Tennessee
2,533 posts, read 1,822,304 times
Reputation: 6630
I always understood the American Dream to be that you can rise above your current socioeconomic level by education and hard work. And that the government fostered this by offering a superior education system and an environment favorable to the worker.
By that definition the American Dream may not be dead but it is certainly in the ICU on life support.
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Old 11-07-2016, 05:14 AM
 
2,442 posts, read 2,067,677 times
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The American dream is different for everyone. When I was young it was a full tank of gas and a 12 pack of beer. Of course things changed and it became a full tank of gas and a 30 pack
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Old 11-07-2016, 05:22 AM
 
6,212 posts, read 4,715,040 times
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I don't own a boat and never had much desire for boating. The house, two cars and RV are part of my life. I never enjoyed renting, especially apartments. It seemed they were always noisy, too small and with too many restrictions. With a house I spend less and get more including a garage for a workshop and hobby area, including a yard large enough for me to practice archery, including a clean hobby room in the basement. I can hang pictures, remodel and do what I want. I also don't need to worry about the landlord selling the property or not renewing the lease. I did not think we would still need two cars in retirement. I was wrong. My wife does Yoga, belongs to a poetry group and participates in many activities that I don't care for. With a second car I can pursue my own interests or just run errands when convenient. The RV is a whole other matter. This is the first year it has not been used once. For the first 2 years of retirement I was full time in the RV and we did not own or rent. I traveled throughout the West visiting national parks and other areas of great beauty. This coming summer I will take off again and expect to travel for at least 6 months. RV living is a basic part of my retirement life.


When I worked I worked hard to be able to afford my toys and extras. Mostly I worked to support the family and provide for college education for the kids, and their first cars, and weddings, etc. I have never been content just to get by. Most of us need to work hard just to survive. Putting in a bit more effort and following ambitions can be rewarding in terms of accomplishments and financial success.
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Old 11-07-2016, 05:43 AM
 
Location: Pennsylvania
16,334 posts, read 10,324,206 times
Reputation: 28449
I agree with FeelinLow- It's more the individual. Some are competitive so whatever they see others buying, they want too. It's called keeping up with the Joneses.

Others can be be satisfied to set their own goals, their own standards.

I doubt the competitive people will ever have enough.


and just for the record, I am a Baby Boomer-age 67.
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Old 11-07-2016, 05:43 AM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
4,830 posts, read 4,940,887 times
Reputation: 17289
Quote:
Originally Posted by grampaTom View Post
I always understood the American Dream to be that you can rise above your current socioeconomic level by education and hard work. And that the government fostered this by offering a superior education system and an environment favorable to the worker.
By that definition the American Dream may not be dead but it is certainly in the ICU on life support.
For me the American Dream is not about acquiring material stuff but about opportunity and the ability through hard work to attain freedom and choices in life.

There are many stories out there of the immigrant family coming to America and initially working jobs like doing laundry, helping out in the family restaurant, driving cabs, etc. They work very hard and they emphasize education. Their kids get top grades and graduate from excellent schools.

Those kids find professional job opportunities in Engineering and Medicine.

Then their kids do a repeat and many of them do even better.

That's my vision of the american Dream. As stated in The Declaration of Independence,

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

The key word there is "pursuit." No guarantee or free lunch. You need to get off the couch and push. But if you do that, you have a chance at actually achieving The American Dream.
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Old 11-07-2016, 06:10 AM
 
Location: Planet Woof
3,139 posts, read 3,504,154 times
Reputation: 9889
I am 61, rent, own an old beloved car, no RV or boat, and largely happy just to be healthy and loved.
And a Baby Boomer!
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