Friday, November 13, 2015

Is The American Dream Dead?

I keep hearing that the American Dream is dead. Do you think that is true? If you do, turn off your TV. Don't believe what you hear or read. The politicians nor most of the main stream media can't be trusted. They lie to you every day to further their own agendas. That is the reason, I have turned the news off in this house. While I drink my coffee, I quickly skim the headlines online to make sure we haven't been attacked overnight and to make sure the economy hasn't collapsed. Then I don't look at it again until the next morning.

Whether or not you achieve the American Dream is in your hands and your hands alone! When I was growing up the American Dream was to work hard, save your money and achieve your goals. We were raised with a work ethic. The harder you worked in your job, the more you would achieve promotions which meant more money for the family. I don't believe the definition of the American Dream has changed. 

I do believe that the average household income today is higher than it has ever been. There are now 2 income households which were unheard of when I was growing up. That all started in the late 1960's and the 1970's. Of course costs have gone up but not as high proportionately as they were in the 1970's and 1980's. 

The thing that is so different today is that people spend their money faster than they earn it. They live off of credit cards and other loans. It's very hard to get ahead when you live like that. You are not helping your bottom line. Instead you are giving  your money away to corporations who will gladly take it. Our ancestors  and even some of my generation saved the money and then they made their purchase. My grandparents saved the cash to buy their home. There were no mortgages back then. If you didn't have the cash, you didn't purchase anything. There was no instant gratification.

So if you want to achieve the American Dream, pay off your debt and save for your goals. I know you may think that it is hard to do. You are right, habits are hard to break. But if you want  a better life for  your family, do what it takes and break those habits.

Then start saving for your goals and watch your net worth snowball. Why should you buy stuff from the  big corporations and then pay interest on your credit cards for the privilege of owning the stuff? I will bet that most of what you are buying are not necessities and you won't even remember them 6 months down the road. Stuff that will end up in landfills, is given away to charities or that you put up for sale at a garage sale for pennies on the dollar. Why do you keep making someone else rich? Make yourself rich by getting rid of your debt. Interest never sleeps even when you sleep. Wouldn't you rather have your money earn interest or dividends for you than pay interest to someone else? 

I am routing for all of you....those who owe debt and need to pay it off and those who owe no debt and are saving for their goals. I want all of you to happily retire someday whether that be in your 30's or 60's. It's all up to you which you pick.

That said I am impressed at how many 20 year olds today are saving massive amounts of money to be financially independent in their 30's or 40's. It tells me that  a lot of people truly get it. That saving money means freedom down the road. If they can do it, all of you can. You may not be able to save 50-70% of your income but I bet you can save a lot more than you do now. Even starting with 10%  is a step forward. 

All of you can have the American Dream. You just have to set your goals and work for it.
  


 

2 comments:

  1. Hi AD, this is Chris. I loved this post and so agree with it. Since I was in contact with you last, we sold our house and moved to a different city to be closer to our children. My husband had his choice of 2 very good job offers at age 55, and we still live like we always did. We were not able to pay cash for our new home, which I had hoped we would be able to, but we took out a 10 year note and have been paying extra. We have lived in our home almost 2 years and the mortgage is 42% paid off. We are on track to have it paid off the year he turns 60. In Feb we paid cash to buy a new (used) car for me, I can't tell you how wonderful it felt to write that check at the dealership and not have car payments. We discovered the tax shelter that is the Health Savings Account. Anyone who has a high deductible medical plan should max it out every year. I had a major illness in 2016, but since we had been saving in the HSA and had just been paying our medical expenses OOP, the money was in the account when we needed it for a big thing. I definitely do not think the American Dream is dead, we are living it every day.

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    1. Hi Chris,

      Wow! You are dong terrific on paying that mortgage down. It is so freeing to pay cash for cars.

      It's nice that you are living near your children.

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