Skip to comments.The American Dream is alive but it will cost you $130k a year
Posted on 07/10/2014 2:17:48 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
The American Dream has been a focal point and topic of debate since the financial crisis of 2008: citizens and politicians alike are asking whether it's time to redefine what success looks like in the U.S.
According to Howard Gold, columnist for MarketWatch and founder of GoldenEgg Investing, the white picket fence and security that hard work can bring is still alive, but it will cost you... a lot. In a USA Today article, Gold calculated that for a family of four living out the American Dream costs just over $130,000 a year.
"This isnt about being rich, Gold tells Yahoo Finance. "Its about providing security and a good life for your children and opportunities for your children... this is probably what a good middle class to upper-middle class life in America would cost."
Considering that the average household in the United States makes $51,371 per year, it seems that the dream is unobtainable to most. In fact, according to Golds estimates only one in eight, or about 16 million, American households achieve this standard of living.
A lot of this is subjective, Gold admits. Costs vary according to location and ideals. "In Indianapolis or Tulsa your cost of living is much lower than if you live in New York or San Francisco where arguably living the American dream would cost a lot more than this," says Gold. I even got a Twitter comment saying, You should come visit us in Pennsylvania; were living the American Dream on $40,000 a year.
(Excerpt) Read more at finance.yahoo.com ...
Just get 5 part time jobs...Simple...Good luck scheduling the hours...I’m sure the employer at McWhopper will accommodate...lol
Where? New York is different than Des Moines. San Francisco is different than Dallas. Seattle is different than Tampa Bay. I could live real well here on $70,000 but would be a peon in Boston.
130 grand in a metro on either coast is subsistence wages.
Highly location dependent. The same house in different places can cost $130K or $900K.
Car expenses (2wd SUV and older sedan) $40
Medical expenses $300-500 (mine are $0)
Education (no kids) $0
Apparel $150, at most
At a $130,000 salary you pay at least 50% of that to various government agencies through one tax or another. So if you want to NET $130,000 make sure to work extra hard to make up the difference. Millions on welfare depend on you.
Heck. I paid nearly that much last year alone in various taxes and hardly took home anything above living expenses (very frugal I might add). That is a painful check to write every 3 months.
And still, no letter of gratitude from the scumbags that depend on my labor.
I have a very nice young couple renting a single-wide from me. They have non-skilled jobs at Wal-Mart. I offered to move them into a nicer place for $100 more per month. (I haven’t raised their rent in five years and my costs have gone up.) They have a TV that I can barely stretch my arms across. I’m thinking it cost more than $1,000 but I haven’t owned a TV in 20 years, so I don’t know. They have satellite to go with it. They keep this place air-conditioned whether they’re there or not at 74 degrees. They have two nice, new cars. They can’t pay another $100 a month. I’m thinking that with some careful management of the money they are making they could live much better, but they’ve made poor choices.
For myself, I looked at the $17,000 options and practically burst out laughing. A couple of grand at restaurants? Really? The only time I eat out is when attending meetings and then I eat only modestly priced entrees.
Today somebody in the gym saw me pick a quarter off the floor and asked why I bothered. I said, it’s about not letting opportunities lie unused. It’s a viewpoint that helps you focus on what’s important.
What’s a single wide?
” I could live real well here on $70,000 but would be a peon in Boston.”
Yep! I rented from 2001-2005. 3brs, $1700.00 a month.
If you have been able to keep the same renters in a single wide for 5 years, consider yourself lucky. Even renting at a discount has saved you money over the long run.
Imagine your damages and the loss of monthly rent if you had 7-8 different tennants tearing up the place and leaving you unpaid for months at a time.
Looking at your expenses for the basic necessities, You live in that part of Texas that is WAY CHEAPER than most other places in the country (comparing that from the list I just posted above ).
half a double wide.
Even Des Moines is more expensive, although not massively so, other than heat in winter. We’re on the outskirts of the 4th largest metropolitan area in the US, some would even say we’re in it.
I’ve been living in Aiken, SC since 2003. Prices here have consistently been 5-9% below the national average. I guess we’re ahead before we start.
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