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Tsuga

I want to know if I'm older or younger than the median age here.

Am I older or younger than average for this board?  

402 members have voted

  1. 1. How old are you?

    • Under 25
      2
    • 26-30
      3
    • 31-35
      37
    • 36-40
      83
    • 41-45
      80
    • 46-50
      95
    • 51-55
      65
    • 56-60
      27
    • 61-65
      10
    • Over 66
      0


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1 hour ago, marbel said:

 

As far as financials, we have been up and we have been down.  Unfortunately that's backwards for a comfortable retirement.  :smile:

 

We are in the same situation.  Started out as DINKS, savings, and a nice life-style, and we've fallen quite far.  When my DH was let go, very obviously due to age, he tried to consult for a few years but that is not quite working out how he'd hoped.  He was burned badly by his former employer, but is just now realizing he probably needs to give up the consulting dream and go back for a few more years of work as an employee.

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I just turned 50.

we are pretty financially secure, but a big reason is that we married later and had no debt and a small nest egg individually. 

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I'm 55. I only homeschooled for 5 years, but did both early elementary and high school simultaneously, so I'd visit high school and elementary boards, along with preschool (since I teach preschool and have an ed degree), the chat board, and the college board. That's why my post count is so high. Plus I needed lots of "life" support with my second son (who did not homeschool) and his needs. 

AFA income, Dh spent 8 years of our marriage in school, first getting a Master's and then his doctorate. We had lots of lean years. I only worked full time for 4 years of our marriage, and never when we had kids, so we've made financial compromises. We drive cars that are ~15 years old, have sucky furniture, and dress simply. One cool perk of his being an Episcopal priest, however, is that he will have 30 years next August and could retire. His pension is great, and he can continue to earn unlimited income and keep receiving the pension if he doesn't work as a priest or priests somewhere outside the province. That is a great thing! It's similar to military retirement. We do have debt, and have a daughter starting college in the fall, so we are not sitting pretty but the future is hopeful. I am grateful beyond what I can say. I guess I married well. :laugh:

 

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10 hours ago, Mergath said:

I'm 34. 

And I agree with Debbi that a lot of people don't want to talk about their income publicly. It seems like people in the $70k to $150k per year range are happy to disclose their income, but people making outside that range- either less or more- aren't as likely to discuss it. This is just my own observation, not any kind of actual data. I'm guessing that a lot of people who make more than that per year probably come from money and so were taught as children that discussing money is crass, and that people under that range (like me! lol) don't want to discuss it because it's depressing. 

When it comes to this forum specifically, the demographics seem to skew much older and wealthier than they do elsewhere. In the large FB homeschool groups I'm in, people seem to be younger, poorer, and- to be blunt- less educated than the people who hang out around here. We're like the Upper East Side of the online homeschool community. You all are a bunch of snooty homeschool elitists. :P 

That pretty much sums up my view of this board.  

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7 hours ago, Patty Joanna said:

And I will say without saying more...  You might be surprised at how things work out as you get older.  Things are really much more out of your control and perspicuity than you think.  Ask me how I know.  Am I *delighted*?  No.  Am I OK?  Yes.

 

 I'm less getting advice / forecasting here and more trying to figure out why sometimes I think "Am I living in an entirely different universe here?"

It's helpful to understand that some people who describe realities I've never seen and never will see, aren't trying to deliberately taunt people who face different economic realities, but simply don't realize how difficult things are. It does sometimes make you wish you were born years ago. The childhood my mom and her friends describe was far less stressful than mine or my kids'.

Where I live, most people are 10-15 years older than us and had kids older, but they understand the difficulties we face because they see it every day. Anyway, in our circle. We don't see a lot of people who think you could possibly be faulted for not buying a college education on a McDonald's salary. They understand how things have changed.

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The wide range of income here on the board seems normal to me.  Our local homeschooling group is quite diverse.   I have friends on both extremes of the economic spectrum, from the ones flying to Europe for the weekend to the ones struggling to even feed the family.  It doesn't surprise me at all to see that same disparity here.  

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20 minutes ago, Tsuga said:

 I'm less getting advice / forecasting here and more trying to figure out why sometimes I think "Am I living in an entirely different universe here?"

It's helpful to understand that some people who describe realities I've never seen and never will see, aren't trying to deliberately taunt people who face different economic realities, but simply don't realize how difficult things are. It does sometimes make you wish you were born years ago. The childhood my mom and her friends describe was far less stressful than mine or my kids'.

Where I live, most people are 10-15 years older than us and had kids older, but they understand the difficulties we face because they see it every day. Anyway, in our circle. We don't see a lot of people who think you could possibly be faulted for not buying a college education on a McDonald's salary. They understand how things have changed.

Well I’m one of those who is a big fan of working to pay for college, and my husband and I both did it to varying degrees, and recently.  But who said anything about McDonald’s?  We are talking working time consuming seasonal jobs with 10-12 hour days and per diem, like construction in the middle of nowhere.  Or in my case, I worked in the tourism industry with both a day job and a side job, and that wasn’t nearly as efficient as just flagging or working a cannery would have been.  

 

And while 30+k in a summer worked to pay for my husband’s degrees, these days the cost at a higher tier out of state school has outstripped what most of even those jobs could pay without loans or a very light courseload.  The inflation is ridiculous and untenable.  But I’m still a fan of my kids working through college and taking loans and getting scholarships and, hopefully, us being able to help a little too.  That’s not an out of touch person talking.  My last college class was less than three years ago.

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51 minutes ago, Tsuga said:

 I'm less getting advice / forecasting here and more trying to figure out why sometimes I think "Am I living in an entirely different universe here?"

It's helpful to understand that some people who describe realities I've never seen and never will see, aren't trying to deliberately taunt people who face different economic realities, but simply don't realize how difficult things are. It does sometimes make you wish you were born years ago. The childhood my mom and her friends describe was far less stressful than mine or my kids'.

Where I live, most people are 10-15 years older than us and had kids older, but they understand the difficulties we face because they see it every day. Anyway, in our circle. We don't see a lot of people who think you could possibly be faulted for not buying a college education on a McDonald's salary. They understand how things have changed.

Yes I sometimes have trouble sifting through the advice I get here because they just can't relate and they apply their experience to mine which is vastly different.  It makes me appreciate the saying 'birds of a feather' because yes, sometimes I just need my people to give me advice but I can't always ask my people for various reasons. 

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3 minutes ago, Tsuga said:

 I'm less getting advice / forecasting here and more trying to figure out why sometimes I think "Am I living in an entirely different universe here?"

It's helpful to understand that some people who describe realities I've never seen and never will see, aren't trying to deliberately taunt people who face different economic realities, but simply don't realize how difficult things are. It does sometimes make you wish you were born years ago. The childhood my mom and her friends describe was far less stressful than mine or my kids'.

Where I live, most people are 10-15 years older than us and had kids older, but they understand the difficulties we face because they see it every day. Anyway, in our circle. We don't see a lot of people who think you could possibly be faulted for not buying a college education on a McDonald's salary. They understand how things have changed.

I do think things are different today. I fully expect my kids to have to live with us for a time after they finish any post-secondary education. It wasn’t like that for my dh and I. We got educated, got jobs that made enough to support us and moved on.

On the COL side, I grew up in a high COL place. My parents were both working white collar jobs and still barely making it. We moved to a low COL state when I was 16 and overnight we were upper middle class.    I don’t think my parents would have ever done as well if we hadn’t moved. They could never get ahead. They did own a house in the high COL place and selling that and buying in a lower COL place worked out really well. They also moved my dad’s high COL salary to a lower COL place because it was a corporate move and the whole company moved.

My cousins who still live in the high COL place have a hard time. My dh and I live in a yet lower COL place than my parents and  we are doing just fine. 

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1 minute ago, scholastica said:

I do think things are different today. I fully expect my kids to have to live with us for a time after they finish any post-secondary education. It wasn’t like that for my dh and I. We got educated, got jobs that made enough to support us and moved on.

On the COL side, I grew up in a high COL place. My parents were both working white collar jobs and still barely making it. We moved to a low COL state when I was 16 and overnight we were upper middle class.    I don’t think my parents would have ever done as well if we hadn’t moved. They could never get ahead. They did own a house in the high COL place and selling that and buying in a lower COL place worked out really well. They also moved my dad’s high COL salary to a lower COL place because it was a corporate move and the whole company moved.

My cousins who still live in the high COL place have a hard time. My dh and I live in a yet lower COL place than my parents and  we are doing just fine. 

That’s pretty much exactly what we did.  It’s a one time boon but it can help with liquidating debt or getting ahead on an asset like a house.  You do tend to pay in longer term stagnation of the housing market and less modest gains overal in equity and salary compared to a more desirable area, but it really depends.

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Just the idea day I realized that I need to stop talking about when I first bought a house with my husband.  It was 1994 and I was 21 years old.  Neither of us had high paying jobs by any stretch of the imagination.  For a while, I’ve been linking my young age at buying a house with my ideas of how responsible and adult I was at that age.  

But when I think about it, it really didn’t have to do with how responsible and adult I was at that age as much as the economics of the time.  I was able to get a nice job with just a high school diploma, so I had no college debt.  My husband paid for his college on a Toys R Us job, so he had no debt either.  That is so far from the reality of how things are today that it’s laughable.  

And so, just a few days ago, I decided I’d stop talking about how young I was when I got a house, unless it’s to point out that times have changed a lot since 1994.

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This reminds me of the thread about hiring housecleaners because homeschooling was enough work. Ha

That would be dreamy to decide how much work was enough. :)  I don't blame anyone. I'd do it too if I could but I understand how shocking it is sometimes. 

Demographics are interesting but everyone has their own story. 

 

 

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12 minutes ago, Garga said:

Just the idea day I realized that I need to stop talking about when I first bought a house with my husband.  It was 1994 and I was 21 years old.  Neither of us had high paying jobs by any stretch of the imagination.  For a while, I’ve been linking my young age at buying a house with my ideas of how responsible and adult I was at that age.  

But when I think about it, it really didn’t have to do with how responsible and adult I was at that age as much as the economics of the time.  I was able to get a nice job with just a high school diploma, so I had no college debt.  My husband paid for his college on a Toys R Us job, so he had no debt either.  That is so far from the reality of how things are today that it’s laughable.  

And so, just a few days ago, I decided I’d stop talking about how young I was when I got a house, unless it’s to point out that times have changed a lot since 1994.

Well, yes and no.  Times are different and then again they aren't.  I can't speak to HCOL areas because I've never lived there. But in this LCOL area some kids have just stopped trying to make it on their own.  The example I have in front of me is my oldest dss.  He is making $14 per hour plus per diem.  So I am guessing he is  bringing home around $600 per week.  I can PROMISE you if I was a 21 year old single I could live on that in this area.  So why does he prefer to be crammed in his mom and step dad's house (taking the bedroom from his 17 year old brother) instead?  

The economy is somewhat different but I do also believe expectations and norms and gumption is different.

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Dh and I are both in our 40's, kids from 13 to 1.

Our economic demographic is a bit weird I find.  Dh is a civil servant, so solid salary but less than he might make privately, but very good pension etc that he'll fully qualify for at 55.  So he could potentially draw a pension and work at something else for 10  years and still retire on time.  However, most people in his demographic have a spouse working at a similar level job, and fewer kids than we do.  So we end up being very tight now, in the sense of savings is always starched, but it's also pretty secure and income will likely go up.  And compared to dh's coworkers who live on lakes and take fancy vacations every year, we generally go camping and live in a small house in a working class neighbourhood and drive very old cars.

It is weird how differences in experience can create a sort of gap.  Dh has a co-worker who is like that, they were talking about housing princes and she said something like "oh, but that's only $200,000 more, and it's better."  He pointed out to her that is more than the price we paid for our house, and she was flabbergasted.  Really though, gaps of experience exist all over, in terms of lifestyle.

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1 minute ago, Bluegoat said:

Dh and I are both in our 40's, kids from 13 to 1.

Our economic demographic is a bit weird I find.  Dh is a civil servant, so solid salary but less than he might make privately, but very good pension etc that he'll fully qualify for at 55.  So he could potentially draw a pension and work at something else for 10  years and still retire on time.  However, most people in his demographic have a spouse working at a similar level job, and fewer kids than we do.  So we end up being very tight now, in the sense of savings is always starched, but it's also pretty secure and income will likely go up.  And compared to dh's coworkers who live on lakes and take fancy vacations every year, we generally go camping and live in a small house in a working class neighbourhood and drive very old cars.

It is weird how differences in experience can create a sort of gap.  Dh has a co-worker who is like that, they were talking about housing princes and she said something like "oh, but that's only $200,000 more, and it's better."  He pointed out to her that is more than the price we paid for our house, and she was flabbergasted.  Really though, gaps of experience exist all over, in terms of lifestyle.

Yeah, we have been pretty much broke compared to my husband’s coworkers at his last two jobs.  They all pull similar or higher salaries but are older, with less kids, don’t homeschool, and the spouses usually work.  So their standard of living is waaaay higher than ours because we have more fixed costs and less overall income for the family, let alone per person.  

 

We do better comparing among our church friends and other homeschooling friends, where we have more demographic and circumstantial similarity than within the company.

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13 minutes ago, Scarlett said:

Well, yes and no.  Times are different and then again they aren't.  I can't speak to HCOL areas because I've never lived there. But in this LCOL area some kids have just stopped trying to make it on their own.  The example I have in front of me is my oldest dss.  He is making $14 per hour plus per diem.  So I am guessing he is  bringing home around $600 per week.  I can PROMISE you if I was a 21 year old single I could live on that in this area.  So why does he prefer to be crammed in his mom and step dad's house (taking the bedroom from his 17 year old brother) instead?  

The economy is somewhat different but I do also believe expectations and norms and gumption is different.

 

Personality is a factor too.  My cousin's son is a lazy butt, who moved back home after spending a student loan on pot, and then he tried a bunch of jobs he got fired from.  He makes his parents miserable.  His sister is a good kid and nicer to be around, etc, and would like to move out, but she can barely hold down a fast-food type job.  I don't know that they'd ever have been really different, other than if it was actually impossible for them to move home. Even then the older boy would probably end up on welfare.

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And as a point of reference in 1983 I was making min wage or near that in an office. Our first apartment was $155 per month.  No one was supplementing us in any way.  His old truck was paid for and I paid $50 per month on my car until it was paid off.  We did struggle....but we did it.  And we didn't even think about moving back in with a parent.  Never crossed our mind.  

 

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54 minutes ago, frogger said:

 

This reminds me of the thread about hiring housecleaners because homeschooling was enough work. Ha

That would be dreamy to decide how much work was enough. :)  I don't blame anyone. I'd do it too if I could but I understand how shocking it is sometimes. 

Demographics are interesting but everyone has their own story. 

 

 

The thread that made me laugh was about how much to save for retirement. We were assured that after the first $1,000,000 in retirement savings, it got much easier. Who would have thought? If only I had known that earlier! :dry:

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21 minutes ago, ..... said:

Yeah, some of our kids will no doubt end up living with us, too.  Either that, or we'll end up moving back into the apartment with whichever kids are left there - some jobhunting and one with a couple of years left in college. 

I asked my dh the other day if he thought we'd ever own a house again.  Without any hesitation, he immediately said, "No."  And if we can't get out of these high COL areas, he's probably right.  But at 62yo, he kind of has to go where he can get a job in his field.  Or switch fields and .....  

Oh, and the 2 who are talking marriage would be marrying people with significant college loan debt ($30k+ for one, and $57k+ for the other).  So 'marrying into' debt, even though our dc have none.  Such a mess ....

I have two in college right now.  two graduated, one with a doc.   that doesn't  seem that unusual for undergrad, but there are undergrad degrees from affordable schools that can make twice that in a year with less debt. (I have a nephew who had four job offers over $100k with nothing but an undergrad 10 years ago.   he'll be like his dad.  graduate from college - go work for big multinational corporation and stay there until he retires.  no- not the norm for most people.) . . . 1ds would have easily been in the upper range(or more) of your debt range if he'd gone to the school he'd have preferred - but he's at our state school and his debt load will be lower than the bottom of your range.

it is not minor for a grad degree. 2dd had $90K in debt for grad school in 2015 (it's paid off.).   and that was half of many of her peers. she paid instate tuition, she drove the old dirt cheap beater kid car, and lived places where she wasn't paying rent  (her charmed life.. . . she was house sitting for a doctor for almost two years so she had maid & yard service for which she didn't pay.  smh.  she always landed on free parking when their was money in the pot.)  - so she had fewer expenses than many of her peers.    My friend's dental student son - will easily have over $200K -$300K.  (not unusual for dental/medical students)

for us, when deciding how much school debt is acceptable, and how much is too much - we do take under consideration yearly income potential of a degree. 

yes - I do think you can make a decent income without a college degree.

sil's two sons . . .  one has multiple degrees incl. two MAs.    one is a high school drop out.   guess which one makes more money?   the high school dropout.   not even close.

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12 hours ago, PinkyandtheBrains. said:

43, today. 

 

Happy Birthday, Pinky! 

I'm 41 - we make an ok amount of money, but have big student loan debt from DH that I've decided will never be paid off. :angry: We're in a higher COL area as well in New England. Oh and we pay out of pocket for health insurance which ends up being between 20-25% of our gross income every year.

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I’m in the middle of the bell curve ;-)

When I first started homeschooling and got on the boards, we had three very young kids, a single income (army captain), lived in a 1300 sq ft 100-yr-old house, had no savings, had $17k still in student loans plus credit card debt, drove hand-me-down cars from family, and had just bought the house at the peak before the bubble burst. Not a terrible position to be in, and because we were modest and frugal we were happy. Fast forward 11 years and we are in a very different place wrt finances - we aren’t landed gentry but we are in a good place.  So for me, time/age (and good luck and good choices) can make an enormous difference. So I guess I’m saying I think the age question is germane to the underlying observations of finances.

I would tend to agree with remarks upthread about members (active members) of this board being generally older, with higher education, and in better financial positions, then Homeschoolers as a whole. 

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6 hours ago, Tsuga said:

 I'm less getting advice / forecasting here and more trying to figure out why sometimes I think "Am I living in an entirely different universe here?"

It's helpful to understand that some people who describe realities I've never seen and never will see, aren't trying to deliberately taunt people who face different economic realities, but simply don't realize how difficult things are. It does sometimes make you wish you were born years ago. The childhood my mom and her friends describe was far less stressful than mine or my kids'.

Where I live, most people are 10-15 years older than us and had kids older, but they understand the difficulties we face because they see it every day. Anyway, in our circle. We don't see a lot of people who think you could possibly be faulted for not buying a college education on a McDonald's salary. They understand how things have changed.

 

To the first bolded--I agree.  I'm edging into 61 and my youth was very different from my son's, age 22.  Our way of life has changed, and I knew that in the midst of it.  I did my best to give him a real childhood, but I don't run the universe and we don't live in an isolation tank.  Thank God.  Pressure from the outside came from all corners.  My mother (age 95, depression baby) sees the same difference in her childhood compared to mine.  Each elder generation had more freedom, but also more responsibility at very young ages.    

To the second bolded-- things have changed.  Both my dh and I were able to get through college on 15-hours-per-week work study, summer jobs and a *small* boost from parents or student loans.  We earned minimum wage--something like $3.50 and total tuition for the year was $2,100.  Now, minimum wage is $9-ish, and at the same ratio, tuition would be, what, $10,000?  Something like that.  HA.  HA.  HA.  Right.  I ate on $10 a week for food.  My rent for a craptastic apartment, shared, was $160 total.  But I could do it on minimum wage until I found my feet.  (But even then, when we went to buy our first condo after I married at 24, the interest rate for the mortgage was...sit down, it's a shocker...14%.  Do the math on a current mortgage and you will see what THAT does to your finances...)

What I *don't* get is the statements I hear from him and his friends:  "If I have to share an apartment (even with own bedrooms!) or a bathroom, I might as well live at home."  It's not *just* that things are hard to afford, a lack of drive toward independence and adulthood.  I'm not saying this is true of allll the young people I know, or even of my son, but collectively, I do see a difference.  Maybe we have made being an adult too yucky to want any part of it.  IDK.

Believe it or not, my 95yo mom "gets it," too.  She said as much--that "it must be a terrible time to come of age"...so many things have to be faced in stressful times...things she didn't have to face until she had her feet under her, or, in many cases, ever.  

I will say that I increasingly feel a stranger in the world...that it is getting beyond my ken--but I *can* do math (re: the above...)

Edited by Patty Joanna
Egregious grammar error
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I'm 62. On paper, we're quite flush, but we just gave away a LARGE sum to keep the ranch in agriculture. Thankfully, we only have 3 in college right now (was 8/9) last year! We've been married for 40 years, and only had 1.5 years that we had a "middle class" income. With a dh with terminal cancer, dd having another surgery, and me with the 3rd out of 4th eye surgeries, our medical bills are horrendous. Housing costs here are sky-high, but we bought in a low market. Thank heavens. 

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Dh and I are both 39.   Between my fibro and IC, I feel way older. 

We are middle class for our area.  We are in a very low col area though,  if we moved, we'd definitely be making much, much less.  Well, the same amount but it would not get us far at all.   We've owned three homes, so far, including one we built.  That sounds great but I bet if I told you our yearly salary, it would absolutely floor you.  In most places, this salary is not in the middle at all, it's low.   We're in Georgia, btw. 

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Money wise we are kind of weird. DH makes more money than most here but we have had seriously bad luck in real estate so we have a smaller nest egg than most.  Our area was LCOL when we moved here but housing is rising pretty fast you can still get something for 150k but it will be 1000sf and 50's.

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32 minutes ago, Margaret in CO said:

I'm 62. On paper, we're quite flush, but we just gave away a LARGE sum to keep the ranch in agriculture. Thankfully, we only have 3 in college right now (was 8/9) last year! We've been married for 40 years, and only had 1.5 years that we had a "middle class" income. With a dh with terminal cancer, dd having another surgery, and me with the 3rd out of 4th eye surgeries, our medical bills are horrendous. Housing costs here are sky-high, but we bought in a low market. Thank heavens. 

Medical just stinks :(

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8 minutes ago, OKBud said:

I'm 33 but I self-identified as a wizened grandmotherly figure who always has hard candy in her pocketbook. 

I would have thought you older than that.  :)  I guess you just seem wise.  :)

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I am 47 turning 48 soon.  DH is 56.  We have good income on paper.  But we live a middle class life style in a HCOL area.  And our cost of living on paper doesn't look as high as it actually is.  Some of the immediate higher end suburbs numbers more accurately reflect our living expenses.  We intentionally chose not to live in insulated suburbs.   The fact is my DH can not likely get work in a LCOL area.  

I can see both sides of the income discussions.   My DH's parents were blue collar.  He is first gen college grad.  I'm a first gen female college grad.  My father did graduate college but it took him like almost 10 years and he was working while he was going.  He went to a small cheap state school where he could also work a high labor job on the docks.  As someone beginning a college journey with a junior, I'm pretty shocked at some of the entitlement and privilege oozed over college selection.   I feel lucky we can even consider a 4 year college experience for our kids.  I also at least tangentially get the reality of modern poverty because I witness it every single day living in a city.  

My inlaws have enjoyed a really lovely retirement with comfort and travel on their blue collar income and pension.  That is just not reality any more.   One thing we do have is a decent nest egg for retirement and emergency savings.  Seeing first hand what college costs and admissions right now are like alongside friends who are needing to have aging parents move in with them even though they aren't at all in a place to be caretakers, I'm concerned we're going to have an aging population not at all financially prepared to retire.  

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6 minutes ago, FuzzyCatz said:

I am 47 turning 48 soon.  DH is 56.  We have good income on paper.  But we live a middle class life style in a HCOL area.  And our cost of living on paper doesn't look as high as it actually is.  Some of the immediate higher end suburbs numbers more accurately reflect our living expenses.  We intentionally chose not to live in insulated suburbs.   The fact is my DH can not likely get work in a LCOL area.  

I can see both sides of the income discussions.   My DH's parents were blue collar.  He is first gen college grad.  I'm a first gen female college grad.  My father did graduate college but it took him like almost 10 years and he was working while he was going.  He went to a small cheap state school where he could also work a high labor job on the docks.  As someone beginning a college journey with a junior, I'm pretty shocked at some of the entitlement and privilege oozed over college selection.   I feel lucky we can even consider a 4 year college experience for our kids.  I also at least tangentially get the reality of modern poverty because I witness it every single day living in a city.  

My inlaws have enjoyed a really lovely retirement with comfort and travel on their blue collar income and pension.  That is just not reality any more.   One thing we do have is a decent nest egg for retirement and emergency savings.  Seeing first hand what college costs and admissions right now are like alongside friends who are needing to have aging parents move in with them even though they aren't at all in a place to be caretakers, I'm concerned we're going to have an aging population not at all financially prepared to retire.  

I think dh and I will fall into that aging population not prepared to retire. It is why we work really hard at keeping our expenses down and having a paid for home.  So I guess in that sense we are preparing as best we can....we will not have much savings....too late for that first million.  ;)

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1 hour ago, Patty Joanna said:

 

To the first bolded--I agree.  I'm edging into 61 and my youth was very different from my son's, age 22.  Our way of life has changed, and I knew that in the midst of it.  I did my best to give him a real childhood, but I don't run the universe and we don't live in an isolation tank.  Thank God.  Pressure from the outside came from all corners.  My mother (age 95, depression baby) sees the same difference in her childhood compared to mine.  Each elder generation had more freedom, but also more responsibility at very young ages.    

To the second bolded-- things have changed.  Both me and my dh were able to get through college on 15-hours-per-week work study, summer jobs and a *small* boost from parents or student loans.  We earned minimum wage--something like $3.50 and total tuition for the year was $2,100.  Now, minimum wage is $9-ish, and at the same ratio, tuition would be, what, $10,000?  Something like that.  HA.  HA.  HA.  Right.  I ate on $10 a week for food.  My rent for a craptastic apartment, shared, was $160 total.  But I could do it on minimum wage until I found my feet.  (But even then, when we went to buy our first condo after I married at 24, the interest rate for the mortgage was...sit down, it's a shocker...14%.  Do the math on a current mortgage and you will see what THAT does to your finances...)

What I *don't* get is the statements I hear from him and his friends:  "If I have to share an apartment (even with own bedrooms!) or a bathroom, I might as well live at home."  It's not *just* that things are hard to afford, a lack of drive toward independence and adulthood.  I'm not saying this is true of allll the young people I know, or even of my son, but collectively, I do see a difference.  Maybe we have made being an adult too yucky to want any part of it.  IDK.

Believe it or not, my 95yo mom "gets it," too.  She said as much--that "it must be a terrible time to come of age"...so many things have to be faced in stressful times...things she didn't have to face until she had her feet under her, or, in many cases, ever.  

I will say that I increasingly feel a stranger in the world...that it is getting beyond my ken--but I *can* do math (re: the above...)

I remember the 14 percent interest rates very well. Fun times (not).

I do think it's very hard to be a youngish person nowadays. Very. But I also think many youngish people don't really know their history well enough to understand that all generations have had things to deal with. Some people seem to think the Boomers had it all handed to them on a platter, and as someone on the tail end of that generation I know it's just not true. I can remember gas wars, recessions, dot com busts and yeah . . . those interest rates. I think one needs to get a bit of age on them before they can understand that every generation has its struggles. Or at least I did.

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19 hours ago, StellaM said:

 

I skew the results by being old(er) and poor(er). No retirement for this 47 yr old! No home! No rental investments! 

Heading into the crone years asset-light, lol

Come sit by me.  We can be asset-light together.

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8 minutes ago, peacelovehomeschooling said:

Come sit by me.  We can be asset-light together.

Old and poor here also.  I do have a home, but that is about it.  :)  I mean in material things.  I have much to be thankful for.

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6 hours ago, frogger said:

 

This reminds me of the thread about hiring housecleaners because homeschooling was enough work. Ha

That would be dreamy to decide how much work was enough. :)  I don't blame anyone. I'd do it too if I could but I understand how shocking it is sometimes. 

Demographics are interesting but everyone has their own story. 

 

 

Wait, this was an actual thing?  About hiring housecleaners?  Because I know I'd joke about it, as would most people I know in real life. But in real life the homeschool moms ARE the housecleaners, earning some extra money that way on the side, or else bartering cleaning service for some sort of lessons.

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46 minutes ago, Scarlett said:

Old and poor here also.  I do have a home, but that is about it.  :)  I mean in material things.  I have much to be thankful for.

Like you, we do have a home (that we will be paying the mortgage on for many more years) and so much to be thankful for.

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1 hour ago, Scarlett said:

Old and poor here also.  I do have a home, but that is about it.  :)  I mean in material things.  I have much to be thankful for.

 

I am family rich, so that is good. I am daily thankful for that. Some good friends too - worth their weight in gold. 

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12 minutes ago, StellaM said:

 

I am family rich, so that is good. I am daily thankful for that. Some good friends too - worth their weight in gold. 

 

I'm doing ok, middle class as far as material goods. But soooo extrordinarly wealthy with friends and family. They have my back; I have theirs. Life is good.

 

I'm so thankful for them and they make wealthy. I hope to be able to share even more of myself time and money when some of my birds leave the nest.

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Honestly, there has always been crazy hard workers and lazy lounge arounders. People who make bad decisions and people who follow conventional wisdom but still have bad luck. People who just happen to be in the right place at the right time but didn't do anything special. I don't see this generation as any different. Some kids are hustling like crazy and others are playing video games. I'm sure we can all think of someone from either description in every generation we have had contact with. I have one nephew who is loopy and lazy and will probably end up on welfare. Most kids I know go to school or vo-tech or start an apprenticeship and are working reasonable hours. I know quit a number of teens and twenties working their rear end off and might be labeled overachiever, driven, or what have you. 

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I turn 51 soon. My finances are screwed as I've been in college for 5 years and headed toward 2 years of graduate school (with funding, however). I'm focusing on stability at this point as I'll work up to the point in which I can't. 

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9 hours ago, Arctic Mama said:

Well I’m one of those who is a big fan of working to pay for college, and my husband and I both did it to varying degrees, and recently.  But who said anything about McDonald’s?  We are talking working time consuming seasonal jobs with 10-12 hour days and per diem, like construction in the middle of nowhere.  Or in my case, I worked in the tourism industry with both a day job and a side job, and that wasn’t nearly as efficient as just flagging or working a cannery would have been.  

 

And while 30+k in a summer worked to pay for my husband’s degrees, these days the cost at a higher tier out of state school has outstripped what most of even those jobs could pay without loans or a very light courseload.  The inflation is ridiculous and untenable.  But I’m still a fan of my kids working through college and taking loans and getting scholarships and, hopefully, us being able to help a little too.  That’s not an out of touch person talking.  My last college class was less than three years ago.

It's not directed at any one person,certainly not you in particular. 

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22 minutes ago, frogger said:

Honestly, there has always been crazy hard workers and lazy lounge arounders. People who make bad decisions and people who follow conventional wisdom but still have bad luck. People who just happen to be in the right place at the right time but didn't do anything special. I don't see this generation as any different. Some kids are hustling like crazy and others are playing video games. I'm sure we can all think of someone from either description in every generation we have had contact with. I have one nephew who is loopy and lazy and will probably end up on welfare. Most kids I know go to school or vo-tech or start an apprenticeship and are working reasonable hours. I know quit a number of teens and twenties working their rear end off and might be labeled overachiever, driven, or what have you. 

 

2 hours ago, GailV said:

Wait, this was an actual thing?  About hiring housecleaners?  Because I know I'd joke about it, as would most people I know in real life. But in real life the homeschool moms ARE the housecleaners, earning some extra money that way on the side, or else bartering cleaning service for some sort of lessons.

Well, yes. I would say that in some cases if a family makes enough and there are enough kids they would stop arguing over the pile of laundry and hire someone to do it.

My intent was to understand people's thinking about economic and demographic realities, not their personal incomes. What "ought to be" versus, "what I have". 

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11 minutes ago, Tsuga said:

 

Well, yes. I would say that in some cases if a family makes enough and there are enough kids they would stop arguing over the pile of laundry and hire someone to do it.

My intent was to understand people's thinking about economic and demographic realities, not their personal incomes. What "ought to be" versus, "what I have". 

See I think we run into trouble when we start thinking things "ought to be" a certain way. Every situation is different, circumstances are different, luck is different. There really is no ought to be, there is only what actually is. It's the only thing that is real. "Ought to bes" leave us dissatisfied and disgruntled. That is if I am understanding your meaning correctly, which I may not be. 

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And...on the other hand, one of the young people in my life just got a paid internship (that didn’t happen in my day) for 10 weeks in the summer before his senior year and he will be paid (spelling it out so you know I’m not a bad typist) twenty-four thousand dollars and free housing, free transit vouchers.  If it goes well, he will get a job offer in the one-hundred-twenty-thousand dollar range with a twenty thousand dollar moving package. 

(And to think I moved home from college in the back of a 1976 Honda Civic hatchback with room to spare and had to borrow the money for the gas. :::eye roll:::)

This is not the norm—I know that.   But he is not the only one of my son’s generation/ friendslist for whom this has been the case.

Another of my young friends is graduating debt-free with low-income grants and grades-based scholarships.  

Another  of my young (20yo) friends is working 30 hours a week at Walgreens, living at home and going to school half time but year-round   He’ll take 6 years to get his degree, but he will be debt-free.

I have some mid-20s friends who are dealing with huge debt ...but they are dealing with it. I see their short-term indentured servitude—but also their determination and I know they will be fine. 

My point is that there’s not one broad brush that paints a picture that everyone has to live into.   There are patterns and trends. 

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33 minutes ago, scholastica said:

See I think we run into trouble when we start thinking things "ought to be" a certain way. Every situation is different, circumstances are different, luck is different. There really is no ought to be, there is only what actually is. It's the only thing that is real. "Ought to bes" leave us dissatisfied and disgruntled. That is if I am understanding your meaning correctly, which I may not be. 

 

I agree, that's why I'm looking for perspective. 

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44 minutes ago, scholastica said:

See I think we run into trouble when we start thinking things "ought to be" a certain way. Every situation is different, circumstances are different, luck is different. There really is no ought to be, there is only what actually is. It's the only thing that is real. "Ought to bes" leave us dissatisfied and disgruntled. That is if I am understanding your meaning correctly, which I may not be. 

 

The battle between what I had in mind and what is has been the biggest challenge of my life.   I know you understand why it matters  to me that i not win the wrong battle—getting my way could be the very worst thing for my soul.   Let alone for everyone else.  

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