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


Tsuga
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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17 minutes ago, Tsuga said:

 

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

 

Perhaps the perspective that you were looking for is that the older you are the more time you had to save?  At least, that's what I was thinking orginally.  It is somewhat a given that you have more when you are 60 then when you are 20. I realize life happens and it doesn't always work that way but as a general trend it tends to. 

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Just the family income alone is hard to tell though. My parents have pension and health benefits which means they can be very generous in cash gifts for my kids and my niece (only sibling’s only child).  My in-laws are in subsidized housing and their expenses are very little. Their social security equivalent are able to more than cover their food and utilities expenses.  They are still in very good health so medical cost is negligible. Whatever cash my husband and his siblings give them is spent on traveling and other splurges. 

So I won’t be in the sandwich generation but my husband would be when his parents health start failing. FIL has many siblings to share the medical cost of FIL’s mom. My husband has two siblings and one is unemployed and still job hunting. 

We aren’t homeschooling by choice but because the other options aren’t viable. So my homeschooling budget end up being higher because private schools are the backup plan. If we have intended to homeschool from the start, we won’t have budgeted so much for outsourcing academics. My parents also help with homeschooling expenses. 

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1 hour ago, frogger said:

 

Perhaps the perspective that you were looking for is that the older you are the more time you had to save?  At least, that's what I was thinking orginally.  It is somewhat a given that you have more when you are 60 then when you are 20. I realize life happens and it doesn't always work that way but as a general trend it tends to. 

 

No it's not though. That's what I'm getting at. That's how it's "supposed" to work, but that's not how it does work, and the perspective I'm looking for is, "what truth have people learned about how the world works to give the advice they do".

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18 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.

 

I don't know, my mom vividly remembers VERY lean times and complicated dynamics in her childhood.  HER parents were kids of the Depression.  While my parents managed to raise kids on non-degreed jobs and still manage some perks, it was definitely a stressful juggling act.

I tend to feel like I can't talk about economics without feeling either rude or stupid. Dh and I remind ourselves every day how fortunate we really are, but that notion is hard to hold onto when sitting down to tackle the bills.  And that's as a couple + toddler who started out on completely empty bank accounts and a credit card.  I cashed in some of ds's savings bonds for food that first year.  Taunting isn't something I would ever intentionally do!

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I turned 52 last week.  My body feels it.  A few weeks ago I went to a lighthouse and decided to climb it.  By the time I got to the top my legs were jelly.  By the time I got down my knees were killing me.

Income.  I don't give specifics.  I went back to work 2 years ago, and it has allowed us to pay for college for the kids.  

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I'm very officially in my mid-50's -- but feel like I'm in my mid-30's on most days, so there's often a bit of a disconnect for me!

Our income is vague.  My dh was forced into early-retirement at age 50.  He happened to have a nice business at the time, which we sold a few years ago.  We don't have any debt, and can do most things we really want to do.  We're pretty fortunate despite our misfortune.

We struggled a lot early on, financially -- for years, actually.  That was mostly due to the fact that we started having kids around the time that my dh went back to school, and then back to school again, and then again.  :D  A perpetual student!  And then started a new business which is always a struggle at first.  Fortunately it was at a good point when we were forced to sell.

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8 hours ago, Tsuga said:

 

No it's not though. That's what I'm getting at. That's how it's "supposed" to work, but that's not how it does work, and the perspective I'm looking for is, "what truth have people learned about how the world works to give the advice they do".

The “truth about how the world works” is going to be different for each person because of their individual experiences. Demographics won’t really get you there. My parents and my dh’s parents were raised in the 1940’s and 50’s. They are all white. Based on those demographics, you would never think that 3 out of our 4 grandmothers worked outside the home, but they did. The only one who didn’t had 11 children, so she was working, just not paid. The “truth” that all white women with children stayed home in that time was not true for them. Many people see their truth as the truth about how the world works, though. But truly, each of us can only speak to how it worked for us.

Also thinking about “ supposed to’s” leads to discontent. There’s simply no such thing and I think we do people a disservice when we act like there is. Here’s an example, my dh and I bought a house based on our salary and expenses. Within a few years, health insurance companies decided that their subscribers now had to do more cash sharing and meet the deductible before coinsurance kicked in. That one change dramatically changed our expense picture, especially as deductibles have continued to rise. Salaries also have not continued rise. We haven’t been able to do as much to our house as we were “supposed to” be able to. I can look at the old carpet and windows that need to be replaced, etc and get angry that we can’t or I can shrug my shoulders and move on. Maybe someday we will, maybe we’ll have to take less for our house when we do sell it. I can look at my in-laws who just built an enormous luxury home and wonder what we did wrong or I can say, hey that’s great, sometimes good people get good things. Life is simply not fair. I have things due to dumb luck and good timing and other people have things I don’t for those same reasons. Lots of people don’t have any of the things because society is rigged against them and many people don’t see it.

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I'm 62. I had ds at 41, long after we had given up and therefore weren't taking any precautions. This affected our finances but not to the point where we have money trouble. Dh doesn't have a degree but always made more than I ever could as a teacher. Still, his not having a degree has held him back in his field (aerospace industry) and he'd have been able to do more and make more if he had finished college. He was taking classes when his ex dropped dss off and told him he could have him. Suddenly becoming a single dad with no child support from the mother, affected his ability to finish college both financially and logistically. Dss was a teenager when I met dh and by then he was well set in his job and was not going back to school. 

We're comfortably middle class and will be fine when he retires. He has a good 401K. My teacher pension is small but will help. The only issue will be where the stock market is when he is finally able to retire. We're in the process of getting our house ready to sell so we can downsize (we already downsized once after ds was born). We're behind on this kind of action because of raising a child when most people are already launching a child. Ds is in community college and we're paying, but he will likely stop after getting his A.A. because he isn't sure what he wants to do. He has had trouble finding a job. There are plenty of skilled unemployed people in our area who don't have to arrange a work schedule around a class schedule and employers would prefer someone who has more availability than ds does. He only recently found one after looking for months (he was laid off from his last job last summer) and this new job is nearly an hour drive. That will cut into his pay even with a car that gets good gas mileage.

We're older (obviously). We grew up in a time when you could work your way through college. When you could move out and even go to college while not living at home (and I don't mean in a dorm). However, we recognize that things have changed and what was true for us, or even for dss who is 40, is not true for ds. 

 

On 4/27/2018 at 11:11 AM, 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.

Wow. 30+k for a summer job? Was this in Alaska? There is no way a student will find a summer job that will pay that much anywhere around here. Florida's minimum wage is slightly higher than the federal minimum and many employers will pay $10-$12 an hour but will only give the employees 15- 20 hours a week. You can't move out on that kind of pay. You can't work your way through college on that kind of pay. And you certainly can't do both on that kind of pay. 

 

On 4/27/2018 at 11:35 AM, Garga said:

 

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.

Yes, they have. And until we start realizing that we aren't doing young people any favors by telling them about "back in my day" or suggesting they just pull themselves up by their boot straps.

On 4/27/2018 at 10:52 AM, 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'm among those who are 10-15 years older and had a child older than most of the people I call friends. Dh and I are also among those who understand how things have changed. 

There is an awful lot of subtle and not so subtle millennial and post-millennial bashing in this thread. 

 

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OK, so age-wise we are on our 40s.  Income....well....I have a very different few of it.  For a number of reasons.  I will say this - what I was sorta kinda planning when I was in my early 20s is what kinda sorta happened.

If the point of this thread was to find out where people are coming from while giving their opinions, here is where *I* am.

My family came to his country with nothing.  We had $800 and were given a subsidy for an apartment and food for 3 months.  After that, we were on our own.  I didn't like school but knew that I had to get a degree so I could always, no matter what, support myself.  I picked a very practical major.  I paid for it by working while going to school. My husband's story is different as he was born here.  While his family was /is poor, I have no sympathy bc I think a lot of it was their own doing.

We married in our 30s.  I had savings, he had debt.  But!  We both had professional jobs and I absolutely refused to even say the word "kids" until most of the debt was paid off, bc we knew that we wanted me to be SAHP.

But when giving advice, making suggestions I very much remember a few things:

1.  I got lucky in a sense that I loved my jobs, i.e. my "practical" major in college didn't become the job I hated later. 

2.  Unlike the movie Love Story, where she paid for his Harvard Law Degree by giving music lessons, my kids won't be able to do what I did and pay for college by working 30 hrs/wk  (well, may be if they are exotic dancers or something).  I was a teller.

3.  Even though I just missed 10 out of the most "earning" years, I was still able to find a job in my field.  Not for as much money as I was making, but still.  Not everyone is able to do that.

4.  After completing my 3rd tax seasons and seeing HUNDREDS of people W-2s and 1099s I can tell you - income is not everything!  And even though I got slammed on here awhile back when I said that even making $300K-$400K doesn't make someone rich, it really is true.  So much depends on a large variety of factors.  And COL is just one of them.

I think comparing ages vs income vs circumstances, while might be fun is fairly futile bc there are just way way way too many variances.

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On 4/26/2018 at 8:14 PM, Tsuga said:

 

...but also, if you finished college in the 1980s you might be thinking "oh student loans and working part time will be no problem for my child going to a public uni in a major metro area". ..

Unless you're currently putting your own kids thru college at the same public university you graduated from back in the 1980s, and tuition is 20x (not an exaggeration) more expensive today than it was back then... ;) I can guarantee you I'm not thinking loans and part time work is a good idea or a reasonable way to get DS#1 through college. :)

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I turn 38 this year.  

I've been married since I was 21.  My husband and I are about the same age and both came into the marriage as college students.  

At 27 we were upwardly mobile and had bought a house in a HCOL area.  

At 37 we aren't impoverished but we don't feel financially secure and we are renters who are unsure of when we will get back into the real estate market.  We are responsible, reasonably well-educated people who take care of our extended family and don't have any vices stronger than caffeine or chocolate but life has sent a lot of punches our way over the years that ALL have had economic opportunity costs.  

If we didn't have children or we had children with fewer developmental needs, things would be very different economically but of course, we wouldn't trade our children for all the tea in China.  We are pretty attached to these boys.  

I could see, easily, what it would take for us to end up homeless or in a much worse place economically.  I roll my eyes at the financial advice of well-off people who don't have a personal experience with poverty or who have generally had life proceed with only an average (if even that) number of punches with economic opportunity costs.  I got my first job (where I filed a tax return) when I was 12.  I come from deep childhood poverty.  I am an accountant.  No one stretches a dollar or balances a budget better than I do.  

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16 hours ago, Tsuga said:

 

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

 

I think that what you are seeing is a kind of personality quirk, that is just the way some people are.  They tend to be very concrete thinkers and not super imaginative.  I don't think it's just limited to people who have more money or economic options, it just may seem a little more obvious because of the circumstances where it comes up.

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This board definietely skews higher income and on the older side for homeschoolers. People also skew more intelligent. I am younger and much lower income then the norm here and in a higher income area with crappy health insurance. If it is hard for people making good money in high income areas, it is even worse for those that are not. I definitely feel that people here are living very different lives then me and have a very different perspective.

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I'm from Seattle.  A lot of my friends worked in Alaska during the summers back in 1998 or thereabouts.  

At $30/hr one needs to work 1000 hours to earn $30,000. Over a 12 week summer, that's 83 hours a week.  Most of the people I know who worked the summers in Alaska were paid by the week, not the hour because no one wants to pay overtime.  It was a lot of money but it was NOT $30,000 for just the summer.  Not even close.  And when the economy went south, a lot of such summer jobs for college students dried up because employers could get experienced adults for the same or less money.  

In college in 1998, my jobs paid $12-25/hr. Well, I had one job that paid less than that for a year but it came with a nice apartment. I was working waaaay too much and I seriously hope my kids don't have to work that many hours in college.  Work, yes.  Work all the time?  Not if I can help them avoid it.  My career advancement would have been better post-college had I been able to take some low paid but interesting internships rather than always needing work-a-day jobs to get by.  It was pennywise and pound foolish for me to work so much in college.  My friends who didn't work as much in college, who did the interesting internships, advanced much faster and were earning a lot more than me 5 years out of college.  

 

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Really you can't say seasonal jobs pay this or that. They are all different from minimum wage to fishing (which is usually payed by share so can range widely) to weekly paid cooks for guides to Federal or State employees for parks. Some of these have vastly different pay rates.  When working the slime line you do get overtime when the fish comes in and that's where you make the money. In fact, the jobs that people hear pay best is usually because overtime is required and you work a lot of it. 

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1 hour ago, Arctic Mama said:

 

It makes my heart super happy that you know what the slime line is :tongue:

 

Ha, I think I'm the only one of my maternal siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins that escaped the slime line. I went for camp cook at a gold mine and peeled and sanded logs all one summer. Work was simple- all day everyday. 10-12  hours 7 days a week. Slept the best ever. It was the least stressed, healthest time of my life. But back to the originally scheduled programing. 

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I was raised by a single mother who worked her butt off and had to start all over again numerous times after leaving abusive men. Dh is first generation from immigrants who escaped from poverty in former communist eastern Europe. We are both used to lean times.

Dh and I married straight out of high school. We both worked teenager jobs from age 15. We both worked while going through university/training and rented our own small place, we were pretty terrible at saving. We both dropped out of our degrees and worked full time instead (me - office job, him - manufacturing) and bought our first home in our very early 20s. We struggled to fall and stay pregnant, and when we brought our first child home I wanted to stay home with our children; we made it work on one income. That income got tighter around the time we had our 3rd child and dh applied for a redundancy package - manufacturing is in a downturn and his workplace would be non existent in a few years so he got out early.

We sold our house at a fairly bad time and saved the profits and redundancy payment for our future home. Dh retrained, where he was earning $12 an hour for 2.5 years. We got some government grants because it was an industry that desperately needed workers, and we recieved social security which allowed us to rent a very modest little home and continue homeschooling. We stopped receiving social security after this. I taught piano on the side to supplement. I fell pregnant unexpectedly (my only naturally conceived baby), we found the perfect block of land to buy and sunk all our savings. Rural. Dh finished his training and secured a job in the industry near our block of land. We moved into temporary accommodation nearby to save until we could afford to build. Most people would not choose to live at the standard we do - I don't mean that to be smug, it has been difficult. After another 2 years dh landed the best paid job he's ever had (about the median/average household income, which feels flush compared to $12 an hour!), and it took those 2 years to do all the paperwork in preparation for building, and we've finally been able to start building our modest dream home on our perfect block of land. We have been married 15 years now.

We have had lots of blessings and advantages. One of them is living in a country with universal healthcare and a social security system. I had 4 babies without paying a cent. Dh has had emergency surgery without paying a cent. We had cultural capital, decent educations, family/social support systems, examples of upward mobility, examples of strong marriages (and, uh, the opposite!) Jobs not requiring degrees still exist and we had low/no debt. I think we made some good decisions and have escaped too much consequence of crappy decisions.

Now we are mid 30s and in a pretty good position I think. I have a giant gap in my resume, but with some good connections and a creatively written resume I think I could piece something together if necessary. Dh has built up a good professional reputation and is healthy enough (we think) to work for the foreseeable future. Unforseen curveballs could wreck the whole thing of course! We live rurally, simply, off grid, so a low COL, but within 30 - 60 mins of two good sized towns with universities, hospitals and jobs, and within 2 hours to a major city.

Anyway, that's my story. 

 

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12 hours ago, MistyMountain said:

This board definietely skews higher income and on the older side for homeschoolers. People also skew more intelligent. I am younger and much lower income then the norm here and in a higher income area with crappy health insurance. If it is hard for people making good money in high income areas, it is even worse for those that are not. I definitely feel that people here are living very different lives then me and have a very different perspective.

I'm not sure how young you are but usually peoples income and lifestyle move up as they age.  I know the recession and other stuff can change that but normally we get more finically stable as we age.

In my 20's I'm sure I could relate to you more but a rural version of poor.   I got married at 20.  We grew our own vegetable, my dh hunted deer and fished for our meats.  We lived in a trailer.  I didn't go ta movie, go on vacation,  go out to eat.  I had to count quarters just to get a McDonald 6 nugget meal.   all our clothes came from a thrift store or I made stuff from Walmart fabric.  We had tough times.  I also was working full time and going to college at night.  I had 2 children, my dh was diagnosed with cancer when 2nd one was 6 week old.  My dh is also bipolar so pretty much I was caring the family.  He was not stable.  This was my  life for around 10 years.  Then from 2001-05 everything started falling in place we lived nice, vacation estc. but that was on 2 good incomes.  I then decided to homeschool, we had a job transfer, the recession hit.  We went back to counting pennies but not as tight as the early years.  Now both of my kids are in their 20's.  My dh got a big promotion, been mentally stable for over a decade, we paid of our mortgage, we have saving, 401k.  We are living comfortably enough I don't' check my account everyday to see if I can buy something.  I uses to juggle how to pay bills, and what got paid late.  So I understand other struggles and how you may be living at this point.  I'm also sure that some people my age are struggling do to illness, job loss.   Life is about solid choices, planning  but also just plain luck.  

  I'm into planning for retirement social program to be gone.  We are saving incase all the social security money we paid in is burned up when we retire   SO actually like a lot of people the retirement years take them back to poverty levels.  I'm hoping that's not us.   My parents never did get out of poverty.  My mom has actually living nicer now at 70 than at any point in her life.  My dad got a VA settlement after he died which gave mom a small nest egg.

So I get how this board and Facebook and everything can be discouraging.  we never have the full story.   My dh was never one to give me gifts, flower.etc   I use to get so depressed when this board would have a What did you get thread?  Its sucks.    I just turned 48.  We never planned to help our sons with college.  But since the past few years things have gotten really good.  We are helping them with tuition.  We never had the college saving funds and stuff you hear about on this board.  

So just take online medium with a grain of salt.  I've been on this board for since 04.  I use to be intimidated by the group that were grammar police, they sounded all academic, upper class,    I'm seriously they were a few that  were all about proper grammar on a forum.  They call out how they didn't like this or that on a post I didn't' think I was high class enough to post or smart enough  to post so I lurked for about 4 years.  Then after the 08 change I started posting.  I remember it took me awhile to get the flow. It was Catwomen that was encouraging. I cant' remember exactly what she posted but it made me less intimated 

I'm through homeschooling and don't' post often but just wanted you to know that I some of us have walked a hard life we just now may be in better place or just may make our life sound better online :smile:

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13 hours ago, LucyStoner said:

I'm from Seattle.  A lot of my friends worked in Alaska during the summers back in 1998 or thereabouts.  

At $30/hr one needs to work 1000 hours to earn $30,000. Over a 12 week summer, that's 83 hours a week.  Most of the people I know who worked the summers in Alaska were paid by the week, not the hour because no one wants to pay overtime.  It was a lot of money but it was NOT $30,000 for just the summer.  Not even close.  And when the economy went south, a lot of such summer jobs for college students dried up because employers could get experienced adults for the same or less money.  

In college in 1998, my jobs paid $12-25/hr. Well, I had one job that paid less than that for a year but it came with a nice apartment. I was working waaaay too much and I seriously hope my kids don't have to work that many hours in college.  Work, yes.  Work all the time?  Not if I can help them avoid it.  My career advancement would have been better post-college had I been able to take some low paid but interesting internships rather than always needing work-a-day jobs to get by.  It was pennywise and pound foolish for me to work so much in college.  My friends who didn't work as much in college, who did the interesting internships, advanced much faster and were earning a lot more than me 5 years out of college.  

 

 

I went to college in the late 80's in Seattle.  We had several guys who would work on the salmon boats for the summer, including my cousin one summer, and they would make enough to cover most of their college expenses.  I also had a friend who was a girl who worked in a canning plant in Oregon.  She would work from June-December and then come to school for 2 quarters per year.  She knew it would take her 5 years to finish, but that was the only way she could pay for college and she decided to make it work.

Interestingly, my husband did a similar thing, although for him, his college program was designed that way.  He worked June-November on a golf course and then went to 2 quarters per year.  He was majoring in Golf Management and was a golf pro (you had to make pro to be in the program) and it was set up to get experience and classes year round.  He went to college in MI and worked in Tuscalusa (SP?), Hilton Head, Cleveland, and somewhere in Florida over the years.

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I'm 43. We do have a housekeeper to preserve marital harmony, but housekeepers are cheap in So Cal. I had my kids later in life, so am just getting started in the parenting department. We had a 600k budget for a home in central San Diego and could find nothing. So, we are waiting for the next dip.

I don't find the age or income threads to be the most jaw-dropping, but the religious and social ones. Stuff like what people think about XYZ movie or how they would handle a social situation. Living in California, some of the conservative viewpoints expressed here sound about as foreign to me as those expressed by ET. And I'm not even considered a liberal here.

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5 hours ago, DawnM said:

 

I went to college in the late 80's in Seattle.  We had several guys who would work on the salmon boats for the summer, including my cousin one summer, and they would make enough to cover most of their college expenses.  

 

 

As I said, I knew people doing just that in the late 90s but they weren't bringing home $30K.  They also didn't need to bring home 30K to make it through the year at UW in the late 90s.   

I am sure we also all know any pay increases between then and now have not matched the rapid inflation in college costs.  I don't know what tuition cost at UW in the late 80s but in the late 90s it was a hair over $3300 for three full-time quarters for tuition and required fees.  A couple of years ago that was inching past $12K (though I have heard it was lowered slightly recently).  And that doesn't even factor in the cost of on-campus housing or even housing commuting distance from campus.  Last week, I saw a basement room (shared bath, no kitchen) more than an hour from campus renting for 1/3 more than my roommate and I paid for an entire apartment 4 blocks from campus in 1999.  They are renting apartments that aren't much larger than prison cells with a toilet and sink in the "micro studio" and the shower down the hall for 2x what my roommate and I paid for a real apartment (a bedroom, living room, eat-in kitchen and a bathroom with a, get this, actual door).  

 

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15 minutes ago, LucyStoner said:

 

As I said, I knew people doing just that in the late 90s but they weren't bringing home $30K.  They also didn't need to bring home 30K to make it through the year at UW in the late 90s.   

I am sure we also all know any pay increases between then and now have not matched the rapid inflation in college costs.  I don't know what tuition cost at UW in the late 80s but in the late 90s it was a hair over $3300 for three full-time quarters for tuition and required fees.  A couple of years ago that was inching past $12K (though I have heard it was lowered slightly recently).  And that doesn't even factor in the cost of on-campus housing or even housing commuting distance from campus.  Last week, I saw a basement room (shared bath, no kitchen) more than an hour from campus renting for 1/3 more than my roommate and I paid for an entire apartment 4 blocks from campus in 1999.  They are renting apartments that aren't much larger than prison cells with a toilet and sink in the "micro studio" and the shower down the hall for 2x what my roommate and I paid for a real apartment (a bedroom, living room, eat-in kitchen and a bathroom with a, get this, actual door).  

 

 

I wasn't trying to argue, I seem to have come across that way.  I was just remembering.  The salmon boats were 18 hour a day jobs and rough.  I don't remember what they paid exactly.  My cousin might.  

And no, it wasn't $30K.  It was almost 4 months of work though.  And Seattle was much different in the late 80's, cost wise.  My first apartment in Ballard was $400 or so for a 1 bedroom I shared with a friend.  With utilities, I think we paid $500 total????  I know my old roommate doesn't even remember because last time I was in Seattle we were trying to remember!

I worked at Farrell's on Aurora for a few years.  It paid for my extras, not college.  

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I'm just-over-40 & have always lived in fly over country. I grew up in a house where we qualified for reduced (or free, depending on the year) lunches although for many years, my mom was too proud to fill out the paperwork. All the kids either had their own paper route or helped with a sibling's route. (I started helping at age 4 & got my own at 10 when my oldest brother went to college.) Those paper routes kept us afloat as all us kids paid for our own clothes & school supplies. My dad was out of a job for a couple years & finally found one that required he travel most of the year and be based out of a city 4+ hours from us. He paid rent to slept on the floor in people's basements and almost starved himself so that he could send money home to my mom. They had a growing rate 20 year balloon mortgage that required bigger payments when they thought they would have the income to deal with it but were even worse off than when they took it out.

The house purchase thing isn't new. When my older sister was in college (mid-90s), she took issue with a professor who told the whole class that they would never be able to buy their own house. She lived at home with my parents until she was able to qualify for loans to buy a house in her mid-20s. I have younger homeschooling friends who bought at the top of the bubble and then had to (try to) sell at the bottom of the market in their area due to the job market tanking & having to relocate in order to have a job. In the last year, they've just started to look for houses as their debt situation has allowed them some breathing room finally. Compared to both coasts, we're in a LCOL area.

I was able to put myself through college with a full tuition merit scholarship, additional merit scholarships to help pay for room, board, & fees, working on the side once I lost the additional merit scholarships, and some lean weeks every summer when the previous paycheck wasn't enough to pay for food. I was very fortunate to find a good paying (engineering) job when I graduated - even though it was half-way across the country from my future DH's home port. (I couldn't find a job at all in a 2 hr radius from him, so we lived apart for the first few years of our marriage. Hard decision, but allowed us a couple of years of savings that we wouldn't have had otherwise.)

I think there is always something on here to make people feel intimidated, IMO, depending on where you are coming from. I'm wowed by the moms who can fly by the seat of their pants and follow rabbit-trails. And the ones who can figure out how to support their pointy and/or special needs and/or gifted kids. (Sometimes all three at once.) Those are just two that hit my buttons. For other people, it is conservative (or progressive) views. Or money. Or 10 year olds doing calculus.

Finally, I'm curious, are you older or younger than the median age here, Tsuga?

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