Today is my Dad’s 60th birthday. It got me thinking, he’s pretty well off financially at this point…he was even able to retire to a snobby community in Florida at 55, but where was he 30 years ago?
Am I at roughly the same stage?
It’s tough to make a comparison… Houses in 1976 cost so much less. Salaries were so much less too. My mother was probably making a insultingly low amount at the time. Few had more than one car, let alone three like we do now. I’m not sure there is an accurate way to make a comparison.
My parents never really let me in on their finances… and I can’t say I really had much of an idea about what their situations were like when I was born — nearly 31 years ago now.
I do know that they owned a decent raised ranch style house. And we had a brand new Chevy Malibu. My dad had a steady income. And they somehow managed to afford to have a kid — me. And 5 years later, my sister.
I look at my situation now and we’ve got a house with a payment we can afford. We have three cars — two of which are paid for. And I like to think my job is safe, though my side income is likely to decrease over the next few years. Can we afford a child? I think so.
One thing my parents did, and not something I expect to do, is move every 3 years or so. Each time, as my dad was transferred, we’d move back and forth across the country into a bigger and better house.
I’m not sure if that’s how my parents built a great deal of their wealth, but I’m pretty sure it’s safe to say they never sold a house for a loss. In fact, their last house, which they owned free and clear sold for over 300% of what they paid for it. Possibly 400%.
I’m not sure our current house has that kind of potential, though it has gone up in value nearly $80k in the 5 years I’ve been in it. Maybe, but like I said, I’m not planning on uprooting the family every few years… or even moving within the area to a bigger and better house as I can afford it.
But I think the biggest difference that likely puts me in a better situation, at age 30, than my parents is the fact that my wife and I have both already started saving for retirement. And combined, we’ve got a pretty nice chuck of money locked up for retirement.
Hopefully we’ll be retiring early too. Right now, I think it’s pretty likely.