I was watching the Fox News channel when they gave a break down of what it costs today to live the American Dream. The sad part of it was that they followed it up by saying that only one in eight American households could actually afford the American Dream. Did you catch that? They said AFFORD not LIVE the American Dream. That means that people are still willing to spend money they do not have to live they way they want. That is like building a house on quicksand, eventually you will sink.
Cost Of Living The American Dream
The annual cost to live the American Dream is $130, 357.00. While the mean salary (average salary) for the US worker is only $46,449.00 a year.
- Home Ownership including taxes, maintenance, insurance, mortgage payment, etc. $17,062.00
- Groceries for a family of four based on an average cost grocery plan: $12,659.00
- Education for 2 kids per academic year this includes regular expenses and saving college (pretax): $4,000.00
- Transportation this would include insurance, gas, maintenance for a single vehicle: $11,039.00
- Health Care (both yearly insurance premiums and your out-of-pocket expenses): $9,144.00
- Retirement if you are under the age of 50 and contributing about 15% of your pretax dollars that would equal $17,500.00
- Taxes this is a combination of both federal, state and local taxes: 30% of All Income
Grand Total: $130,357
If you are like me that sounds like a huge amount and it is. However if you have three or more children that price tag could easily surpass $150,000 a year.
You should also keep in mind that your total may be more or less than that based on where you live. If you, like me, live in a small or midsize town in the middle of the country then your expenses would cost you a lot less. However if you live in a place like New York City, San Francisco or Huston your prices could be much more because of the inflated housing prices and the insanely high taxes.
The real American Dream has never been about becoming rich, and making lots of money. It isn’t about having the most expensive toys, the latest electronics or even elaborate tropical vacations. Instead it is about being financially secure, being able to provide for your family, about being successful in your own eyes. Other important aspects of the American Dream is having a rewarding and personally fulfilling life. That could translate into having a rewarding career, a happy and healthy family, and a comfortable retirement. Every American has their own unique spin on just what the dream means to them.
As parents we always hope that our children will have a better life than we have had. We also want to give our children a solid foundation so that they too can become successful. Many people, including my own family, have achieved their American Dream on much less. It is up to you in many ways to decide what the cost of your American Dream is.
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