Are you better off than your parents?

Reading the thread about economical situations while growing up, I thought I’d poll the electorate on how you compare to your parents at a similar age.

Poll forthcoming.

Hard to say because my parents divorced when I was young and so they didn’t have a combined economic situation. So do I judge compared to my mom and step-dad or my father and step-mother?

But I said ‘a little worse off’ and that’s fairly accurate.

Likewise. I am doing much better than my mom, but much worse than my dad.

It is hard to compare because I’m single and childless, and they were married with four kids.

I’m better off than my mother. She never pulled down a real salary–just whatever she could get after her staff was paid. I’ve got a real salary, with nice benefits. My job is also not as stressful than hers. I can come home at six and not think about work for another 14 hours.

I am not sure what my father made. He was an assistant vice principal, which seems like it should have been an okay gig. But he had to work part-time at McDonald’s and Sears, and the family was crammed in a two bedroom shack. So it couldn’t have been THAT good. Even if our salaries were the same, I still come out ahead since I don’t have a houseful of crying children to feed.

I don’t expect my salary to rise much, though. My father’s did.

It’s really hard to say because our priorities were not the same. My parent’s ethic was to work really hard, spend very little money, saving travel and hobbies (for the most part) until retirement.

We have spend more of our money along the way. We travel as a family and have more “things” than my parents did at our age, but we will not retire as young. It’s a trade off.

I voted “about the same”.

One is dead, one is a bitter alcoholic.

I’m somewhat better off.
Economically, I’m better off, too.

Financially, I am much better off than they were.

Same here. Like, orders of magnitude better off.

They’re both dead, however compared to their financial situations before they died, I’m much better off and very thankful.

At my age, my parents were spending every third year in London; my father was part of an exchange program at the college he taught at. Every year, whoever ran it the year before got to teach in London for a year, and he and two other teachers took it in turn. They were traveling to Europe and raising show dogs and well on their way to paying off debt and saving for retirement.

I, on the other hand, still owe 20 years on a mortgage that’s costing me $1,700 a month, so that’s not going to get paid off until I’m well past retirement age. Also, unemployed, homeless (separated–wife’s getting the house) and nearly broke.

Yes - by the time I was 30 years old, I was personally earning more than my immigrant parents had as a combined income (adjusted for inflation) at their peak, before my dad was laid off and forced into retirement.

But that’s because they “forced” me to attend an Ivy League college, paid for it in full, and “convinced” me to choose a STEM major instead of Philosophy, Linguistics or Anthropology (my main intellectual interests at the time). It is the combination of all three that has landed me in a happy and secure place in life.

Much better off, and I largely credit not having children with that. Definitely frees up time and finances for more productive endeavors.

Better off in every imaginable way.

I had to vote ‘Other’, just because if I had 4 kids right now, like my folks did, we’d be worse off. With two part-time kids, we’re doing about the same, I think. Also, even though we have more spending money, so to speak, my folks always owned their homes, which is something I can’t ever imagine having the credit or money to do. (And with the headaches of mortgages, combined with the whole ‘Who knows what state we’ll live in NEXT year!’ syndrome, I can’t imagine not renting, anyway.)

OK. As the OP, I voted for “A little worse off.”

It may even be a little worse that “a little.”

I’m OK, but have no where near the discretionary spending my dad had in the 60s to 90s.

“A little worse”

My girlfriend and I earn close to what my parents earned at the same age, but 25 years later that money doesn’t go nearly as far.

I said “about the same” but it’s probably more like a little worse in some ways, a little better than others. After mentally adjusting for inflation and the passing of time (so essentially BSing that, but I tried), I think we make a little more but they got the benefit of some easing of expenses over the years – both my parents were in industries where they had company cars (not glamorous cars, very functional in both cases) for almost all of their working lives, and my father at least was fully vested in his pension in the old days when pensions were generous so I think both of those things offset their income on paper a bit. On the other hand, they also faced the challenge of having to partially financially support both sets of my grandparents (now MY parents DEFINITELY did much better than THEIR parents).

We also have a lot more crap we can spend money on. I don’t think we live extravagantly at all, but I’m sure some of the things we spend money for would shock them.

I’d say I’m slightly better off, mostly because I don’t have a wife and kids to support. Raising two sons surely put a dent in my mom and dad’s’ discretionary spending choices. My adjusted income is probably comparable to my parents (both worked), but I only have one person to spend it on.

I don’t really know how comfortably my parents lived at my age, since they had me at 31 and I’m currently 25.

I put “a little” because I have a college education and do not have the “burden” of kids, so my salary goes farther.

But, my dad had The Primo Union Job (Ford) and while he was laid off and crazy broke for a while, and worked his fingers to the bone, it ultimately turned in to the best anyone without an education could ever hope for and more.

And in turn, my mom was married to a guy with a union job and a pension. And she had a job with a pension.

It worked out for them, both retired by 60 and doing well. I’m 33 with like $1200 in a 401k and no guarantee of a job tomorrow. Scary.