Life at age 30: then and now

Wall Street Journal reports today that half of today’s 30 year olds earn more than their parents (adjusted for inflation) at the same age. I don’t see evidence of that early success in my communities today.

At age 30 back in 1990 most of my peers owned houses, perhaps had a a rental property or boat or maybe a second car (cars were less reliable so perhaps it seemed like a good idea to have a spare). By age 30 I had already bought and rehabbed four houses, my business was stable, I drove a Jeep wagon and a sports car, had a nice boat, was already divorced from my first marriage and a newlywed in my second. Many of my business school peers were similarly situated.

Many of today’s 30 year olds that I see are still struggling to get out of their parent’s home. Few own homes. More are single. Many aren’t even seriously dating. Many still have student loans. I don’t know any 30 year olds who own a boat. The youngest owner at our marina is mid thirties and his father bought him the boat.

Sadly, I don’t see much of a comparison in the level of opportunities for 30 year olds between 1990 and 2016.

 

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