CNBC: "Why A $100,000 Salary Can’t Buy The American Dream"

One number in this video is needing 30% of income for savings. Is that realistic?

Um, what does Clark Howard think?

Could this be part of the problem:
Maybe 40 years ago a 28-year-old had a mortgage and a family to support. Now he doesn’t have those responsibilities and can direct disposable income toward whichever stock he just saw recommended on Reddit or a bet on whether the next pitch in a baseball game will be a ball or a strike.

What a bunch of bunk. This is clickbait folks. Most can buy the American Dream with a heck of a lot less. People simply need to live well beneath their means. Want a cheap place to live? Build a small home yourself. That doesn’t mean you need to (or should) do all of the work yourself. Building lots in most areas can be bought for relatively little money (they start around $25k in my area of FL near the coast). Then you can get a foundation poured, and then contract with a company to either deliver or build from scratch a basic shell of a small home - either a small cabin or a garage can give you the basic shell you need to get started, and these start out around $5,000. Hire out the more complex stuff like electrical and plumbing, but if you’re building something small, these expenses will be minimal. Then finish the place off yourself - YouTube videos can be a great guide. It’s really not that difficult, and if you start out small like this, you can probably end up with a small home for under $50k, which would mean monthly mortgage payments around $300. Spend the minimum you need to in order to meet your minimum needs (food, basic clothing, utilities, etc.), and then invest the rest. For most, this will mean they can invest the vast majority of their income. Within a few years, you would likely be in a very comfortable place and just getting more comfortable by the day. Just live smart folks - it actually isn’t that difficult if you make the effort.

THAT is THE problem. Many [most?] can’t seem to do that.


They can, they just don’t WANT to. They’d rather self-sabotage and throw a pity party for themselves as they systematically destroy their own lives. People need to grow up, stop making excuses, and make smart, logical choices for themselves. Instead of people looking for someone else to save them, they need to take responsibility and be their own hero.

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I agree, but that is the unstoppable, unsolvable problem.


Most older adults started at the bottom and worked their way up to where they are. For homes, they started small and over 20 to 50 years would work into their dream home. The children of these older adults want to maintain what they are comfortable with living in those dream homes. If they go house hunting, they want to buy homes equal to what their parents have. Those homes are expensive and cannot be bought with the funds available to them. Parents of these children are not doing the kids any favors by letting them remain in the house. Eventually, they will have to be out on their own.

In my 20’s, I left apartment life by buying a mobile home. I moved that home 3 times where it eventually ended up on a piece of land that I had purchased. With that property, I started building equity and began to move into homes. The homes were small at first, but they became larger over the years. Now, in retirement, I have a home that is smaller in size and fully paid for.

Does a young couple actually need to buy a 6-bedroom 5-bath house with a 3-car garage as a starter home?