Family Costs 1970s vs 2020s

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Topic Author
nigel_ht
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Family Costs 1970s vs 2020s

Post by nigel_ht »

My kids are in High School and we’re talking about life, family, etc and the topic of how much harder it is today for young families than say for my parents came up so I looked into it using my smart phone and Google (vs getting in my car and driving to these ancient temples of knowledge called libraries).

A cursory search found that while cars have doubled in real terms (aka after inflation) the safety and durability of modern cars is likely more than double that of a 1970s car.

Getting to 100,000 miles used to be pretty much the limit in the 70s. Now cars regularly last 200,000 miles. Tires last a heck of a lot longer too.

Sooo...if you are frugal like many Bogleheads and not buying a new car very often this might be a wash. Especially with all the new safety and luxury features (like AC and electronic doors/windows even in many base models).

Housing costs more (again about double in real terms) but the average new house was 1525 sq ft in 1973 vs 2435 sq ft in 2018.

Code: Select all

               	1973 	2018      	Change
Income.    	$12,050	$73,965  	614%
Home Price	$29,900	$274,500	918%
Size.          	1,525	2,435    	160%
Price / Sq Ft	$20   	$114     	582%
Cost per sq ft has kept more or less in line with income.

https://www.hsh.com/homeowner/average-a ... -home.html

This doesn’t likely hold true in some markets like San Francisco but it seems more or less, if you are willing to go with a smaller footprint, home ownership isn’t any more impossible to consider today than in the 70’s.

The one place that is hugely more expensive between then and now is college education...and crushing school debt coupled with fewer good paying jobs for high school grads. It seems like college is the new High School.

Q: So does it seem reasonable that I can equalize the playing field between then and now by just covering college?

I was planning on doing that anyway but is that enough of a helping hand or do folks believe that the likely economic conditions of 2030s for young families will necessitate planning on more help (say help with a first home down payment) to give them the same odds at the “American Dream” that a young adult in the 1970s would have?*

The financial objective is not too easy but also not too hard as young adults.

The addition to college saving (already funded) is setting aside a down payment for a median starter home in a different bucket and letting it grow in a target date fund. I don’t ever have to give it to them but since I’m finally moving stuff around preparing for retirement vs accumulation it strikes me that the AA might be different since the time horizon is different. Easy to do right now when we feel confident we are financially stable and the time horizon is far enough away that it has time to grow.

They’ll also get a small lump sum (say 10-20K) for an IRA as soon as reasonable.

And that, I think, will be plenty of individual inheritance where anything else is gravy.



* I’ve also talked to them about FIRE and pursuing income for FI and then a passion career after...so hopefully their odds are better regardless...
Last edited by nigel_ht on Sat Jan 09, 2021 10:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
59Gibson
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Re: Family Costs 1970s vs 2020s

Post by 59Gibson »

Housing(on coasts)/Education/Medical costs have been the culprits. Everything else is pretty much cheaper. But those 3 have offset the savings on vehicles, clothes, electronics, entertainment, investment costs.
Its a great head start if you're taking care of college, let them figure out the rest.
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nigel_ht
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Re: Family Costs 1970s vs 2020s

Post by nigel_ht »

59Gibson wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 9:54 am Housing(on coasts)/Education/Medical costs have been the culprits. Everything else is pretty much cheaper. But those 3 have offset the savings on vehicles, clothes, electronics, entertainment, investment costs.
Its a great head start if you're taking care of college, let them figure out the rest.
I can’t do much about medical...other than college so they can get a job with insurance so yeah...I guess that’s covered.
visualguy
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Re: Family Costs 1970s vs 2020s

Post by visualguy »

Helping kids with purchasing their homes is reasonable, and pretty common from what I've seen among friends and colleagues. I did help my kids with that as well. It's not a new thing by any means, of course. Passing some money to the next generation makes a lot more difference in their lives when young than later on. You don't want to overly "spoil" them, but some help can be very important in enabling them to get a good and timely start.
simas
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Re: Family Costs 1970s vs 2020s

Post by simas »

nigel_ht wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 10:12 am
59Gibson wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 9:54 am Housing(on coasts)/Education/Medical costs have been the culprits. Everything else is pretty much cheaper. But those 3 have offset the savings on vehicles, clothes, electronics, entertainment, investment costs.
Its a great head start if you're taking care of college, let them figure out the rest.
I can’t do much about medical...other than college so they can get a job with insurance so yeah...I guess that’s covered.
This is so arbitrary that is likely completely meaningless. Why 1970 and not 1980, 1960, or 3:21 pm on March 2nd 1982? where is hedonistic adjustment (things changed completely as they always do as time passes)? you (and them) can not return to 1970 (1980, or any other day) so why try?

"of how much harder it is today for young families than say for my parents came up"

that is 100% not true - it is not harder , it is just different. Different society, different rules, different (very different) laws, different capabilities, completely different medicine. I wish we just stop with whining of 'how much harder' - each and every generation , each and every time was saying the same things and each time it was not true. it is not harder, it is different. the choices your kids (and my kids ) have right now were just impossible at all even 25 years ago, much less 50.

get a profession in demand (especially in STEAM), and you are getting 60K out of college. that is ~10k in 1970 dollars or median household income at that time.
koch711
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Re: Family Costs 1970s vs 2020s

Post by koch711 »

Doesn't your last sentence contradict the other? So you need to get an above median salary job now to have equivalent to what was a median salary then? All while paying a lot more for your education to get it?
simas wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 10:34 am
nigel_ht wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 10:12 am
59Gibson wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 9:54 am Housing(on coasts)/Education/Medical costs have been the culprits. Everything else is pretty much cheaper. But those 3 have offset the savings on vehicles, clothes, electronics, entertainment, investment costs.
Its a great head start if you're taking care of college, let them figure out the rest.
I can’t do much about medical...other than college so they can get a job with insurance so yeah...I guess that’s covered.
This is so arbitrary that is likely completely meaningless. Why 1970 and not 1980, 1960, or 3:21 pm on March 2nd 1982? where is hedonistic adjustment (things changed completely as they always do as time passes)? you (and them) can not return to 1970 (1980, or any other day) so why try?

"of how much harder it is today for young families than say for my parents came up"

that is 100% not true - it is not harder , it is just different. Different society, different rules, different (very different) laws, different capabilities, completely different medicine. I wish we just stop with whining of 'how much harder' - each and every generation , each and every time was saying the same things and each time it was not true. it is not harder, it is different. the choices your kids (and my kids ) have right now were just impossible at all even 25 years ago, much less 50.

get a profession in demand (especially in STEAM), and you are getting 60K out of college. that is ~10k in 1970 dollars or median household income at that time.
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Re: Family Costs 1970s vs 2020s

Post by Sandtrap »

It's not so much the difference between the cost of a "2 slice toaster" or a "loaf of bread" or a "gallon of gas" between 1970's and 2020's, but the psychology of consumption and consumerism influenced and molded by pervasive technology, information, and digital (et al) programming, which reshapes lifestyles and thought processes that has changed the entirety of the financial and other costs of life.

What it takes to be happy, fulfilled, and cared for, from the 1970's to 2020, is redefined.
For better or worse, that is the cost.

j :D
Last edited by Sandtrap on Sat Jan 09, 2021 10:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
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sailaway
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Re: Family Costs 1970s vs 2020s

Post by sailaway »

Housing per sq ft doesn't help when the average sq ft has more than doubled and it is actually difficult to find smaller housing options. I currently live in a house that is bigger than the one my parents raised 3 children + occasional foster children in because it was the smallest we could find in the area (this area didn't start development until the 80s, but it is where DH's work is). We have a roommate because it is far too much space for the two of us.
59Gibson
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Re: Family Costs 1970s vs 2020s

Post by 59Gibson »

simas wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 10:34 am
nigel_ht wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 10:12 am
59Gibson wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 9:54 am Housing(on coasts)/Education/Medical costs have been the culprits. Everything else is pretty much cheaper. But those 3 have offset the savings on vehicles, clothes, electronics, entertainment, investment costs.
Its a great head start if you're taking care of college, let them figure out the rest.
I can’t do much about medical...other than college so they can get a job with insurance so yeah...I guess that’s covered.
This is so arbitrary that is likely completely meaningless. Why 1970 and not 1980, 1960, or 3:21 pm on March 2nd 1982? where is hedonistic adjustment (things changed completely as they always do as time passes)? you (and them) can not return to 1970 (1980, or any other day) so why try?

"of how much harder it is today for young families than say for my parents came up"

that is 100% not true - it is not harder , it is just different. Different society, different rules, different (very different) laws, different capabilities, completely different medicine. I wish we just stop with whining of 'how much harder' - each and every generation , each and every time was saying the same things and each time it was not true. it is not harder, it is different. the choices your kids (and my kids ) have right now were just impossible at all even 25 years ago, much less 50.

get a profession in demand (especially in STEAM), and you are getting 60K out of college. that is ~10k in 1970 dollars or median household income at that time.
Of course there are differences, no whining- but attempting to make a comparison to 30/40/50/ 60 years ago gives one perspective. I think that's important. There have been many enormous improvements over the last several decades, but let's not pretend there haven't been real costs.
oldfort
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Re: Family Costs 1970s vs 2020s

Post by oldfort »

Nostalgia makes the past seem better than it was. The mid-seventies was a time for stagflation. Interest rates went sky high in the late seventies and early eighties. Today’s technology and medical care was unobtainable at any level of income. In the 1970s, most families had one car for the entire household. Eating at restaurants used to be seen as a luxury, reserved for special occasions and not a daily occurrence.
02nz
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Re: Family Costs 1970s vs 2020s

Post by 02nz »

nigel_ht wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 9:45 am Q: So does it seem reasonable that I can equalize the playing field between then and now by just covering college?
What's the point of this? So you can say "you don't have it any tougher than I [or whoever] did"? What does that do? Why not equalize the playing field with the 1980s, or maybe 1770s? Life isn't a remotely equal playing field. Do what you can for your kids but this seems a pointless exercise.
backpacker61
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Re: Family Costs 1970s vs 2020s

Post by backpacker61 »

Things are just very different now.

Growing up, we infrequently dined out. Our television had a pair of rabbit ears on top of the set; no DishTV, cable, fiber, etc. No smart phone plans, obviously. My first microwave oven was $259.95 in 1986 dollars (still have the receipt); that would be $617.21 in today's money. Groceries seem cheaper to me now; I recall our family having to economize on sugar and coffee(!) at different times. Our family vacations were domestic camping trips (though one time to Canada). Seems like a lot of people I know go abroad for trips today; the Bahamas, Bali, Cozumel, Iceland, the Caymans. Trekking in Nepal; that would have been unthinkable to anyone I knew in the 1970's. The first time I was on an airliner, I was in my early 20's.

Brokerage commissions: a brokerage commission of about $50 for a stock or bond trade was what you expected to pay at a DISCOUNT brokerage in the 1970's (think Olde Discount or Schwab). More commonly, people would have advisory accounts with Paine Webber or Merrill Lynch and pay much more than $50. For discretionary accounts; 3% AUM was not uncommon. The reality is, in those days, "regular people" didn't invest. Really no concept of FIRE unless you had a federal pension.

Education costs are crazy these days; I think the infusion of easy-to-get federal money has allowed universities to charge whatever they please, as well as the perception that you need a college education to do anything now days. When did a university education become required for working at a rental car office! People need to be doing a much more careful cost/benefit analysis of the degree program they're considering.

Medical care; things are treatable today that would have been death sentences in the 1970's; and many of those treatments were expensive to develop and are still expensive to provide. In the 1970's, most ambulances were modified station wagons, today they're these huge boxy trucks (a clinic on wheels).
Last edited by backpacker61 on Sat Jan 09, 2021 11:13 am, edited 4 times in total.
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simas
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Re: Family Costs 1970s vs 2020s

Post by simas »

koch711 wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 10:41 am Doesn't your last sentence contradict the other? So you need to get an above median salary job now to have equivalent to what was a median salary then? All while paying a lot more for your education to get it?
No. I find the comparisons to be misleading to the point of meaningless and the entire exercise to be [(removed) -- admin LadyGeek] in tune of
- of look at us kids, we walked to school barefoot, uphill, both ways
- you old timers know nothing, this time IS different and it is much harder , you know nothing at all, blah-blah-blah.
these two 'messages' where broadcasted in every generation in every society and are nothing but noise


live you life, focus on now. you can not move into the future, you can not move into the past. what medicine was in 1921 or what the cost of bread was in 1921 (or in 1821) are all excuses not to actually face reality and live today.

if you want to help them
- focus on them on minimizing excuses (especially external ones)
- focus on influencing what they can control
- discuss things that are very damaging to their life (i.e. additions) and are major choices influencing their life (choice of partner, place(s) to live ,etc)

discussing bubble gum costs 50 years ago, who cares?

My parents raised family in 1970s Soviet Union, I was born in essentially barrack (young families had to stand in line to be able to have their own room (with toilet shared between 15 rooms , down the corridor)). They were extremely happy to be in line for an actual apartment and five of us grow up in apartment of <400 square ft.

My grandparents survived a war (and our war was absolutely nothing like here in US), my grandfather walked under strafing nazi bombers by foot from eastern Russia to Siberia into evacuation, lost his sister along the way. His relatives were wiped out by Germans in what is now Belorussia so he returned only to graves (single mass grave). My other grandfather on the other side (1940s) had no place to live at all so he slept on his desk daily (not even a part of the room in a barrack somewhere). All of his family (my great grandmother) were killed in Odessa for being Jewish. My grandmother had to survive the Purges where her dad took kids and escaped as far as he could abandoning everything so they could live

His parents (my great grand parents) were essentially attached peasants to the land and their parents/grandparents were slaves in Russian Empire (which lasted for centuries from 13th century forward until 1861 and impacted 90% of the population in terms of 'rights' much harder and much more different than anything US ever had)

so , enough with 'how hard we (current generation) got it' BS. totally untrue. I have it hundreds of times better than my parents and my kids have it better than I ever could have dreamed about. a room for each person - what fantasy is this?? You never go hungry and there is always something to eat if you want ? You are guaranteed education like high school and it is free? Dont give me 'how much more difficult it is', it is absolutely not - it is different.
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nigel_ht
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Re: Family Costs 1970s vs 2020s

Post by nigel_ht »

sailaway wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 10:46 am Housing per sq ft doesn't help when the average sq ft has more than doubled and it is actually difficult to find smaller housing options. I currently live in a house that is bigger than the one my parents raised 3 children + occasional foster children in because it was the smallest we could find in the area (this area didn't start development until the 80s, but it is where DH's work is). We have a roommate because it is far too much space for the two of us.
My first house was a 1100 sq ft 1960’s era 3br rancher...but, not surprisingly, when we had our third child we outgrew it. It was about the same size as my parents house.

We purchased a 1990’s 5 br Colonial that has all the same rooms of a contemporary Colonial but the room dimensions are smaller. It’s noticeably smaller when the kids visit their friends and occasionally we were size challenged during covid...our temporary dining room dance studio conversion is tighter than it would be in a 2010+ era house but 2020 was just odd. I would guess it’s anywhere from 500 to 1000 sq ft smaller depending on if the comparison is against a “normal” 5br house or a McMansion.

So depending on area you can find smaller homes...they’re just older.
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Re: Family Costs 1970s vs 2020s

Post by JPM »

Fifty years is a long time and life changes immensely over that stretch.

In 1820 there were no railways and almost no effective medical treatment, in fact medical treatment was dangerous. Ships sailed by wind. There was no such thing as mass-producing factories. Apart from the development of navigation canals, transportation had changed little since 1620, ditto medical care and goods production. Steam power was in development.
In 1870 there were railways all over the country. Medical treatment had begun to improve and doctors had learned that if they washed their hands before operations or attending childbirth, their patients had a decent chance to survive. But there was no such thing as anesthesia and patients had to be tough to survive treatment. There were no automobiles. Steam powered some ships. There was no electric power. Advanced factories had a steam engine that turned a rotating shaft that ran the length of the factory and the machinery ran off of belts connected to the shaft.
In 1920 a lot of people had automobiles. Many factories ran on electric power and most homes in urban America had electricity and many had indoor plumbing, but not yet telephones. Long train trips often involved stopovers with overnight hotel stays. The Mayo brothers were doing large volumes of surgery safely due to advances in anesthesia and in similar advanced centers, surgery had become almost safe. There was no heart surgery at all. Air travel maybe just dawning. Tuberculosis was the #1 killer of Americans.
By 1970 most employed adults had an automobile as did many SAHMs and some teenage children. The 707 jet airliner began to make long plane trips common. Medical treatment had advanced immensely due to the Rockefeller institute work on polio vaccine and TB treatment. Antibiotic development began in the 1930s and a variety of them were available by 1970. Advances in surgery had been accelerated by WWII. In the sixties Dr Favaloro developed coronary bypass surgery in Cleveland though operative mortality in 1970 was still about 10%. Dr DeBakey developed artificial blood vessels he sewed himself from Dacron that could replace aneurysms and other diseased vessels. There were no angioplasties or stents. Implantable pacemakers became possible in the sixties due to the development of mercury zinc batteries that would last a couple of years. Radiation therapy and chemotherapy for cancer were in development but risky and with limited effectiveness. Cancer survival was uncommon. The vast majority of dwellings had indoor plumbing.
Now in 2021, long plane trips have become routine. For awhile there with the Concorde they were even fast. Factories are robotized. Surgery is routine and surgical mortality for routine procedures is vanishingly small except for those who are very ill at baseline. Coronary bypass surgery is needed much less often due to the availability of stenting of coronary arteries and operative mortality is low except for the very ill at baseline. Now people worry mostly about the cost of the surgery, with comparatively little concern as to its physical dangers. Pacemakers will last 10-15 years due to advances in battery technology and some of them will give you an electrical shock to start your heart up again if it stops beating. Fifty percent or a bit more of cancer patients survive treatment now and treatment advances continue at a brisk pace.
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nigel_ht
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Re: Family Costs 1970s vs 2020s

Post by nigel_ht »

02nz wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 10:52 am
nigel_ht wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 9:45 am Q: So does it seem reasonable that I can equalize the playing field between then and now by just covering college?
What's the point of this? So you can say "you don't have it any tougher than I [or whoever] did"? What does that do? Why not equalize the playing field with the 1980s, or maybe 1770s? Life isn't a remotely equal playing field. Do what you can for your kids but this seems a pointless exercise.
Things seems tougher and more competitive than before.

There is inflation in everything from GPA to average SAT to average expected level of education. College used to be a luxury or at least not a requirement for middle income jobs. Entry into the local state university is a lot harder than when I went with a higher required GPA and SAT score. I don’t think human brain capacity has evolved a whole lot between when I grew up and today though...

If you aren’t above grade level you’re considered somewhat behind.

Just doing what I did seems like it will result in a poorer outcome for my kids.

The hope is that every generation does a little better than the last. Since I have the financial means I can attempt to make the difficulty of doing so about the same for them as it was for me.

To have it as hard as it was for my parents would suck and I think an unnecessary experience. And as a minority you certainly don’t have to tell me that playing fields aren’t level. So my objective is to optimize for good, healthy, challenge and minimize unnecessary [expletive removed by moderator oldcomputerguy] struggle.

It seems that many millennials are suffering from lowered horizons due to increased stress and financial burden.

If that’s what you want for your kids I’m okay with that...but I prefer to stack the deck, but not too much.
PowderDay9
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Re: Family Costs 1970s vs 2020s

Post by PowderDay9 »

simas wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 10:59 am so , enough with 'how hard we (current generation) got it' BS. totally untrue. I have it hundreds of times better than my parents and my kids have it better than I ever could have dreamed about. a room for each person - what fantasy is this?? You never go hungry and there is always something to eat if you want ? You are guaranteed education like high school and it is free? Dont give me 'how much more difficult it is', it is absolutely not - it is different.
I agree. Things aren't harder now than in the past. I think they're much easier. The difficulties are trying to keep up the ridiculously high standard of living. People in history and even the vast majority of the current population of the world don't have the luxuries and conveniences that Americans (and other developed countries) have today. There's many different sources but the median income of the world right now is less than $10k. We call that poverty in America. The middle class (and above) of America are the 1%-ers of the world. America is only 4% of the world's population and there's a lot of other people living at completely different standards.

As I raise my young kids, I have so many luxuries and conveniences that didn't exist 30 years ago. I have almost all the information I need at my fingertips. The baby has something wrong? I just google it. Something breaks at the house? There's a YouTube video of the exact issue and model. I have cameras I can watch the baby from the other room or anywhere. I have the ability to take an unlimited number of pictures and videos for free. When the grandparents want to see the baby, zoom is on within seconds. I can order things I need on my phone and they show up within a day or two at my doorstep. (Most people in the world today don't have access to Amazon or rapid delivery services). The daycare sends pictures and provides real time updates of when the baby has bowel movements and if they were normal. If the kids have even a temperature, the doctor is available to see them that day.

I could go on forever but feel so incredibly lucky and fortunate to be living in America at this time in history.
Last edited by PowderDay9 on Sat Jan 09, 2021 11:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
oldfort
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Re: Family Costs 1970s vs 2020s

Post by oldfort »

nigel_ht wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 11:42 am
02nz wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 10:52 am
nigel_ht wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 9:45 am Q: So does it seem reasonable that I can equalize the playing field between then and now by just covering college?
What's the point of this? So you can say "you don't have it any tougher than I [or whoever] did"? What does that do? Why not equalize the playing field with the 1980s, or maybe 1770s? Life isn't a remotely equal playing field. Do what you can for your kids but this seems a pointless exercise.
Things seems tougher and more competitive than before.

There is inflation in everything from GPA to average SAT to average expected level of education.
To the extent there's grade and test inflation, shouldn't that make it easier for your kids? They get higher grades and test scores for doing less work?
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nigel_ht
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Re: Family Costs 1970s vs 2020s

Post by nigel_ht »

simas wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 10:59 am
koch711 wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 10:41 am Doesn't your last sentence contradict the other? So you need to get an above median salary job now to have equivalent to what was a median salary then? All while paying a lot more for your education to get it?
No. I find the comparisons to be misleading to the point of meaningless and the entire exercise to be [(removed) -- admin LadyGeek] in tune of
- of look at us kids, we walked to school barefoot, uphill, both ways
- you old timers know nothing, this time IS different and it is much harder , you know nothing at all, blah-blah-blah.
these two 'messages' where broadcasted in every generation in every society and are nothing but noise


live you life, focus on now. you can not move into the future, you can not move into the past. what medicine was in 1921 or what the cost of bread was in 1921 (or in 1821) are all excuses not to actually face reality and live today.

if you want to help them
- focus on them on minimizing excuses (especially external ones)
- focus on influencing what they can control
- discuss things that are very damaging to their life (i.e. additions) and are major choices influencing their life (choice of partner, place(s) to live ,etc)

discussing bubble gum costs 50 years ago, who cares?

My parents raised family in 1970s Soviet Union, I was born in essentially barrack (young families had to stand in line to be able to have their own room (with toilet shared between 15 rooms , down the corridor)). They were extremely happy to be in line for an actual apartment and five of us grow up in apartment of <400 square ft.

My grandparents survived a war (and our war was absolutely nothing like here in US), my grandfather walked under strafing nazi bombers by foot from eastern Russia to Siberia into evacuation, lost his sister along the way. His relatives were wiped out by Germans in what is now Belorussia so he returned only to graves (single mass grave). My other grandfather on the other side (1940s) had no place to live at all so he slept on his desk daily (not even a part of the room in a barrack somewhere). All of his family (my great grandmother) were killed in Odessa for being Jewish. My grandmother had to survive the Purges where her dad took kids and escaped as far as he could abandoning everything so they could live

His parents (my great grand parents) were essentially attached peasants to the land and their parents/grandparents were slaves in Russian Empire (which lasted for centuries from 13th century forward until 1861 and impacted 90% of the population in terms of 'rights' much harder and much more different than anything US ever had)

so , enough with 'how hard we (current generation) got it' BS. totally untrue. I have it hundreds of times better than my parents and my kids have it better than I ever could have dreamed about. a room for each person - what fantasy is this?? You never go hungry and there is always something to eat if you want ? You are guaranteed education like high school and it is free? Dont give me 'how much more difficult it is', it is absolutely not - it is different.
My life was easier than my parents. My kids life does not appear to be easier than mine. This is a trend line I can ameliorate to some degree. It’s actionable whether it’s as simple as a 529 or complex as some other financial structure.

Your grandparents were MY parents. So what? Their life experience is a completely useless benchmark for this discussion unless you think the US is going to fail as a country. And I doubt we can talk about that anyway in this forum.

If families that have gone through similar experiences don’t have some kind of contingency thinking about “what to do the next time” they will have squandered a lesson purchased with blood. But that’s a whole different discussion entirely and out of scope for this thread.
02nz
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Re: Family Costs 1970s vs 2020s

Post by 02nz »

oldfort wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 11:55 am
nigel_ht wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 11:42 am
02nz wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 10:52 am
nigel_ht wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 9:45 am Q: So does it seem reasonable that I can equalize the playing field between then and now by just covering college?
What's the point of this? So you can say "you don't have it any tougher than I [or whoever] did"? What does that do? Why not equalize the playing field with the 1980s, or maybe 1770s? Life isn't a remotely equal playing field. Do what you can for your kids but this seems a pointless exercise.
Things seems tougher and more competitive than before.

There is inflation in everything from GPA to average SAT to average expected level of education.
To the extent there's grade and test inflation, shouldn't that make it easier for your kids? They get higher grades and test scores for doing less work?
Correct. OP does not appear to understand how inflation (grade or otherwise) works. :oops:
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Re: Family Costs 1970s vs 2020s

Post by sailaway »

nigel_ht wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 11:23 am
sailaway wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 10:46 am Housing per sq ft doesn't help when the average sq ft has more than doubled and it is actually difficult to find smaller housing options. I currently live in a house that is bigger than the one my parents raised 3 children + occasional foster children in because it was the smallest we could find in the area (this area didn't start development until the 80s, but it is where DH's work is). We have a roommate because it is far too much space for the two of us.
My first house was a 1100 sq ft 1960’s era 3br rancher...but, not surprisingly, when we had our third child we outgrew it. It was about the same size as my parents house.

We purchased a 1990’s 5 br Colonial that has all the same rooms of a contemporary Colonial but the room dimensions are smaller. It’s noticeably smaller when the kids visit their friends and occasionally we were size challenged during covid...our temporary dining room dance studio conversion is tighter than it would be in a 2010+ era house but 2020 was just odd. I would guess it’s anywhere from 500 to 1000 sq ft smaller depending on if the comparison is against a “normal” 5br house or a McMansion.

So depending on area you can find smaller homes...they’re just older.
Actually, it is surprising that you outgrew a 3 bedroom house when you had your third child. It isn't unusual for children to share. ANd in many places, those 3 bedroom houses are being torn down to build bigger houses, so the stock is decreasing, bringing the average home size up even faster than just new builds in new neighborhoods would.
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Re: Family Costs 1970s vs 2020s

Post by Watty »

JPM wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 11:38 am Fifty years is a long time and life changes immensely over that stretch.
One thing I find amazing is that my wife's grandfather settle in the west by covered wagon as a child in the late 1800's but he lived long enough to fly across the country on a normal airline flight.

He would have likely flown over some of the same areas that he traveled by covered wagon when he was a kid.
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Re: Family Costs 1970s vs 2020s

Post by qwertyjazz »

Things are ‘worse’ because things are better. More people compete for good jobs. College was such a rarity that just having it was enough to be in the top. Food is better. Electronics are better and more widespread. Healthcare is better. More people have access to better things. You cannot go back in time and try to level the playing field. We all want heuristics one how much to do for our kids. But every era, every location is different. You do what you can for them. Why limit yourself to where you were? Your kid’s lives will be both harder and easier.
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Re: Family Costs 1970s vs 2020s

Post by nigel_ht »

oldfort wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 11:55 am
nigel_ht wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 11:42 am
02nz wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 10:52 am
nigel_ht wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 9:45 am Q: So does it seem reasonable that I can equalize the playing field between then and now by just covering college?
What's the point of this? So you can say "you don't have it any tougher than I [or whoever] did"? What does that do? Why not equalize the playing field with the 1980s, or maybe 1770s? Life isn't a remotely equal playing field. Do what you can for your kids but this seems a pointless exercise.
Things seems tougher and more competitive than before.

There is inflation in everything from GPA to average SAT to average expected level of education.
To the extent there's grade and test inflation, shouldn't that make it easier for your kids? They get higher grades and test scores for doing less work?
No, I worded it wrong if that’s what you think I meant.

I mean that my old score and GPA, which used to be above average, wouldn’t get me into my alma mater which is a upper mid grade state school.
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Re: Family Costs 1970s vs 2020s

Post by simas »

nigel_ht wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 12:03 pm My life was easier than my parents. My kids life does not appear to be easier than mine. This is a trend line I can ameliorate to some degree. It’s actionable whether it’s as simple as a 529 or complex as some other financial structure.

Your grandparents were MY parents. So what? Their life experience is a completely useless benchmark for this discussion unless you think the US is going to fail as a country. And I doubt we can talk about that anyway in this forum.

If families that have gone through similar experiences don’t have some kind of contingency thinking about “what to do the next time” they will have squandered a lesson purchased with blood. But that’s a whole different discussion entirely and out of scope for this thread.
I am very much for sharing experiences and talk about 'what to do the next time'. I just think basing it on CPI or some other false certainties is unwise - instead focus on what they could potentially control. Take care of your health (both physical , emotional, and mental). Understand choices and consequences. Understand work and reward. Avoid self destructive actions (addictions, etc). Think through what makes wise/unwise decisions.

To me all of these are truths regardless of time period, continent, etc. Raise them to be a good human being. Raise them with moral compass of right and wrong and teach them to think for themselves. Teach them to respect themselves (physical/body image, emotionally, etc. Self esteem, self respect. This would carry them in any society and in any time. Listen to them without judging or belittling them .
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Re: Family Costs 1970s vs 2020s

Post by IRouteIP »

Watty wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 12:14 pm
One thing I find amazing is that my wife's grandfather settle in the west by covered wagon as a child in the late 1800's but he lived long enough to fly across the country on a normal airline flight.

He would have likely flown over some of the same areas that he traveled by covered wagon when he was a kid.
That is very cool!
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Re: Family Costs 1970s vs 2020s

Post by IRouteIP »

Families in the 1970s weren't paying for cable TV, Internet, and cell phone plans either.
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Re: Family Costs 1970s vs 2020s

Post by qwertyjazz »

59Gibson wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 9:54 am Housing(on coasts)/Education/Medical costs have been the culprits. Everything else is pretty much cheaper. But those 3 have offset the savings on vehicles, clothes, electronics, entertainment, investment costs.
Its a great head start if you're taking care of college, let them figure out the rest.
Electronics and entertainment have gotten more expensive. The individual items and processing power per dollar have dropped exponentially. This has increased their ubiquity and cost. The cost of an iPhone in 1976 is of course zero as it did not exist. Clothing costs have dropped. I am not sure about how improvement in types of food has been offset by improved logistics in past 50 years. Food though is cheaper than 100 years ago.
This thread is very helpful in helping my thinking process - thank you OP.
I am not sure how much is enough to give kids. It is always harder and easier. I think this about the conflict of emotions and resources that cannot be solved, but the process of internal and external dialogue can shape.
Last edited by qwertyjazz on Sat Jan 09, 2021 12:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Family Costs 1970s vs 2020s

Post by nigel_ht »

02nz wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 12:07 pm
oldfort wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 11:55 am
nigel_ht wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 11:42 am
02nz wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 10:52 am
nigel_ht wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 9:45 am Q: So does it seem reasonable that I can equalize the playing field between then and now by just covering college?
What's the point of this? So you can say "you don't have it any tougher than I [or whoever] did"? What does that do? Why not equalize the playing field with the 1980s, or maybe 1770s? Life isn't a remotely equal playing field. Do what you can for your kids but this seems a pointless exercise.
Things seems tougher and more competitive than before.

There is inflation in everything from GPA to average SAT to average expected level of education.
To the extent there's grade and test inflation, shouldn't that make it easier for your kids? They get higher grades and test scores for doing less work?
Correct. OP does not appear to understand how inflation (grade or otherwise) works. :oops:
Perhaps you can discuss without personal attacks?

No, too hard for some I think.
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Re: Family Costs 1970s vs 2020s

Post by e5116 »

#1 thing missing from my perspective is childcare costs. Daycare prices have soared. A lot more demand given there are many more two parent working families. It's basically college tuition from zero to four now. More women stayed at home in the 1970s than now, so while family income has gone up, I wonder if that's largely driven by the fact that there are fewer stay at home parents on a percentage basis (i.e. per capita income might tell a different story than family income, but when you double the income sources, hard to not come ahead).
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Re: Family Costs 1970s vs 2020s

Post by qwertyjazz »

oldfort wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 11:55 am
nigel_ht wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 11:42 am
02nz wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 10:52 am
nigel_ht wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 9:45 am Q: So does it seem reasonable that I can equalize the playing field between then and now by just covering college?
What's the point of this? So you can say "you don't have it any tougher than I [or whoever] did"? What does that do? Why not equalize the playing field with the 1980s, or maybe 1770s? Life isn't a remotely equal playing field. Do what you can for your kids but this seems a pointless exercise.
Things seems tougher and more competitive than before.

There is inflation in everything from GPA to average SAT to average expected level of education.
To the extent there's grade and test inflation, shouldn't that make it easier for your kids? They get higher grades and test scores for doing less work?
The problem is that of the Red Queen - running as fast as you can to stay in the same place. If you were the lucky ones to go to college, that used to be enough - no longer. It is a world of competition but generally improving lives on average. But there is no index funds in life that will always give the average.
G.E. Box "All models are wrong, but some are useful."
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Re: Family Costs 1970s vs 2020s

Post by nigel_ht »

simas wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 12:19 pm
nigel_ht wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 12:03 pm My life was easier than my parents. My kids life does not appear to be easier than mine. This is a trend line I can ameliorate to some degree. It’s actionable whether it’s as simple as a 529 or complex as some other financial structure.

Your grandparents were MY parents. So what? Their life experience is a completely useless benchmark for this discussion unless you think the US is going to fail as a country. And I doubt we can talk about that anyway in this forum.

If families that have gone through similar experiences don’t have some kind of contingency thinking about “what to do the next time” they will have squandered a lesson purchased with blood. But that’s a whole different discussion entirely and out of scope for this thread.
I am very much for sharing experiences and talk about 'what to do the next time'. I just think basing it on CPI or some other false certainties is unwise - instead focus on what they could potentially control. Take care of your health (both physical , emotional, and mental). Understand choices and consequences. Understand work and reward. Avoid self destructive actions (addictions, etc). Think through what makes wise/unwise decisions.

To me all of these are truths regardless of time period, continent, etc. Raise them to be a good human being. Raise them with moral compass of right and wrong and teach them to think for themselves. Teach them to respect themselves (physical/body image, emotionally, etc. Self esteem, self respect. This would carry them in any society and in any time. Listen to them without judging or belittling them .
There are strategic issues and there are tactical issues.

Raising a child to be a reasonable adult tends to require strategy.

Deciding whether to pay for college or helping with the first mortgage is a more tactical financial issue.

Surviving war or massive civil unrest is in the realm of very low probability but very high impact contingency planning...I think folks should think about it and that some immigrants and their children have a lot more immediate history with what happens if you try to ignore Really Bad Things when they start to happen...

I don’t think we actually disagree very much...
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Re: Family Costs 1970s vs 2020s

Post by oldfort »

nigel_ht wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 12:19 pm
oldfort wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 11:55 am
nigel_ht wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 11:42 am
02nz wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 10:52 am
nigel_ht wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 9:45 am Q: So does it seem reasonable that I can equalize the playing field between then and now by just covering college?
What's the point of this? So you can say "you don't have it any tougher than I [or whoever] did"? What does that do? Why not equalize the playing field with the 1980s, or maybe 1770s? Life isn't a remotely equal playing field. Do what you can for your kids but this seems a pointless exercise.
Things seems tougher and more competitive than before.

There is inflation in everything from GPA to average SAT to average expected level of education.
To the extent there's grade and test inflation, shouldn't that make it easier for your kids? They get higher grades and test scores for doing less work?
No, I worded it wrong if that’s what you think I meant.

I mean that my old score and GPA, which used to be above average, wouldn’t get me into my alma mater which is a upper mid grade state school.
It's difficult to compare test scores and grades over time. The ACT in particular appears to have gotten easier over time for the top students. The SAT has been more stable, but underwent its own re-centering in 1996. There's evidence the average high school GPA has been increasing for decades. You can debate whether it's because kids are working harder or the teachers are grading easier.
https://www.applerouth.com/blog/2017/12 ... 6s-on-act/
https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED563025.pdf
https://www.insidehighered.com/views/20 ... tion-essay
Last edited by oldfort on Sat Jan 09, 2021 1:01 pm, edited 3 times in total.
simas
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Re: Family Costs 1970s vs 2020s

Post by simas »

nigel_ht wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 12:34 pm
simas wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 12:19 pm
nigel_ht wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 12:03 pm My life was easier than my parents. My kids life does not appear to be easier than mine. This is a trend line I can ameliorate to some degree. It’s actionable whether it’s as simple as a 529 or complex as some other financial structure.

Your grandparents were MY parents. So what? Their life experience is a completely useless benchmark for this discussion unless you think the US is going to fail as a country. And I doubt we can talk about that anyway in this forum.

If families that have gone through similar experiences don’t have some kind of contingency thinking about “what to do the next time” they will have squandered a lesson purchased with blood. But that’s a whole different discussion entirely and out of scope for this thread.
I am very much for sharing experiences and talk about 'what to do the next time'. I just think basing it on CPI or some other false certainties is unwise - instead focus on what they could potentially control. Take care of your health (both physical , emotional, and mental). Understand choices and consequences. Understand work and reward. Avoid self destructive actions (addictions, etc). Think through what makes wise/unwise decisions.

To me all of these are truths regardless of time period, continent, etc. Raise them to be a good human being. Raise them with moral compass of right and wrong and teach them to think for themselves. Teach them to respect themselves (physical/body image, emotionally, etc. Self esteem, self respect. This would carry them in any society and in any time. Listen to them without judging or belittling them .
There are strategic issues and there are tactical issues.

Raising a child to be a reasonable adult tends to require strategy.

Deciding whether to pay for college or helping with the first mortgage is a more tactical financial issue.

Surviving war or massive civil unrest is in the realm of very low probability but very high impact contingency planning...I think folks should think about it and that some immigrants and their children have a lot more immediate history with what happens if you try to ignore Really Bad Things when they start to happen...

I don’t think we actually disagree very much...
Yes, I don't think we disagree here (or in general).
the only comment that I had reading your message is that to me even tactical issues depend not on what the cost of X was Y years ago, to me it is irrelevant, it is now that matters, only now is what you can control. If we (my DW and myself) can help with down payment/first mortgage, etc -> we will, it would not matter to us what price per square foot in general somewhere was sometime ago. If we can assist with college , we will.

Our considerations are not based on formulas which to me is just an attempt to justify already made decision (sorry kid, you are belong 173% line adjusted for make-something-up factor and multiplied by i-look-for-excuses multiplier). if we decided to help => we help. if we did not (for whatever reason), price of X now vs Y some time ago is irrelevant to us.

Does it make sense to you?

Not a calculation given there is no way to compare X and Y now vs the past, no way to go into the past so penalizing or rewarding kids for what was and is completely outside of their control (college costs X years ago) to me is just moving responsibility (looking for excuses) for my decision to some make belief external party. if you want to do it -> do it. if you dont -> dont do it. Explain your decisions if you need (or want to). Your kids are not stupid and trying to excuse your decision making based on CPI or some other things is likely not going to be successful with them. As adults we own the decision and own the consequences.
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Re: Family Costs 1970s vs 2020s

Post by KlangFool »

OP,


The lesson from living and working in multiple countries plus first-hand observation of families across the world.

Earn a multiple of median household income of that country plus LBYM, you will live very well.


Earn a median household income and live a median household lifestyle, you will not live very well.

This is true across multiple countries and multiple time periods.


It is very simple.


If you want to live very well, do not be average.


KlangFool
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Re: Family Costs 1970s vs 2020s

Post by Wanderingwheelz »

PowderDay9 wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 11:51 am
simas wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 10:59 am so , enough with 'how hard we (current generation) got it' BS. totally untrue. I have it hundreds of times better than my parents and my kids have it better than I ever could have dreamed about. a room for each person - what fantasy is this?? You never go hungry and there is always something to eat if you want ? You are guaranteed education like high school and it is free? Dont give me 'how much more difficult it is', it is absolutely not - it is different.
I agree. Things aren't harder now than in the past. I think they're much easier. The difficulties are trying to keep up the ridiculously high standard of living. People in history and even the vast majority of the current population of the world don't have the luxuries and conveniences that Americans (and other developed countries) have today. There's many different sources but the median income of the world right now is less than $10k. We call that poverty in America. The middle class (and above) of America are the 1%-ers of the world. America is only 4% of the world's population and there's a lot of other people living at completely different standards.

As I raise my young kids, I have so many luxuries and conveniences that didn't exist 30 years ago. I have almost all the information I need at my fingertips. The baby has something wrong? I just google it. Something breaks at the house? There's a YouTube video of the exact issue and model. I have cameras I can watch the baby from the other room or anywhere. I have the ability to take an unlimited number of pictures and videos for free. When the grandparents want to see the baby, zoom is on within seconds. I can order things I need on my phone and they show up within a day or two at my doorstep. (Most people in the world today don't have access to Amazon or rapid delivery services). The daycare sends pictures and provides real time updates of when the baby has bowel movements and if they were normal. If the kids have even a temperature, the doctor is available to see them that day.

I could go on forever but feel so incredibly lucky and fortunate to be living in America at this time in history.
You were kidding about the poop pics, right?
Last edited by Wanderingwheelz on Sat Jan 09, 2021 1:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Family Costs 1970s vs 2020s

Post by geerhardusvos »

Sandtrap wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 10:43 am What it takes to be happy, fulfilled, and cared for, from the 1970's to 2020, is redefined.
For better or worse, that is the cost.
Agreed. The definitions of success, wealth, and having a full life have changed, and not for the better imho. Convenience, comfort, instant gratification, etc. seem to define the times. In someways the new American dream is to sit at home and play video games and watch Netflix all day. There will be ripple effects into the future generations because of what people actually desire. Having a family and local community that you love and support is somewhat fractured. How we interact with our families, our employers, etc. have changed. Let alone the grit and drive to build and achieve and innovate. Critical thinking, taking responsibility for your actions, being thick skinned, being able to debate difficult topics, etc aren’t in great supply.

But maybe I’m just getting old lol?
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Re: Family Costs 1970s vs 2020s

Post by oldfort »

qwertyjazz wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 12:32 pm
oldfort wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 11:55 am
nigel_ht wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 11:42 am
02nz wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 10:52 am
nigel_ht wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 9:45 am Q: So does it seem reasonable that I can equalize the playing field between then and now by just covering college?
What's the point of this? So you can say "you don't have it any tougher than I [or whoever] did"? What does that do? Why not equalize the playing field with the 1980s, or maybe 1770s? Life isn't a remotely equal playing field. Do what you can for your kids but this seems a pointless exercise.
Things seems tougher and more competitive than before.

There is inflation in everything from GPA to average SAT to average expected level of education.
To the extent there's grade and test inflation, shouldn't that make it easier for your kids? They get higher grades and test scores for doing less work?
The problem is that of the Red Queen - running as fast as you can to stay in the same place. If you were the lucky ones to go to college, that used to be enough - no longer. It is a world of competition but generally improving lives on average. But there is no index funds in life that will always give the average.
Why is it running as fast as you can to stay in the same place? Grade inflation means it's easier to get an A with less work. You can run slower.
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Re: Family Costs 1970s vs 2020s

Post by qwertyjazz »

oldfort wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 1:08 pm
qwertyjazz wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 12:32 pm
oldfort wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 11:55 am
nigel_ht wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 11:42 am
02nz wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 10:52 am

What's the point of this? So you can say "you don't have it any tougher than I [or whoever] did"? What does that do? Why not equalize the playing field with the 1980s, or maybe 1770s? Life isn't a remotely equal playing field. Do what you can for your kids but this seems a pointless exercise.
Things seems tougher and more competitive than before.

There is inflation in everything from GPA to average SAT to average expected level of education.
To the extent there's grade and test inflation, shouldn't that make it easier for your kids? They get higher grades and test scores for doing less work?
The problem is that of the Red Queen - running as fast as you can to stay in the same place. If you were the lucky ones to go to college, that used to be enough - no longer. It is a world of competition but generally improving lives on average. But there is no index funds in life that will always give the average.
Why is it running as fast as you can to stay in the same place? Grade inflation means it's easier to get an A. You can run slower.
Yes but the grade is worth less in the job market - so now you also have to do a great internship, maybe publish research to get the same job. As well the grades have less value. Jobs/grad schools have higher cut offs. You are competing with others in the same environment. The grade is not the goal in isolation.
Last edited by qwertyjazz on Sat Jan 09, 2021 1:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Watty
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Re: Family Costs 1970s vs 2020s

Post by Watty »

IRouteIP wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 12:22 pm
Watty wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 12:14 pm
One thing I find amazing is that my wife's grandfather settle in the west by covered wagon as a child in the late 1800's but he lived long enough to fly across the country on a normal airline flight.

He would have likely flown over some of the same areas that he traveled by covered wagon when he was a kid.
That is very cool!
As I recall he lived until the 1950's and he would have seen the introduction of electricity, radio, TV, airplanes, and automobiles.

Even in our lifetimes it is easy to forget that the iPhone was only introduced 14 years ago in 2007 and smartphones as we know them did not really exist before then.
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Re: Family Costs 1970s vs 2020s

Post by KneePartsPro »

nigel_ht wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 9:45 am
The one place that is hugely more expensive between then and now is college education.
This is true. At the same time, high school students who are motivated can now complete lots of college credits (nearly 50% depending upon the degree) during high school at very low cost per credit. In addition, many class requirements can be fulfilled at very low cost at community colleges and lower cost online learning opportunities abound.

Today, it is entirely possible for resourceful students and parents to figure out ways to graduate from very respected universities without actually obtaining nearly all of their credits at said school. Many of the opportunities to do so did not previously exist.
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Re: Family Costs 1970s vs 2020s

Post by PowderDay9 »

Wanderingwheelz wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 1:06 pm You were kidding about the poop pics, right?
I didn't articulate that very well. They send pictures of the baby and separately send status updates of each diaper change with what was in the diaper and if it was normal or what was abnormal about it.

It wouldn't surprise me though. Some of my coworkers send their kids to more expensive daycares and they get live reports on multiple aspects of the bowel movements. Color, consistency, etc. I remember seeing it on my coworkers app and thinking it was like a corporate dashboard of information about everything happening with their baby at daycare.
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Re: Family Costs 1970s vs 2020s

Post by oldfort »

Some of the posters complaining about credential inflation might be part of the problem. If you're a hiring manager, when was the last time you gave a job offer or interview to someone without a college degree? Are you more likely to hire the PhD/MS/MBA candidate over the BS?
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Re: Family Costs 1970s vs 2020s

Post by iamblessed »

My neighborhood is not as nice as the 1970's how about yours?
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Re: Family Costs 1970s vs 2020s

Post by 59Gibson »

qwertyjazz wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 12:24 pm
59Gibson wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 9:54 am Housing(on coasts)/Education/Medical costs have been the culprits. Everything else is pretty much cheaper. But those 3 have offset the savings on vehicles, clothes, electronics, entertainment, investment costs.
Its a great head start if you're taking care of college, let them figure out the rest.
Electronics and entertainment have gotten more expensive. The individual items and processing power per dollar have dropped exponentially. This has increased their ubiquity and cost. The cost of an iPhone in 1976 is of course zero as it did not exist. Clothing costs have dropped. I am not sure about how improvement in types of food has been offset by improved logistics in past 50 years. Food though is cheaper than 100 years ago.
This thread is very helpful in helping my thinking process - thank you OP.
I am not sure how much is enough to give kids. It is always harder and easier. I think this about the conflict of emotions and resources that cannot be solved, but the process of internal and external dialogue can shape.
Huh?Electronics and entertainment more expensive? I recently bought a chromebook for $200. 20-25 years ago a basic/no frills PC cost $700-$1500. VCRs were $400-600 in 1980s. CD players were $300. CD box sets went for $50-100 in the late 80s early 90s.
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Re: Family Costs 1970s vs 2020s

Post by KlangFool »

OP,


Every generation has to compete and to be above average in order to live well at their time. Whatever happened in the past has no relevance in the present.

KlangFool
qwertyjazz
Posts: 1490
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2016 4:24 am

Re: Family Costs 1970s vs 2020s

Post by qwertyjazz »

59Gibson wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 2:11 pm
qwertyjazz wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 12:24 pm
59Gibson wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 9:54 am Housing(on coasts)/Education/Medical costs have been the culprits. Everything else is pretty much cheaper. But those 3 have offset the savings on vehicles, clothes, electronics, entertainment, investment costs.
Its a great head start if you're taking care of college, let them figure out the rest.
Electronics and entertainment have gotten more expensive. The individual items and processing power per dollar have dropped exponentially. This has increased their ubiquity and cost. The cost of an iPhone in 1976 is of course zero as it did not exist. Clothing costs have dropped. I am not sure about how improvement in types of food has been offset by improved logistics in past 50 years. Food though is cheaper than 100 years ago.
This thread is very helpful in helping my thinking process - thank you OP.
I am not sure how much is enough to give kids. It is always harder and easier. I think this about the conflict of emotions and resources that cannot be solved, but the process of internal and external dialogue can shape.
Huh?Electronics and entertainment more expensive? I recently bought a chromebook for $200. 20-25 years ago a basic/no frills PC cost $700-$1500. VCRs were $400-600 in 1980s. CD players were $300. CD box sets went for $50-100 in the late 80s early 90s.
Yes each item is cheaper - but there are more of them to ‘live a good life.’ You were lucky to have a family computer 20 years ago. Now schools need each kid to have a chrome book. Some people would have hundreds of CDs but not most. Now more people have Spotify than had CDs etc etc
Electronics and entertainment are a larger budget expense given they are more affordable almost paradoxically. Kids entertainment expenses might be a bike every few years. While you could still live that lifestyle, more kids do more things.
G.E. Box "All models are wrong, but some are useful."
qwertyjazz
Posts: 1490
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2016 4:24 am

Re: Family Costs 1970s vs 2020s

Post by qwertyjazz »

KlangFool wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 2:17 pm OP,


Every generation has to compete and to be above average in order to live well at their time. Whatever happened in the past has no relevance in the present.

KlangFool
But there are always back to the old ways movements that do save money. MMM or ERE now. Thoreau etc etc They use a different baseline. But by having the baseline increase over time, it gets easier to go backwards for cheaper and live better.
G.E. Box "All models are wrong, but some are useful."
alfaspider
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Joined: Wed Sep 09, 2015 4:44 pm

Re: Family Costs 1970s vs 2020s

Post by alfaspider »

iamblessed wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 1:54 pm My neighborhood is not as nice as the 1970's how about yours?
I wasn’t alive in the 1970s, but my neighborhood (inner ring suburb) is certainly nicer then it was then (most original homes date to the mid 60s). Most of those 2,000-3,500 sq ft homes from the 60s have been replaced with enormous homes in the 5,000-10,000sqft range.

My old neighborhood (moved last year), a close in neighborhood just out of walking distance for the city center was nearly derelict on the 1970s, and was considered a dangerous neighborhood as late as the early 90s. It’s now full of meticulously renovated historic houses and hip coffee shops.

I can’t think of any neighborhoods that have gone downhill since the 1970s around here.


Anyhow, I remember my grandfather taking me aside one time (he grew up during the Great Depression) and told me never pay attention to people waxing poetic about the “good old days.” Things have never been so good, even if some individuals may have it hard, and many face unique challenges.
Monsterflockster
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Joined: Thu Nov 21, 2019 12:03 am

Re: Family Costs 1970s vs 2020s

Post by Monsterflockster »

In the 1970’s my grandmother made $113 a week as a credentialed teacher in the Bay Area. They also bought their house in Willow Glen for $14,000. An orchard was two blocks away.

Times do change...
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