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Are you richer than your parents were?
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# 21
Old 24-10-2012, 9:44 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2012
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Default Age 64

I'm substantially better off with a work's and state pension. My husband and I own our home outright. My mother died of cancer when she was just 42 years of age and I was still a teenager. Both parents came from large families and had to leave school at 14 to help support their own parents. It was such a pity because my mum and dad were both intelligent people. I'm so grateful to my father for recognising the value of education and allowing me the opportunity to go to teacher training college. However, I also would not have been able to do this without the help of a student grant.
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# 22
Old 24-10-2012, 9:54 AM
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Default Each generation can build on the fortunes of the last

I'm better off than my parents because they left me money from the sale of their property when they died .
My parents started their working life on the factory floor, I am a retired teacher and my daughter is a doctor.we used the opportunities given to us and worked hard all our lives.
I'm not sure if this trend will continue but it seems to be reflected in your poll so far.
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# 23
Old 24-10-2012, 11:04 AM
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Location: Midlands
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It's a daft question really and one that isn't answerable by yes or no.

Food for example is generably far cheaper and with far more choices than there was just 40 years ago.
Also the relative wages for working class people are higher and the benefits system covers you for a great deal more than it did.

However housing costs are much higher than they were ... virtually everyone 40 years back even in London could get a house on a mortgage and with an ordinary working class job....they can't now.
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# 24
Old 24-10-2012, 11:23 AM
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Question Am I better off.

At 79 I am rather better off (I think) Father died at 68 and Mother at 74. So if being alive during these rubbish times is a good thing then I have to say I am better off, as are my 2 sons.
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# 25
Old 24-10-2012, 1:05 PM
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It is an odd question. Other than being related by blood to my parents and they did a great job bringing me up, I'm a completely different animal, as I'd imagine many other people are.
In my case they were very ambitious, aspirational business people (now retired and living very comfortably), I'm happy to earn a reasonable living. No ambition, never saw the point really unless you're going to discover the cause of gravity or cure cancer. Making money is not an end in itself.

That said, I'm doing OK, can't complain. At a comparable age, I'm probably as well off as they were but that's down to cheaper consumer goods and luxuries. I seem to remember a bog standard hi-fi in the 70s was about a couple of week's wages and TVs were so expensive you generally rented. Now all that stuff is cheap and disposable.
Apparently I'm 10 years old on MSE. Happy birthday to me...etc
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# 26
Old 24-10-2012, 2:16 PM
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Simple answer - Yes

Both my parents worked hard and my mum had to have 3 jobs so that they could afford things
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# 27
Old 24-10-2012, 2:43 PM
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By the time they were my age my parents owned their house outright but had seven children! I can't afford a mortgage or kids.

My siblings and I looked after them until the end. Who will look after me; I'm the seventh child?
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# 28
Old 24-10-2012, 2:57 PM
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My parents were in a much less materialist society so probably considered themselves more well off than we do, because they wanted for less. However, I would say we have more money coming in but "need" (read want) more things.
For instance, how much would they have spent on a holiday, wedding, honeymoon, how often would they have changed their furniture and purchased new clothes.

(I'm 24)
Bump due 22nd September

Last edited by hayleythedaisy; 27-10-2012 at 2:46 PM.
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# 29
Old 24-10-2012, 3:15 PM
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I'm 56, married with 3 adult kids. We own our house outright and run a car. My parents were in the same position at the same age. However 3 years ago I had to take early retirement due to ill health. Had that not happened we would be considerably better off than my parents were at the same age. But having had a serious health scare I realised that money and wealth are not as important as health and family, so I'm happy with what we have.
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# 30
Old 24-10-2012, 3:25 PM
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Location: Midlands
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We've yet to hear from the under 30s
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# 31
Old 24-10-2012, 5:25 PM
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>>>Each generation can build on the fortunes of the last<<<

Not in our case - the older generation is still spending it
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# 32
Old 24-10-2012, 5:50 PM
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Mother stayed at home until she became a dinner lady when youngest sister was 9, then the school cook. Father was a miner.

They had their own house - but much of their money was spent in the pub, to be perfectly frank.

We are better off as we saved like mad.
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# 33
Old 24-10-2012, 9:12 PM
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I put worse off, as my parents live in a house worth in excess of 1million where as we live in a property worth probably about a quarter of that!

But that's probably more down to the property market than particularly where we are relative to each other.

At my age, my father was a senior manager in the finance industry, my mother was a SAHM, and they had two children. They lived a comfortable existence, building savings and pensions and living in a pleasant family home in a leafy suburb of Surrey befitting a senior manager and his family. They had a manageable mortgage on their property which they were comfortably able to pay off in their 50s. They educated two children privately.

We are in our thirties, with two children currently educated in the state system, but we wouldn't rule out private education, but it would challenge us financially. We are both working, DH full time, me part-time in professional public sector jobs. We both earn comfortable, but not huge salaries. Neither one of us earns the adjusted equivalent of what my father earned, but combined I imagine we would earn the equivalent or maybe more than he brought home. Our pension provisions are being eroded, and are likely to be worth less than his. We own our house outright at a younger age than they did, but couldn't ever imagine being able to afford a house of the value of my parents.

It's hard to really compare like for like. In all honesty, if the housing market had stayed the same and pension provision was still as generous I'd say we were probably on a par with my parents. But due to the differences in the economy, they were actually far better off than us, being able to afford property we can only dream of, and having the security of a fully employer contributed pension that has kept them more than comfortable for the time since retirement, where as we are having to sink large amounts of money into pensions, without any guarantee of what they will pay out.
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# 34
Old 25-10-2012, 12:34 PM
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I'm 50 and delighted that I'm worse off than my parents!

The only reason that my parents were financially better off than me is that they had inherited from 4 relatives, they had no older generation left.., whilst we still have a full set. Long may it last.
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# 35
Old 26-10-2012, 12:32 PM
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I don't really know how to answer this one. At my age (28) my parents had been married several years, owned a house and had two children. I'm single and rent. So the answer is probably they were richer, as there were two of them and they could therefore buy a house - being single means your costs are higher and it's much more difficult to buy a house so you have to spend a ton on rent.

On the other hand, I have a better job income-wise than they did at this age (possibly - better than my mum anyway, not sure how it compares to my dad at the same age, but I'm fairly sure I earn more), and without dependants I expect I have more spare income to travel and buy nice things.
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# 36
Old 31-10-2012, 8:01 AM
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How strange ! I know I commented on this poll but my comment has vanished?
wltw (would like to win) A plumber & 1,000 @ Homebase or B&Q; single electric oven w electronic programmable timers, FGW ticket(s) & a nice surprise
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# 37
Old 31-10-2012, 7:33 PM
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People expect far more now than my generation (and certainly my parents' generation!) More of their income goes on these things, which we lived without. We started work as soon as we left school (me at 15) so were earning earlier. There was far less divorce so earnings were pooled (that is, until children started coming) when most mothers stayed at home at least until the children started school and even then, it was usually part-time. Also, women didn't earn much in those days.
With the divorce rate so high now, there are so many fathers having to support first families as well as second ones; a significant contributory factor to domestic economic problems, in spite of much higher earnings now.
It is very difficult to compare like with like.
I remember being very poor when my children were small. It would be considered living in poverty today. Most of my baby equipment was second-hand (however, I sold it for what I paid for it!) Their 'Big' toys at Christmas were certainly second-hand and then 'Done-Up' and I often bought second-hand clothes for them. I didn't have a washing machine, fridge or TV until our eldest was 3. Our entertainment was an old radio with a lid and a record player used with records borrowed from the library! We were however, buying our own house, which was our top priority. Life consisted of 'Priorities' - Roof over your head (1) Food (2) clothes (3). Anything else, if we couldn't afford it, we didn't have it. It was as simple as that. We certainly never went into debt for things. I've known people who go into debt to pay for Christmas!
Now we are retired with grandchildren and great-grand-children, our mortage has long been paid off (our home never borrowed on) we have no debt and consider ourselves far better off than our parents at the same age.
I think most of the younger respondents above, will probably find as they get older, their responses will be very different. In general, if they are wise, people do get better off (as is natural) as they gradually progress through life.
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# 38
Old 01-11-2012, 10:46 AM
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I think the main factor that skews our idea of how much better or worse than your parents were is the value of property. Whereas in terms of relative income you may actually be much better off.

Your parents more than likely will have managed on a relatively modest wage to buy their houses that will in today's term cost 4 or 5 times what they would have then.
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# 39
Old 01-11-2012, 10:55 AM
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Much better off.

Both financially and emotionally.
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# 40
Old 14-11-2012, 4:53 PM
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We are definitely better off than either set of parents. My parents owned their own home and both were working, but there was no money spare at all, likewise my OH's parents. We not only own a house that's worth nearly 500K outright (in the southeast where I live that's pretty normal), we run two cars and have at least one foreign holiday a year and usually more than one.
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