As Americans, we’re used to a much higher standard of living than the rest of the world. By the age of 30, many of us expect to graduate from college, buy a car, get married and then buy a house with our new bride. Everybody should strive and hopefully achieve this American Dream, but what is it costing us along the way?
Today’s infographic takes a look at the amount we are spending and taking on as debt to achieve this dream of ours.
The infographic doesn’t specify this, but the debt at each age is the cumulative amount by age 30. Notice how the amount does not increase and is abnormally high at some ages – most people don’t have $10,000 of credit card at age 18. That aside, the timeline and total debt by age 30 is very accurate. During the 10 – 12 years after graduating high school, we will accrue most of the debt in our lifetime. Is it smart to spend/borrow so much money in such a short amount of time while we are making the least we will ever make (hopefully)?
I for one, took a slightly different route. By the time that this infographic says that most people are buying homes, I owned a few. However, I purchased one less than a year before the housing crash. Obviously, I wish I would have purchased this home at a different time. I also think that on average, people are waiting longer to get married. With unemployment so high for recent college graduates, it’s tough to justify that big wedding that so many women dream of. We may also see the average homeowner age increase as banks are once again requiring buyers to put money down. Gone are the days of 0% down and that’s a good thing.
READERS: What has been your path to the American Dream (or any other country for that matter)? Are you happy with the outcome? Would you do anything differently?