Thursday, December 15, 2011

Am I Better Off Than My Parents?

For now (age 53), the answer is yes.  Here were some of the factors that helped:

  • Education.  My parents helped me get an education at a very good university.  I contributed by majoring in Chemical Engineering which helped me get a high paying job right out of college.  For reference, my dad also had a degree in Chemical Engineering (B.S. and M.S.) and Nuclear Engineering   (PhD).
  • Career.  I worked for a Fortune 25 company for all of my career advancing to the top 5% of management.   My dad advance to first level management in one the top privately held companies for which he worked.  Advancing further in management definitely helped our finances.
  • Later marriage.    My parents were married at 30 and had two kids almost right away.  I didn't get married until my late thirties and didn't have our child until my mid forties.   Marrying and having one child later definitely helped our finances.
  • Retirement.  I retired at 49.  My wife stopped working at 38.   My dad retired at 72.  My mom stopped working at 32.  Early retirement helped our quality of life but not necessarily our finances.

All these factors helped me be better off than my parents at the same age until now.  However, going forward, I don't know if I'll continue to be better off than my parents when I reach 70, mainly because my dad continued to work until 72.  Unless the current economic conditions change significantly, our saving and retirement accounts will not likely grow to level my parent had in their seventies.

For more on Crossing Generations, check back every Thursday  for a new segment.

This is not financial advice. Please consult a professional advisor.

Copyright © 2011 Achievement Catalyst, LLC

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