The phrase the “American Dream” is well known, but is the conventional definition of the American Dream still still alive?
Women today manage to be mothers and CEO’s; wives who make more money than their husbands, and the husbands fully support their wives’ role in the family. Single-parent families are on the rise but all still cling to achieving the ever-changing American Dream.
In today’s economy, it is frequently not enough to have a Bachelor’s degree; more and more it is necessary to go to graduate and postgraduate schools. For some, the American Dream is to finally do away with paying off the student loans; for others, it is getting out of debt that they accumulated while pursuing their own phantom of the American Dream: keeping up with the Joneses – living in the right neighborhood, driving the right kind of car, being seen in the right restaurants and not living within their means. As I mentioned before, for some families, the American Dream is seeing their children graduate from college, or even high school, because they would be the first generation to do so. For those newly minted graduates the American Dream is something else altogether. There is yet another version of the American Dream – being comfortable in one’s old age, not having to depend on anyone financially or otherwise. Then, of course, there are those who dream of making millions: be it from the stock market of through a scientific discovery or hard work in the right field. For many, the good stock portfolio is an integral part of their American Dream. The traditional version of the American Dream – a nice house (maybe even a pool!) and a white picket fence, a nice wife who raises nice kids; a nice job that will give you a gold watch after twenty-five years of working there and, please, God, a million dollars.
In today’s world, the nice wife has to work because it is almost impossible to raise children on one income, a nice job is not nearly as secure as in the old days; if you want to buy a nice house, your credit score had better be good enough to secure a mortgage, and a million dollars doesn’t even go all that far any longer.
However, this has never changed: the American Dream, whatever it might be for you is attainable if you have the right relationship with your money. If you save, if you know exactly where you stand financially, if you adhere to your budget and move to achieve your financial goals; if you teach your children so they, too, are financially literate, if you strive for financial security, future or present, you are well on the way to your American Dream. In fact, you might be living it already…
Written by Reeta Wolfsohn, CMSW
This submission was originally published at http://www.financialsocialwork.com/american-dream-mine-yours-his-hers and was syndicated with the permission of the author.
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