Making Less Money Than Your Dad Did

A new study finds that men in the 30s are making less than their fathers did. Since this age group is somewhat representative of what the generation is likely to earn for the rest of their lives. While the reasons for this have not been determined at this point, they will be studied later.

Using past Census Bureau data and adjusting for inflation, the study found that men in their 30s in 2004 had a median income of about $35,000 per year while the same age group in 1974 had an income of $40,000 per year. This is a 12% drop in income for the newer generation.

Since one of the pillars of “the American Dream” is the thought that kids will be better off than their parents, this assumption may need to be rethought for future generations.

Money Magazine also has an article on this study

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2 Responses to Making Less Money Than Your Dad Did

  1. Joey says:

    Alfred…I think you listed just about all of it, right on.

    I can’t say I happen to be one of them. My father had a second grade education before his parents took him out of school. He made $23k at 30, he is making $42k at 59. At 25 I was making $30k. At 32 I was at $80k for just the 9-5 job, not including side work. But I look at all of my brothers and sisters, they are ALL making well under $30k a year.

    For my family, I know what the problem was; ZERO focus on education after high school. All my parents ever cared about was making sure we got our high school diploma. After that, who cares.

    In our case, its easy to point at my folks and know what went wrong. But I see so many friends in this exact scenario. Not even adjusting for inflation!

  2. Harm says:

    My Dad had a very good job as
    a university professor, and though
    I’m not a slacker, I’m simply not
    as academically ambitious as he
    was. I’m ok with making a bit less
    than he did, and understand the
    reasons….one BIG reason I’ll be
    “poorer” than he was (in our
    respective later years) is that I
    have to put more resources towards
    providing for my retirement health
    care….and retirement, for that
    matter. I’ve chosen a different
    path than he did, and recognize that
    the benefits will be a bit less.

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