Weekend Reading: 24 Charts That Show We’re (Mostly) Living Better Than Our Parents

This article appears as part of Casey Weade's Weekend Reading for Retirees series. Every Friday, Casey highlights four hand-picked articles on trending retirement topics and delivers them straight to your email inbox. Get on the list here.
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Weekend Reading

Despite what some might believe, the data doesn’t lie; U.S. living standards have improved significantly over the last 40 years.


A reason for optimism: We are certainly experiencing record-high inflation, but our idea of the “American Dream” may not be a thing of the past. It could just be more difficult to see right now. While certain areas, such as college tuition and rent have risen in many parts of the country, we’re flourishing in other facets, which you can clearly see here. Some of the most noteworthy? They include:

📌 From 1960, U.S. households are now spending 17 percent less on food and clothing, as incomes have surpassed the rising costs of these items

📌 While energy costs increased 30 percent over the last year (contributing to today’s inflation), over the long run, gas prices do not have a big impact on cost of living

📌 Mortgage payments on median-priced homes have fallen five percent since 1989, so homeownership has actually become cheaper

📌 Fewer people are dying of heart disease across all age groups, and more Americans are surviving cancer

📌 More Americans than ever before have health insurance

📌 Workers without a college degree keep retiring earlier, while college graduates are retiring later. Why? This is potentially due to longer life spans and the possibility that many might enjoy continuing their work.

Not all doom and gloom: If you pay attention to “the good stuff”, you’ll realize things aren’t nearly as bad as many (especially the media) make them out to be.