My parents actually lived the American Dream. They immigrated from Costa Rica. They came to this country to find better opportunities and a better life. They married, they worked and raised us in the United States.
We weren't rich; we weren't poor. We were middle class. They bought a house and we went to catholic school. We sometimes struggled and didn't have a lot of extras. We didn't get the best toys or the most expensive clothes but we always had enough to eat, clothes to wear and a home. Every once in a while, we also had some luxuries. Not many, but some. They had a better life here and me and my sister are lucky that we were born here in the U.S.
Being born and raised here, I bought into what everyone thought the American Dream was. I think when I was little the American Dream was growing up, going to college, getting married, having children and then owning my own home with the white picket fence. The expectation was that my life would be better than my parents and I would be happy.
As I grew older, that dream changed. I realized that I might not want what I wanted when I was little. It was tough for my parents to save enough money to put us through college but I worked hard and received scholarships and worked 3 jobs and put myself through college. After college, I found a profession I love and worked hard to have what I have. Now that I am 50 years old, I want to retire early and have enough money to do so. My parents were able to do that and I am thankful for that.
Recently, MassMutual compiled the State of the American Family Study. Here is more information about the study:
The "State of the American Family" program, an in-depth series of research studies MassMutual commissioned over the months and years ahead, is exploring the changing definitions and dynamics of families in this country. This multiyear initiative will produce a deeper understanding of the different forms families take, how factors like ethnicity and income affect family dynamics, how family members interact on financial and other matters, and trends that can help shape families in the coming decade. The "State of the American Family" can help provide America's adults and children with the information and guidance they need to make responsible financial decisions.
Some of the highlights of the study included that American families hold four core values when it come to finances.
* Putting family firstThese are interesting. I think it says a lot about the people surveyed. I love that more and more people are thinking about the future. It is important to start early. I know I should have started saving earlier than I did. I remember my parents made sure we had a bank account when we were little. And that taught us how to save and be responsible.
* Being actively involved in household financial decisions
* Educating children about money
* Making sure that children aren't burdened by parents' care as they age.
My husband makes sure I am actively involved in our finances as well. I am not great with money but he makes sure that I am doing the right things especially now that we are both over 50 years old. He has tried to set us up for our retirement because nowadays it takes so much more money to be financially secure.
MassMutual also offers these tips to help American Families plan for the future.
* Think about retirement
* Protect your income
* Plan for your children’s education
* Secure your Family's future
* Teach Future generations about finances
* Prepare for rising health care costs
If you haven't planned, there is still time. To learn how MassMutual can help families achieve their American Dream today, please review the MassMutual Family Finances study. You can also visit MassMutual to find a financial professional to help you take the next step int creating a solid financial strategy.
Remember, it is never too late to take control of your future and finances.