Would you be better off if you were 25 in the 1980s or today? Apparently today’s young need to earn twice as much as their parents to match their lifestyle of marrying, buying a house and having children.
If you’re in your twenties today (like moi) you’re probably worse off than your parents were at the same age.
A report by First Direct found that today’s twenty-somethings would need £40k to match their parents’ lifestyle – on average they actually earn just £21k.
That extra dosh would make it easier for young Brits to buy a house, marry or have kids. These are key life stages that earlier generations seemingly didn’t feel they had to delay, but today they’re being pushed into the mid-30s.
In fact, three quarters of the 3,000 polled agreed that today’s young people ‘are the most financially pressured in history’. Maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but house prices, one of the biggest financial pressures, have surged.
A married couple in 1985 could pick up their home for an average of £35,000, compared to £163,000 for a similar house today.
Sure, there’s no point comparing pounds like-for-like over the years, but if we weigh these house prices against the wages of the day, you’d have to pay four times your average salary for your house in 1985, compared to an eye-watering eight times today.
First-time buyers left out
So although the house price boom may have been good news for older generations, it’s another story for first-time buyers trying to get on the market.
What do you think the average age of a first-time buyer (who doesn’t get help from their parents) is today? The ripe old age of 37. Ok, maybe that’s not ripe nor is it old, but it’s certainly leaving us twenty-somethings out of the party.
Do you think today’s young people have a bum deal compared to their parents? Or were times just as tough for them?