I pay hundreds of thousands in taxes each year. I have never bought a home, because I didn’t think I could afford a decent one and, at the same time, save enough for my future retirement and health expenses.[/quote]
Anyone who pays HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of dollars in taxes EVERY YEAR could afford to buy a house if they wanted to.
Not unless you rely on something, meadandale, that is central to the little crisis we’re having right now. People thought they could work and ‘save’ for 10-20 years (after working without saving for another 15-25 years), and then retire with enough to live comfortably until they died, whenever that was.
Saving consisted of borrowing, using a home as collateral, and buying houses and stocks. Usually, the total amount spent on the assets was very little more than the total borrowing, so very little real saving was going on. People were really borrowing to invest at higher returns than the debt. As long as houses and stocks went up by more than the interest rate on their loans, they got “free money” which they considered savings.
I don’t assume any of that nonsense. If I work and save for 20 years, and hope to live after retirement for as long as 40 years, then I must save 2/3 of my net after-tax income. If you restrict your spending (of every type) to 1/3 of your after-tax income, it’s not so easy / responsible to buy a nice home.