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Is The Hp Boom Pyschologically Damaging A Generation?

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Went out to a dinner part last night and an interesting topic came up from the wife of a doctor who was a psych. nurse. She said that she saw a lot of depression in under 40s caused by unrealistic salary expectations. People thought they were not successful because they didn't earn X amount and this lead to depression!

So that got me thinking and so I thought I'd ask you guys as I cannot find salary data for age groups on the web.

What do you think is a 'good' salary for a:

20 yr old

30 yr old

40 yr old

We're not talking about a city high flyer, just a general 'good' salary. I'd personally say if you're 20 and earning 20K+ you're doing alright, in your 30 and earning 28K+ you should consider yourself well above average. I base this on the 26K average salary figures which I guess take into account 50 year olds earning far more.

When you hear your friends say you should be earning 40K+ at 30 in the Midlands it really does make you think they are being unrealistic for many (and for some of the non-doctors even for themselves). I personally have a sneaking suspicion that the HP boom of recent years HAS caused unrealistic salary expectation and therefore depression. If this is the case, there could be some serious knock on effects for a generation and an increasing load put on the NHS.

Edited by willing

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Oh before some bull says I just have an axe to grind - I'm 30 and earn lower 40K in the Hereford area. However, I do consider myself extremely lucky to be where I am.

(edited: for spelling, damn dyslexia!)

Edited by willing

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Went out to a dinner part last night and an interesting topic came up from the wife of a doctor who was a psych. nurse. She said that she saw a lot of depression in under 40s caused by unrealistic salary expectations. People thought they were not successful because they didn't earn X amount and this lead to depression!

So that got me thinking and so I thought I'd ask you guys as I cannot find salary data for age groups on the web.

What do you think is a 'good' salary for a:

20 yr old

30 yr old

40 yr old

We're not talking about a city high flyer, just a general 'good' salary. I'd personally say if you're 20 and earning 20K+ you're doing alright, in your 30 and earning 28K+ you should consider yourself well above average. I base this on the 26K average salary figures which I guess take into account 50 year olds earning far more.

When you hear your friends say you should be earning 40K+ at 30 in the Midlands it really does make you think they are being unrealistic for many (and for some of the non-doctors even for themselves). I personally have a sneaking suspicion that the HP boom of recent years HAS caused unrealistic salary expectation and therefore depression. If this is the case, there could be some serious knock on effects for a generation and an increasing load put on the NHS.

It's difficult to answer this question without going into geographic bands. Obviously one needs a heck of a lot more money in to have the same lifestyle in London as one can have in a country town up north somewhere.

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It's difficult to answer this question without going into geographic bands. Obviously one needs a heck of a lot more money in to have the same lifestyle in London as one can have in a country town up north somewhere.

I agree, but what you hear most of (certainly from my friends) is:

"I'm in such a crap job on so little money. Everyone else is earning 40K for what I do...etc."

In actual fact if you then survey your mates you find out that they are all on about the same (with the obvious exceptions of the doctors).

People seem to feel that the 60K plus salaries of London apply accross Britain. I blame the media for this to some extent.

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Your numbers seem absolutely reasonable...but compared to the price of property they're risibly inadequate.

I'd say the depression is due to finding that however hard you work you just seem to get poorer in real terms every year. Certainly depresses the hell out of me.

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Rule of thumb my friends and I used was earn your age till your thirties and then some who can will push on.

We're mostly graduates and this would seem to be the general pattern. What some don't realise is that for many your relative rate of wage inflation plateaus in your thirties.

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Rule of thumb my friends and I used was earn your age till your thirties and then some who can will push on.

We're mostly graduates and this would seem to be the general pattern. What some don't realise is that for many your relative rate of wage inflation plateaus in your thirties.

Not a bad rule, but it doesn't sit with today's expectations. I have a nephew who is convinced that when he comes out of uni he will earn 50K within a few years. He's doing Italian Studies. How he got to this figure god only knows, but he's far more likely to be on 20K at 30 than 50K in my view. Completely unrealistic.

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She said that she saw a lot of depression in under 40s caused by unrealistic salary expectations. People thought they were not successful because they didn't earn X amount and this lead to depression!

I can, hand on heart, say that the housing bubble is one of the reasons that led to my bad spell of depression in 2003-2004.

It wasn't down to unrealistic salary expectations, though. I had been earning good money at that time, but even so house prices seemed to rise at an exponential rate which dwarfed my ability to save.

I consider myself as a rational person and just could not fathom why the market appeared to be behaving so irrationally.

Before finding this website in late 2004, I had been confused, angry and upset about the situation and that no-one really seemed to be speaking up for first time buyers.

This is still the only website that really is attempting to talk some sense to the young people of the country.

The attempts by housing market interests and permabulls to make mockeries of the views expressed here is a cowardly attack on the vulnerabilities of young people.

This is war. :angry:

Edited by Warwickshire Lad

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Not a bad rule, but it doesn't sit with today's expectations. I have a nephew who is convinced that when he comes out of uni he will earn 50K within a few years. He's doing Italian Studies. How he got to this figure god only knows, but he's far more likely to be on 20K at 30 than 50K in my view. Completely unrealistic.

That is utterly unrealistic.

The more graduates there are the less we value them, simple supply and demand.

At that age it is rare to be aware of how the wealth you perceive around you was accumulated.

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That is utterly unrealistic.

The more graduates there are the less we value them, simple supply and demand.

At that age it is rare to be aware of how the wealth you perceive around you was accumulated.

True for the majority, but you do not want to beat optimism out of the young. As long as they go after something sensible with decent fall-back, early to mid 20s is the time to try to make their way. I regret taking too long to leave the safe haven of accountancy in my late twenties - too cautious.

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I would agree that salary expectations are over what they should be, but then that is hardly surprising given the earnings to house price ratio. Is it unreasonable that people expect to earn enough to buy somewhere to live?

This bit is long winded but bear with me there is a point:

I was on a course a while ago on how to handle stress at work. It was led by someone who was part of an extensive study into the effects of stress. A test (repeated thousands of times) to induce stress, involved giving two people a puzzle to solve and then putting them in separate rooms.

One person had the complete puzzle and with a little effort could be solved. The other person was given the same puzzle but with a piece missing so that they could not possibly solve it. The puzzle was sufficiently complex that it was not obvious this was the case.

The person who had the dud puzzle was quickly told when the other person had solved the puzzle and were asked why they were having trouble, this was emphasised several times. Both participants were monitored to see how they reacted, heart rate etc.

You don't need to be a genius to realise that for the person who could not solve the puzzle it was stressful. Along with this after the puzzle was taken away, the study measured how long it would take for the person to recover from the induced stress.

The results of the test showed some personality traits helped to overcome the stress, eg not ruminating over your failure, and letting it go.

My point is: we have experienced a sustained pressure for many years for people to buy, to "get on the ladder" and if you can't you're seen as "losing out". But the thing is, this puzzle, past a certain point has become a dud, just like the puzzle above. It can no longer be solved by the average working person.

I think it's a double hit of stress for the average person buying now (if they can find someone to lend them 6/7 times their salary). They've felt stress because they feel they're missing "the party" and euphoria of everyone elses "free money", but also taking the average situation, they cannot afford it so will be subject to financial hardship in the future.

In summary, today's 20/30 somethings have been given an impossible puzzle to solve, average earnings no longer purchase any property of value. Stress has been induced by the constant bleating from the media about how much money there is to be made in the property market and how everyone should be buying.

The hapless FTB under pressure, folds and commits to an unsustainable situation.

If ever there was a situation to induce pyschological/financial/emotional damage it is the current housing market. It will take the next 10-20 years to see the real cost of the current economic and political policies on people's lives.

As a FTB in my 30's I have felt that stress and it has caused relationship problems for me. I still won't buy.

In answer to your question(sorry for the ramblings):

20's -> 18-25K

30's -> 25-35K

40'+-> 35k+

As a very broad guide (in my mind anyway).

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Key point:

Salaries are set by the laws of demand and supply.

The supply of people capable of being cleaners is high, so the wage is low.

The supply of people capable of being computer programmers (or other desk-bound jobs) has increased because of communication technology advances facilitating outsourcing, so the pay is average and under pressure.

The supply of people capable of being doctors in the UK is low, so the wage is high.

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I'm a 25 year old graduate in the West Midlands on £14k per annum =(

When I started I wasn't too fussed as I was just desperate for the experience and the opportunity. However, a few years on it's starting to get a bit depressing as I'm not saving anything and just manage to cover all my bills each month

Edited by bert

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Oh before some bull says I just have an axe to grind - I'm 30 and earn lower 40K in the Hereford area. However, I do consider myself extremely lucky to be where I am.

(edited: for spelling, damn dyslexia!)

It is funny how the threat of physical violence in the form of a cane being applied to the @rse used to cure dyslexia. In fact, it was such a good cure, dyslexia had never been heard of.

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Rule of thumb my friends and I used was earn your age till your thirties and then some who can will push on.

We're mostly graduates and this would seem to be the general pattern. What some don't realise is that for many your relative rate of wage inflation plateaus in your thirties.

Unfortunalty I am still low twenties at heart..:)

To that end, do I see depression amongst my friends?

Well I helped two in their early thirties to move into a rented bungalow..

Both professional's..

Can't afford a thing to buy..

I can't afford a home (repayment mortgage with no wage inflation expected)

Drives me mad..

Still love life though

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It is funny how the threat of physical violence in the form of a cane being applied to the @rse used to cure dyslexia. In fact, it was such a good cure, dyslexia had never been heard of.

No so sure about that Marina. I thought they'd decided it is a visual impairment.

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Key point:

The supply of people capable of being doctors in the UK is low, so the wage is high.

Not at all true. The supply of training to turn people into doctors is low. The hurdle is set high because, like every profession that is regulated by law, the people inside it don't want too many other people to join in and lower wages.

Any twerp can be a doctor. What do you need? The ability to prescribe anti-biotics seems to be about it. You walk into my doctor's and the first and only question is 'Are you allergic to penicillin?' Most of the doctors at Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading can't even speak English properly - wonder how they are supposed to practice medicene in a country which is, at least notionally, English speaking?

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...and the government/banks and wondering why a lot of people don't appear to be saving for their retirement

err, perhaps it's because we can't live on what the market economy is paying us

What puzzles me is how house price inflation is not feeding into wage inflation...

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No so sure about that Marina. I thought they'd decided it is a visual impairment.

Well what with Dyslexia, Attention Deficit Disorder, Asperger's syndrome, food allergies, asthma and Autism - it's amazing any of them learn anything. Hold on ... that does explain a few things.

If Dyslexia is a visual impairment, the cure is the threat of a sound thrashing.

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To answer the question: Yes.

I think it is damaging in two ways:

1) People who get into financial hardship will have the stresses that go along with huge debt/bankruptcy/repossession

2) People who can't buy will feel streesed that they cannot join in

In relation to average salaries and not achieving their expectations this can only get worse.

If up to 50% of students go to uni then they will not all get jobs within their area of expertise.

I'm sure the country does not have enough graduate jobs for the number of graduates being churned out of universities, especially in 'soft' courses such as Media Studies etc..

Globalisation and the inevitable offshoring of jobs that goes with it will have a downward effect on wages over the next few decades unless something changes.

I expect that average Uk wages could in fact fall over the next few decades, rather than increase.

Imagine rampant consumer inflation (goods we buy) with wage deflation..... that should bring our standard of living back in line with the average in the semi-developed world.... I expect to see the average standard of living approaching that of eastern europe within 20 years.... why not?

Two sides to this coin: Expectation and achievement.

All of the media seems to promote the idea that everyone is doing well, and everyone can do well.

Obviously not true, if everyone does well that is the new average. There will always be those who achieve and those who don't, but it'll always be relative to each other. And also relative to other countries.

Edited by non-FTBer

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Its part of the miracle economy

Also, it's difficult to go to your boss and say 'I need my salary trebled so I can buy the same house I could have bought five years ago on my current salary'. Particularly when the media is plastering 'low inflation' propaganda everywhere.

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Its part of the miracle economy

You mean, it's a miracle it's still running...

In relation to average salaries and not achieving their expectations this can only get worse.

If up to 50% of students go to uni then they will not all get jobs within their area of expertise.

I'm sure the country does not have enough graduate jobs for the number of graduates being churned out of universities, especially in 'soft' courses such as Media Studies etc..

I also think the 'quality' of recent graduate is questionable - a degree is virtually worthless nowadays - everybodys got one...

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  • 301 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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