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This episode of W.I.T. has me thinking about the commonly accepted idea that the cost of living has gone up and is pricing regular people out of the lifestyle that they could have had with the same in the past.  But certain data suggests that major categories of basic life expenses have actually gone down over the last several decades.  

Of course there is more to this discussion than discussed in my video, but the information on the chart isn't one that gets a lot of press - and it's worth considering as you form your own opinions.
The second episode of W.I.T. from John looks at a couple of ways that the cost of living has actually decreased over the past several decades.
Three Things Worth Sharing
  1. General statistics on net worth are commonly published, but how do you compare to others in your same age bracket?  Or with your same level of education?  This article by Nick Maggiulli does a great job of breaking down Americans’ net worth in a more meaningful way than simple averages.
  2. As I was looking into the data behind the article above on net worth (and yes, this is what I do - double-check sources to make sure that things I think about are using reasonable facts!) I stumbled across is one of the most useful websites I’ve ever found.  It has calculators for everything you’d ever want both financially speaking - historical return calculations for a twenty indexes, dozens of financial calculators for things like S&P 500 dividend yield & internal rate of return; dozens of math and trigonometry calculators; and for a bunch of other really interesting things you haven’t thought of calculating before (there's even one called a 'pizza calculator'!).
  3. Then just for fun:  How many of the Great Lakes make this list of the largest 25 lakes in the world? Check out this neat infographic for the answer. (Bonus question:  how much of the in the Great Lakes could fit into Lake Baikal in Serbia?)
About the 'What I'm Thinking' Series
I do a lot of reading and thinking about personal finance so that our clients don’t have to and I periodically share my thoughts through this series of short recordings & emails - which I’ve creatively titled ‘What I’m Thinking’!
Over time there will be some topics that appeal to everyone, some that will be mildly interesting and some that only folks who are really into personal finance will find useful - which is just perfect.  Take whatever is useful to you from these and ignore the rest - in fact I give you permission to just hit the delete button if it sounds Iike more work than fun to listen!

Mark Twain once said ‘I was going to write you a short letter but I didn’t have time, so I’m writing you a long one.’  That concept really resonates with me, so I work really hard to keep these episodes short and digestible.  I hope you find them interesting - please share it with others that might enjoy it as well! 
Let me know your thoughts about this episode in the comments section on YouTube or via
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