Andrew Parker

Deprived Desires: 25 Things Boomers Had That Modern Americans Can Only Long For

It’s no surprise that things have become very expensive in America over the last few years. After all, that’s how the economy works! However, there are several things that, many years ago, people took for granted as just regular items. Unfortunately, these things have become luxuries today. Here are 25 of them!

Owning a House

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When you think of the American Dream, you probably think about a house with a white picket fence. Sadly, owning a house like this has become just a pipe dream for many people. Rising real estate prices have meant that this once-standard milestone is now just a luxury for the younger generation.

Larger Homes

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Speaking of real estate, anyone who can afford to buy a home may not always get their dream one. Sure, the size of homes has generally increased, but so has their cost. Buying a large home is more of an ideal than a reality, and many people are prioritizing their home’s location over square footage.

College Education

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Similarly, the cost of college has gone through the roof and become a huge financial burden. While many people in the older generations could pay their way through college with part-time jobs, current students must deal with crippling debt if they want to go to college. This has made higher education a luxury.

Quality Education

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Sadly, it’s not just higher education that has become far pricier. Even trying to get a good education for the kiddos is almost impossible to do without breaking the bank. You’ve got to pay for books and technology, for starters, along with field trips and other expenses. This means that the best education ends up being just for people who can afford it, which makes class divides even worse.

Full-Time Employment

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Hear us out! Of course, there are still many full-time jobs out there that offer benefits to employees. However, many of them do not offer the same benefits as previous jobs, like healthcare or retirement plans. Similarly, the rise of contract work and the gig economy have made full-time positions with benefits a luxury.

Annual Vacations

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One of these major work benefits is having an annual family vacation. This was everyone’s favorite time of the year when you could kick back and relax with your loved ones. However, the change in work culture has made these annual vacations a luxury. Instead, many families are looking for alternatives that come without the huge price tag.

Having a Car

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Unfortunately, in many American cities, owning a car is a must, not a need, due to the lack of public transportation options. Despite this, owning a car has become more difficult for many people due to the rising costs of vehicles and insurance. Instead, many people are either carpooling or using rideshare services.

Disposable Income for Hobbies

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Back in the day, many older folk had enough disposable income to spend on their hobbies or leisure activities. But today, economic pressures have made such spending a rarity. It’s goodbye expensive arts and crafts and hello to stamp collecting! Thankfully, there are plenty of resources online to help younger people with this.

Free Time

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Of course, if you’re even able to have free time, that’s a blessing. Work follows us home on our phones, and we are constantly under pressure to be “on.” If you want some time to disconnect and enjoy your leisure time, then good luck. It’s something you have to plan for now, and it’s not a natural part of your day anymore.

Retirement Savings

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As the average life expectancy increases, so does the need for people to have adequate retirement savings to use. However, in today’s economic climate, there is a lot of uncertainty over social security and pension systems. The idea of having enough money to use in retirement has become a luxury for only the richest.

Vacations and Leisure Travel

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Another important thing to consider is how vacations are becoming out of reach financially for many people. The cost of travel, even on road trips, has become far too great for some families to bear. Long-distance travel used to be a luxury during the 1960s and 1970s, but even short-distance vacations are a luxury now.

Cheap Health Insurance

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The issue of expensive health insurance affects all generations and has made comprehensive health insurance almost impossible for many Americans. Because of this lack of healthcare, many people are forced to delay or outright avoid getting necessary care, which has a serious effect on the nation’s health as a whole.

Organic Food

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Organic food used to be the normal way to farm. But now? Well, if you want organic, you have to be prepared to pay a hefty price for it! Organic farming uses more labor and natural processes that are far costlier compared to non-organic farming. If you can afford it, this is a huge status symbol.


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Remember the days when your personal information was actually personal? With companies and social media constantly tracking our data, you have to pay for a slice of privacy, whether it’s through premium to avoid ads or security features to protect your data. Privacy is now a commodity, not a right.

Personal Space

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Similarly, even in the real world, our sense of personal space is disappearing. Cities are getting more crowded, and house prices are becoming more expensive, meaning that finding a place with extra room is a huge deal. People no longer have the freedom or peace that traditionally comes with having greater space.

Peace and Quiet

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But that’s not all. Finding a quiet spot has become even more difficult because cities have gotten bigger, which means more people and more noise. Even in our homes, the buzz of gadgets means we’re constantly hearing something. They say silence is golden, and, in today’s world, that’s more literal than you might think.

Live Entertainment

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In the past, it was pretty easy to buy tickets to see a live show or game. But today, you have to pay for more than just the tickets. There’s the cost of getting there, parking, and even buying merchandise. It can get pretty pricey! And that’s only if you managed to get tickets. Most of the time, scalpers will buy tickets for cheap and then sell them for two or three times the original price.

Clean Environment

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You would think that breathing in clean air and drinking clean water wouldn’t be much to ask…right? Unfortunately, in today’s world, it is. The number of natural spaces has reduced while pollution levels have increased, which is bad for everybody. Yes, some people are trying to move towards more sustainable living choices, but it’s too little, too late.

Safe Neighborhoods

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Unfortunately, even finding somewhere to live where you don’t worry about your safety has become a challenge. Data shows that crime rates across the country are increasing, which is forcing more people to look for homes in ‘safe’ areas. That sense of security where you live? Yeah, that’s a privilege now.

Handcrafted Goods

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Over the last several decades, mass production has become the norm, and with the rise of sites like Temu, this has only increased. Handmade items have become rare, even with their charm and quality. People are looking for that personal touch, which drives up the demand and prices of these products.

Personalized Services

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Once upon a time, service felt personal and like the companies really knew you. But today, finding that kind of personal touch is extremely difficult. AI and robots have replaced a lot of customer-facing positions in order to cut costs. Being able to get personalized and human service is a luxury for only a small portion of the population. 

Long-Lasting Household Items

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Back in the day, companies built things to last. Crazy idea, right? However, in today’s world, many of them make products that are designed to break far sooner, so customers will need to purchase more of them. This planned obsolescence has led to durable products becoming exclusively for the rich.

Repairing Things

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During the 1960s and 1970s, it was pretty common for people to repair things that broke instead of buying new ones. Not only did this save them money, but it also taught them new life skills that were always useful. However, most products are designed in a way today that makes repairing them difficult, if not impossible. Instead of repairing them, we’re forced to simply replace them.

Quality Clothing

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Similarly, the rise of fast fashion has seriously affected the lifespan of our clothing. It’s not unusual to buy something from Shein and have it wear out in less than a year. This move towards fast fashion and cheaper materials means that you’ve got to pay a premium for high-quality clothing.

Time With Family

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Finally, we have what is probably the saddest entry on this list, which is time with family. With people working for longer hours, it has become a challenge to juggle our responsibilities and time with our family. It’s not something you can take for granted anymore. Instead, spending a lot of time with your family shows you may be wealthier than most.

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