Is the American Dream Still Alive and Well?

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Dreams die hard, even expensive ones that can take a lifetime to accomplish. The American Dream has been called many things in recent years, including unaffordable, out of reach, and dead. The financial crisis and its lingering effects on the economy only sharpened these arguments, but most Americans are not putting their ambitions to rest.

Optimism is alive and well. Eighty-four percent of investors believe the American Dream is still achievable, according to a new survey from Wells Fargo. Nearly nine out of 10 non-retired investors remain optimistic they will reach the American Dream. Their definition of the dream includes the ability to afford a home, live comfortably in retirement, and enjoy meaningful employment. Interestingly, exceeding their parents’ standard of living was the least-cited component.

“The American Dream remains a pretty simple concept among investors: a home, a good job, and money to live on later in life,” said Joe Nadreau, head of Innovation and Strategy at Wells Fargo Advisors, in a press release. “While retirement gives some investors pause, most still view the American Dream optimistically and are taking steps to realize it.”