“I don’t believe those days ever existed.”
Well, they existed for my friends and I during the 1980s. Perhaps it’s because of my unique circumstances: I grew up in Sudbury, Ontario; my University of Toronto tuition was not outrageous at that time; I took out a small student loan, even though I didn’t really need it (it was just a nice financial opportunity); during my university years, I saved prodigiously during the summers doing menial jobs; I saved and I saved and I saved.
After I graduated, I got an entry-level programming job. After 5 years, I put a whopping downpayment on a house and took out a modest mortgage that I paid off completely within 3 years (with substantial lump-sum payments each year). Nine years later, I sold the house, which was in downtown Toronto, for a very substantial return.
And I wasn’t alone. My friends achieved similar outcomes. It all comes down to how you approach life and how you make the most of existing opportunities. Opportunities exist in every era; today is no exception.