Dreaming of... apple pie and baseball
Dreaming of... apple pie and baseball
Aaron Leichner, 28
Wichita, Kansas

I know it's 'old school,' but I still think of the American Dream as that post-WWII version of the suburban family, home ownership, apple pie and baseball.

My dad died of skin cancer when I was only 15, and it did a lot of things to me. It made me angry, but it also made me acutely aware of my mortality and that life is short. For that reason, I wanted to accomplish my dream early and quickly.

Now, the 'dream' is very much alive for me. And quite honestly, it all has to do with making wise financial choices when I was younger.

I knew college debt and student loans were really bogging down our generation, so while I was studying in college, I decided to stay at home and work at least 30 hours a week at a local bank that offered tuition reimbursement.

I am a teacher, and my wife Sage, 26 is a hair stylist. We've been married five years and we have a 3-year-old son and a brand new baby. We live in a beautiful home in a wonderful neighborhood.

I know this life is partly possible because the cost of living in this part of the country is extremely low, but I also think my peers are capable of achieving it too -- I'm just not so sure that's the popular goal anymore. My friends are living their own versions of the dream, and that's fine too.


By Annalyn Censky @CNNMoney - Last updated December 12 2011: 8:38 AM ET
Join the Conversation
Are you better off than mom and dad?

Today's young women make $1.17 for every $1 their moms earned back in 1980. Young men, however, aren't so lucky when it comes to the American Dream.

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer.

Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved.

Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2014 and/or its affiliates.