We're setting a terrible example for our kids. We own our home. In fact, we own two homes. Bad parents!

We didn't set out to lead our kids down the wrong path. Like our parents, we strove to claim our chunk of the American Dream by working hard at our careers, saving and investing regularly and judiciously, and buying a home.

I accomplished the latter in 1985, purchasing a three-bedroom colonial in a suburb of New York City with a five-percent down payment and tons of paperwork to verify that I could afford this hefty investment. Yes, I had arrived!

And I was lucky. Over the next two decades, home values nationwide rose like high heels on the Rockettes—higher and higher with each kick. By 2005, I was in my fourth home, having leveraged the rising value of each property to "trade up" to an even larger home in an even more expensive neighborhood.

Moreover, we'd used the rising equity in our primary home to buy a vacation home. Yes, we had arrived!

Then — it happened.

Read more at familygoesstrong.com

Roy S. Johnson
Men's Fitness
Editor In Chief