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You'll be Astonished to See How a '90s Magazine Ad Predicted Today's Cost-of-Living Crisis

After the onset of the pandemic, this advert's prediction has turned out to be scarily accurate and netizens have opinions on it.
Cover Image Source: X | @PoorlyAgedThings
Cover Image Source: X | @PoorlyAgedThings

Gone are the days when fast food was cheap and buying one's own house was an achievable dream for regular folks. The higher cost of living triggered by rising inflation and declining economic stability has put poor and middle-class people in a tight spot, where they are living paycheck-to-paycheck with barely any savings at all. A post from @PoorlyAgedStuff that has resurfaced on X is making us look back at a magazine, that seemingly predicted the present condition of our society back in 1996.


An advertisement for an insurance firm that was released in 1996 had some bold lines that might resonate with all of us. The advert in the magazine shared by the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America (TIAA) and College Retirement Equities Fund (CREF) had warnings for people who are quick to spend their hard-earned cash. It also reminded readers that if we don't save up for our future, we won't be able to afford basic necessities or simple pleasures of life anymore.

"They say in thirty years a burger & fries could cost $16, a vacation for $12,500, and a basic car for $65,000," the ad read. "No problem. You'll eat in. You won't drive. And you won't go anywhere." Looking at the way things are today, the advertisement's predictions seem to be correct. According to CNBC, Gen Z is well aware of the financial stress that they will have to go through in the future but are still willing to spend money on valuable experiences. The younger investors tend to put their money into causes that reflect their personal views.

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Nicola Barts
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Nicola Barts

The post triggered a debate among netizens who shared their opinion on how accurate the prediction is, since we are still a couple of years away from the 30-year mark mentioned in the vintage ad. @DenAndr1 commented, "Most of these are actually less, though considering it still hasn’t been 30 years yet and car manufacturers are slowly transitioning to electric cars, those at the moment cost right around that price." Another user @boneseii argued, "Everyone saying a burger and fries doesn’t cost $16 has never tried to find a burger in NYC." @FoxyAreku pointed out, "Vacations are easily under 1k and that car price seems very high. Burger and fries is $8 at most too."


@_adotang provided some context and said, "This ad is from 1996. while these prices are close to now—apparently a burger and fries combo in the US averages between $5 to $12 (IDK I don't live there)—it's not exactly this. however, 1996 was 27 years ago, not 30, so this hasn't even aged?" @cabrillo24 remarked, "Burger combo is half that. Vacation? That depends on family size, mode of transportation and destination and a basic car is about $20K-$30K." User @Druid_Of_Scales added, "Depends on the State you live in. Washington and Oregon? Oh yeah, unless you're going to a fast food joint. A burger & fries is usually between 15-20$, and the pricing is usually justified with unlimited fries or fancy lemonades."

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