The house, the car, the children, and a white picket fence. That's the image that some American's see as living the true American dream. But with our nation's strives and struggles, many are feeling that this dream is getting harder to reach.
Whether it be receiving that diploma or landing that high paying job, many of us are still on the search to find the true meaning of happiness.
"You don't see people celebrating baseball or celebrating eating apple pie. To me, the American Dream is like having a family reunion all of the time," said Patty Hickman, Marion County resident.
But it turns it out, the American Dream may be more alive and well today than we think. According to a new study by the marketing firm DDB, most Americans are living the dream, even if they don't realize it. Yet only 40% of Americans admitted to obtaining that dream.
So just what helps make up this dream?
The essentials include everything from house payments, car expenses, some food on the table, and utilities. Throw in a summer vacation, internet and cell phone bills, along with taxes, and the price tag is not cheap.
In fact, new research shows the American dream comes at the whopping cost of $130,000 a year for the average family of four. And with that in mind, many have the right to worry.
"It's not as much alive as it was in years past because of the way our economy is and the shape that our country is in," said Francis Stevens, Preston County resident.
With hard work and dedication, success will eventually come along. But some agree that the dream has shifted and it's no longer about getting rich. What's more important is having savings and security.
"I've been blessed with having a good job for quite a while and I would like to see more people be able to do that. I've been able to raise my two kids and now we are helping to raise the grandkids and that's what it's all about for me," said Russell Hunter, Harrison County resident.
So while the American dream might seem like a fantasy to some, it continues to inspire many to try and reach.