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bitmasher's picture
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Another Threat to Economy: Boomers Cutting Back

Good write up over at wsj.com:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142405274870332100457542788192907094...

It wasn't too long ago I was reading about all these new businesses that planned to chase boomers retirement dollars.  Times have changed....

This quote is interesting too

Quote:

As of 2008, the latest data available, people aged 65 to 74 were spending 12.3% less than they did ten years earlier, in inflation-adjusted terms. They cut spending on cars and trucks by 46%, household furnishings by 35% and dining out by 27%. At the same time, they spent 75% more on health care and 131% more on health insurance.

Nice clear example of how health care cost has become a serious drag on the economy.  So nice that our new spiffy health care laws put cost control front and center.  Wacko

 

WesternHunter's picture
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Maybe

It looks to me like those numbers indicate something very obvious that no one is noticing.  The Boomers are now aging, they aren't spring chickens anymore partying at the intersection of Haight & Ashbury.  Maybe they're just shifting their priorities in life too .  There comes a time in people lives when keeping up with the Jones's just isn't as important as it once was.  Maybe they're spending money on things that are important to them now, like healthcare, or simplifying their lives. 

 

Maybe there is another factor too.  Something I've been seeing a bit more lately - there are just too many offspring of the Boomers who are still mooching off of mommy and daddy.  I still see couples or especially singles in their late 30's still moving back in with their boomer parents just to make ends meet.  Maybe the boomers are now footing the bill for a portion of the Gen Xers and that doesn't leave them much disposable income to use on things like cars or dinner out. 

Chuck-n-Alaska's picture
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The Waltons?

WesternHunter wrote:

Maybe there is another factor too.  Something I've been seeing a bit more lately - there are just too many offspring of the Boomers who are still mooching off of mommy and daddy.  I still see couples or especially singles in their late 30's still moving back in with their boomer parents just to make ends meet.  Maybe the boomers are now footing the bill for a portion of the Gen Xers and that doesn't leave them much disposable income to use on things like cars or dinner out. 

 

 

I have no doubt that there a lot of gen-xer who got in over their heads and had to move in with their parents. I also know several multiple generations who live together just so both could make ends meet. We have a screwed up economy right now that doesn't look to improve for a while. I think we will start seeing more "Walton" families than for the past couple of generations.

Critter's picture
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It is not only the generation

It is not only the generation Xers that are moving back in with their parents but it is their parents raising their grand kids for the Xers.  I have two friends that are rasing their grandkids because their two kids are bum's.  Plane and simple those two kids are about as worthless as any can be.  I also have a sister that has her oldest and her husband living with her because they can't make it in the real world and need a little help.  Boy this is one subject that you don't want to get me started on. 

bitmasher's picture
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Boomers

Fascinating responses, what would you guys make of this article then?

Boomers to This Year's Grads: We Are Really, Really Sorry

http://online.wsj.com/article/NA_WSJ_PUB:SB124458192890699487.html

Quote:

 

In his address at Colorado College, Sen. Bennet, a Democrat, used three figures to make his point about boomers' failures. Since the beginning of the decade, annual median family income in the U.S. declined by $300; health-care costs climbed by 80%; and the cost of higher education jumped 60%.

"We have limited the potential of future generations by burdening them with our poor choices and our unwillingness to make tough ones," Mr. Bennet said.

That theme echoed around the country. At Texas Tech University, CBS "60 Minutes" correspondent Scott Pelley, 51, told graduates: "I know you're looking up here at my generation and you're thinking, 'Great, thanks, just when it was our turn, you broke it." Speaking at the Boston College commencement last month, documentary filmmaker Ken Burns compared the divisiveness of this era with the Civil War period. In an interview, he said the boomers' tragedy was to "squander the legacy handed to them by the generation from World War II."

Note that this second article is dated June/2009.

 

WesternHunter's picture
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Is the economy really that bad?

For as much as everyone is claiming hard times and bad economy I see a whole lot of people living higher and more comfortably with more luxury than at any other time in history in our country, with todays middle class, even the working class, owning certain luxury items that were virtually uncommon to most middle class people even 15 years ago.   How much money does the younger generation spend just on texting??  The dollar amount I heard was disturbing for something that's completely unessesary.  Cutting that out alone could save a ton of cash for an idividual.

2008 was supposed to be the worst economic year in decades, yet the arms manufacturers and ammo makers couldn't keep up production to meet such high demand.  You all know just as well as I do that the shelves for this stuff were empty for months.  So much for a bad economy and financial hard times that everyone was/is bitching about.  Everyone sure had cash to spend on more guns and ammo, even if their was a scare in the air about Obama.

 

Sorry guys, but I have a real hard time believing that everyone is experiencing such hard times financially when they're all spending their money on stuff they really don't need and are living higher and more comfortably than any other generation in our history.  We have truely become a spoiled rotten society!  And I'm talking about every generation from the Baby Boomers on down to those being born today.  It's shameful too! It's not my place to suggest what people should and should not buy or own, but maybe if a lot of people would start trimming the fat and start cutting out certain unessesary expenses from their lives they'd have more money for the things that are really important.  I realize that some costs and expenses in ones lives are just plain unavoidable, but for the most part it's up to each individual to manage their lives and budget their own expenses.

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I agree with Westernhunter,

I agree with Westernhunter, never have so many lived so good as now.  Just look in every driveway there are two cars or more, not to mention the boat and other play toys sitting in the garage.  Perhaps that is what happened to most folks is that they lived beyound their means and credit and depended on both husband and wife to earn that income to buy that 4,000 sqft house and cars and toys.  Now with the economy being off a ways they are having to decide if they want that new car or if that 2 year old one will last for a few more years and instead of going out to eat four times a week they are having to learn how to make stew or spagetti. 

As far as health care we are getting older so more visits to the doctor or clinic witch equals to more spending.  The insurance part is easy, if you had a company provided insurance coverage the company now is requireing you to foot some of the bill.  Not to mention that the insurance companies are rasing their rates to cover their losses from hurricanes and other natural occurances under the guise that they just want to break even. 

As far as what Westernhunter brough up about the ammo and or components to put together shells, it happens every time that a Democrat gets into office.  Do you remember all the shortages of components when Clinton became president?  People run scared for one reason or another it is all just like chicken little said when he ran around saying that the sky is falling. 

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For as much as everyone is

For as much as everyone is claiming hard times and bad economy I see a whole lot of people living higher and more comfortably with more luxury than at any other time in history in our country, with todays middle class, even the working class, owning certain luxury items that were virtually uncommon to most middle class people even 15 years ago.   How much money does the younger generation spend just on texting??  The dollar amount I heard was disturbing for something that's completely unessesary.  Cutting that out alone could save a ton of cash for an idividual.

 

I agree with Westernhunter, never have so many lived so good as now.  Just look in every driveway there are two cars or more, not to mention the boat and other play toys sitting in the garage.  Perhaps that is what happened to most folks is that they lived beyound their means and credit and depended on both husband and wife to earn that income to buy that 4,000 sqft house and cars and toys.  Now with the economy being off a ways they are having to decide if they want that new car or if that 2 year old one will last for a few more years and instead of going out to eat four times a week they are having to learn how to make stew or spagetti.

This is exactly why you are seeing so many "Walton" America is on a spending spree most of them are so self absorbed they don't care that Rome is burning. But you can't expect people to do any different when our own government is doing the same thing. I'm not trying to justify stupidity that's just how I see it.

A for the second article look back to history most of us boomers were raised by parents who were raised during the great depression. After the war they come back to a raising economy more of them had college educations than ever before. They were making up for lost time they also made sure their children weren't deprived as they were. Consequently they raised a generation of spoiled brats. Now what the depression generation worked to earn the xer's consider a right. They have their two cars, cell phones for every one in the family, TV with 5000 channels. Now all that plastic money is catching up they are starting to find out money doesn't grow on trees. And I don't think this country is on the bottom yet I really believe the worst is yet to come.

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I understand

Chuck-n-Alaska wrote:

For as much as everyone is claiming hard times and bad economy I see a whole lot of people living higher and more comfortably with more luxury than at any other time in history in our country, with todays middle class, even the working class, owning certain luxury items that were virtually uncommon to most middle class people even 15 years ago.   How much money does the younger generation spend just on texting??  The dollar amount I heard was disturbing for something that's completely unessesary.  Cutting that out alone could save a ton of cash for an idividual.

 

I agree with Westernhunter, never have so many lived so good as now.  Just look in every driveway there are two cars or more, not to mention the boat and other play toys sitting in the garage.  Perhaps that is what happened to most folks is that they lived beyound their means and credit and depended on both husband and wife to earn that income to buy that 4,000 sqft house and cars and toys.  Now with the economy being off a ways they are having to decide if they want that new car or if that 2 year old one will last for a few more years and instead of going out to eat four times a week they are having to learn how to make stew or spagetti.

This is exactly why you are seeing so many "Walton" America is on a spending spree most of them are so self absorbed they don't care that Rome is burning. But you can't expect people to do any different when our own government is doing the same thing. I'm not trying to justify stupidity that's just how I see it.

A for the second article look back to history most of us boomers were raised by parents who were raised during the great depression. After the war they come back to a raising economy more of them had college educations than ever before. They were making up for lost time they also made sure their children weren't deprived as they were. Consequently they raised a generation of spoiled brats. Now what the depression generation worked to earn the xer's consider a right. They have their two cars, cell phones for every one in the family, TV with 5000 channels. Now all that plastic money is catching up they are starting to find out money doesn't grow on trees. And I don't think this country is on the bottom yet I really believe the worst is yet to come.

 

 

I know a little bit about what you are speaking of.  I'm a Generation Xer myself, but unlike most GenXers my brothers and I had older parents.  Dad from the so-called Greatest Generation of WWII and mom from the Silent Generation of the early '50s.  Most of my aunts and uncles and the adult neighbors when I was growing up were mostly from the Silent Generation.  That was one generation who really had an excellent work eithic and for the most part had their priorities in order.  They were well squared away, hard working and also valued having a good comfortable life. And the most important part is that most of them sure knew what it was to work for something and earn their place throughout life.  That's a concept that's lost on even my generation.  I will admit, because of my upbringing and environment growing up I feel like I have much more in common with the baby Boomer generation, but the conservative boomers Wink

 

It really is truely remarkable to see the differences in lifestyle and values from generation to generation.  Try telling a person who grew up during the Great Depression just how hard times are now or how bad the economy is.  I bet he'd look around and observe, get red in the face, then beat you with impunity all the while cursing at you about how you don't know what hard time really are!!!  I grew up in a working class neighborhood amongst people who had a lot of pride, you would have thought it was an upper middle class area if it wasn't for the smaller sized homes.  For some reason many of our neighbors were immigrants from post war Germany and Italy, people who were teenagers or kids during the war, some orphaned.  When I was growning up some of their kids told me that they were never allowed to use the phrase "I'm starving" when they got hungery between meals.  Their parents would not stand for that kind of talk, telling their kids that they may be hungery, but they have no idea what it is to starve like they did during and after the war.  I wonder how many ordinary Americans today truely know what it is to starve??

 

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Try telling a person who grew

Try telling a person who grew up during the Great Depression just how hard times are now or how bad the economy is.

 

My dad just turned 90 last month, he has been telling me for at least 10 years if people don't slow up on the bank credit and plastic money america is going to see another depression. He thinks the next one will make the on in the 30's look good. I remember talking to him a few years ago he told me I would see the day when a whole bunch people who had to have their 4000 sq. ft. custom house would loose them and all their toys with it.

WesternHunter's picture
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We're seeing it.

I don't want to imply that the economy isn't bad.  Because it has been in much better shape than it is now.  Your dad is right, we have and are already seeing a lot of what he predicted.  My dad worried and criticized the same thing.  He's 86 yrs old and and all my life knew him as a frugal man with last priority on material things.  He rarely ever spent money he didn't have.  I think the only debt my parents ever had was a mortgage for 30 years, which was paid off over 25 years ago, and maybe a car payment or two, but the car loans were low for them because dad always put a good down payment. What bothers me is hearing how bad the economy is and at the same time bearing witness everywhere I look, to wasteful spending and terrible mismanagement of money.  I see it from school kids to corporations.

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