U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Retirement
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 11-12-2011, 01:31 PM
 
2,918 posts, read 3,552,846 times
Reputation: 4106

Advertisements

Quote:
Originally Posted by PatMil View Post

The reality is that our boomer generation has made a real mess of the world ... they are now starting to realise this and live with some of the painful consequences.
Hi, Pat. The reality is that your low opinion of "boomers" is kind of a snotty generalization. The numbers can easily work for individuals who do the numbers correctly and tune-out the Madison Avenue types and wannabes that now drive our culture. This particular boomer hasn't made a mess of anything. He retired before age 65. He and his family are quite well-off financially thanks to his planning, and will very likely continue to be so.

Last edited by Hamish Forbes; 11-12-2011 at 01:40 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 11-12-2011, 02:58 PM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 18,997,544 times
Reputation: 15649
Quote:
Originally Posted by Escort Rider View Post
Too bad you are not able to ask anyone who knows me personally about my sense of humor. My great sense of humor is one salient characteristic of mine.

What we differ about is whether reading about the particular unethical behavior in question, which even you admitted you wouldn't engage in yourself because you "don't have that ethic", would be "fun" or not. It's a shame you chose to take that point of disagreement and broaden it into a more generalized attack.
I'm not attacking you, ER--I'm jesting What I was saying is it would be amusing to hear a story or two about how some poor 90-year-old decided to up-BOA and charge it up, buying a fortune's worth of clothes and then touring the world with a chick on each arm, etc., then kicking off happy and un-indebted. Of course it's not ethical, but I've watched a lot of outlaw movies and many were indeed entertaining.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-12-2011, 03:06 PM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 18,997,544 times
Reputation: 15649
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrRational View Post
You're describing a choice that you are able to have.
The point Wwanderer makes is still valid for most, perhaps too many:
the home still represents the single largest pool of wealth they'll ever have
and NOT having that encumbered by a mortgage is critically important.

For those able to exercise other choices... for cash management or other financial reasons?
Good for them but that is a different discussion
In my situation, my house is paid off and I have the money to pay the taxes for many years, but do I want to? If I have other options---say selling again and buying lower, taking out cash equity, in a place I'd rather be, I would consider them. Many people second-mortgaged their homes to pay for their kids college education. I did not. But that was a worthy cause for some parents, and they will have to bear that mortgage in retirement. It's all about personal values, and what resources we have to pay with. Personally, I feel better without a mortgage, and I feel very fortunate. For others who want to use that principal stash to invest elsewhere, and carry a mortgage, has some validity for them. Reasoning also includes whether your house and location is always likely to be in demand (i.e., near a great city or in a college town).
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-12-2011, 03:17 PM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 18,997,544 times
Reputation: 15649
Quote:
Originally Posted by PatMil View Post
The reality is that our boomer generation has made a real mess of the world ... they are now starting to realise this and live with some of the painful consequences.
How has our boomer generation made a mess of the world? We campaigned for positive political change and to slow down earth's destruction, opposed unjust and life-wasting wars, we worked our butts off at our jobs often overtime, and contributed more in terms of donations to charity and the economy than our parents ever did. We led international trends in whole foods and nutrition, sustainable energy, and small agriculture. We took care of both are children AND our parents. Sure, a few boomers bought those infamous mcmansions, but so what? Sorry, I don't buy your "boomers are the fault of everything" mentality. We have been the most conscientious generation perhaps ever.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-12-2011, 04:44 PM
 
1,061 posts, read 1,642,858 times
Reputation: 1933
Quote:
Originally Posted by PatMil View Post
The reality is that our boomer generation has made a real mess of the world ... they are now starting to realise this and live with some of the painful consequences.
Your painting of all boomers with the same brush is unjust and inaccurate. The generalization of any particular group of people is never accurate. Many of us worked hard, paid taxes, raised families, put kids through school, supported responsible environmental & human rights policies, and planned, saved & invested for retirement. To place all in the same box as those who never planned or were delusional in their thinking is simply foolish and shows a lack of critical thinking on your part.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-12-2011, 08:00 PM
 
Location: Boca Raton, FL
5,177 posts, read 8,705,154 times
Reputation: 6199
Smile Absolutely...

Quote:
Originally Posted by SoButCounty View Post
Your painting of all boomers with the same brush is unjust and inaccurate. The generalization of any particular group of people is never accurate. Many of us worked hard, paid taxes, raised families, put kids through school, supported responsible environmental & human rights policies, and planned, saved & invested for retirement. To place all in the same box as those who never planned or were delusional in their thinking is simply foolish and shows a lack of critical thinking on your part.
My husband and I took care of my parents financially as well so even though we tried and are still trying, we were derailed a bit. Now, we still have the college educations - one has graduated but still have one to go. Even though we have not met our individual goals yet, we are better off than most.

I was speaking to a woman today who came into a settlement from a death in her family. It was well publicized in our area. She complained to me about her real estate taxes and how she could get them down. (She has over a million). I guess all is relative. (I was trying to think of the words but so stunned at her comment, I was speechless!)
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-13-2011, 12:49 AM
 
Location: Around the UK!
156 posts, read 110,754 times
Reputation: 410
Quote:
Originally Posted by newenglandgirl View Post
How has our boomer generation made a mess of the world? We campaigned for positive political change and to slow down earth's destruction, opposed unjust and life-wasting wars, we worked our butts off at our jobs often overtime, and contributed more in terms of donations to charity and the economy than our parents ever did. We led international trends in whole foods and nutrition, sustainable energy, and small agriculture. We took care of both are children AND our parents. Sure, a few boomers bought those infamous mcmansions, but so what? Sorry, I don't buy your "boomers are the fault of everything" mentality. We have been the most conscientious generation perhaps ever.
I know that there were many achievements, especially in technology, and many good intentions and many people worked very hard and many did good things. I never intended to paint all boomers with the same brush but was commenting on the generation.

However the bottom line is that many of these achievements were built on massive and unsustainable levels of debt.

We allowed politicians and big corporate's to take control of economies and were fed with promises that were not realistic or sustainable. In 40 odd years America has gone from the world's biggest creditor nation (owed the most) to one of the world's biggest debtor nations (owing the most). Despite opposing wars they are happening all over the world. First world countries are bankrupt. Many boomers bought into the idea that their house had become an ATM and that it was a source of retirement wealth.

We forgot what constitutes wealth creation - it's making things and adding value - not just smoke and mirrors redistribution illusions. Donating money does not create wealth and neither does paying taxes that are swallowed up into growing government departments and schemes.

There are many more macro issues that I could raise but one final point to consider the world population has mushroomed from around 2.5 billion in 1950 to 7 billion today - which cohort made the biggest contribution to that?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-13-2011, 07:51 AM
 
1,061 posts, read 1,642,858 times
Reputation: 1933
The decade of the 90's brought an era in which incomes were rising, people felt good and it seemed as if all boats were rising with the tide. The rise of the internet as driven by the maturation of computer & technology created much new wealth. Let's look at how that was created. Bankers & venture capitalists started to throw money at anybody (and I mean anybody) who said that they had an idea for an internet based business or a new telephone company or whatever the case may be. Successful business plans were not necessary! Really? Investors (including Joe Six Pack) who bought stock in these new companies enjoyed massive appreciation & incredible multiplication of wealth (on paper of course).

At the same time, because everything seemed to be going so well, incomes & financial returns were rising quickly and it seemed like it would never end, debt was offered by lenders at low rates and with little need for the traditional checks on creditworthiness or income sufficient to pay it back. Because people thought it would never end, they borrowed as much as they could feeling that as everything rose they would have plenty of money to pay it all back. McMansions, trade the Toyota for a BMW, new boats, all of the luxury items were flowing.

Now, as we continue to suffer through massive unemployment, unaffordable health care costs, and unmanageable debt, who will convince US industry that they need to start spending the $2.1T (trillion!) in cash that they have accumulated and not spent in any way to create new jobs & opportunities. That's a new record BTW, $2.1T in cash that US companies are sitting on. Unfortunately, until companies have the confidence to begin spending some of that cash, nothing will change.

Then, in 1998-99, the murmurings of reality began to set in. Those new companies with no business plans had no revenues. Suddenly, those new companies began sliding into bankruptcy, bringing everyone who bet big on it to their knees. The realization that they had accumulated massive debt with no way to pay it off began to sink in and as things began to unravel, the bursting of the internet bubble was taking shape and was but a harbinger of things to come.

Suddenly, the inherent efficiencies wrought by technology had come home to roost. Because of the debt issues, & the need to be one of the survivors, companies now had to become leaner & meaner. They could no longer afford the workforces necessary to do things as they had always done them. They quickly found that with the application of internet & computer technology, they could do more with less. They needed to cut costs because of the building debt crisis, and that consisted of cutting jobs and replacing people with computers (in the simplest terms). That has continued to this day and is one of the primary reasons for the lack of jobs in the US. Companies are simply incredibly efficient through the use of technology meaning they need fewer people to do what they did before. We all know about offshoring, do we not? Purely technology enabled.

Now, the effects of competition: Our government extolls the virtues of competition. It's true that competition does benefit consumers in two important ways: it offers choice & lower prices. Lower prices mean that the companies providing the goods & services must do so at a lower cost. Therefore, they need to leverage technology and cut their costs by being as efficient as possible, so fewer employees. The dark side of competition? These employees are consumers too and when they lose their jobs, they stop spending, so companies continue to cut costs & people to do things even more efficiently because after all, they have a responsibility to their shareholders to grow earnings and therefore the value of their stock holdings. In fact, that's all that the companies care about these days.

So my point in all of these ramblings is that it's easy to fault a generation for causing so many of the issues we have these days but in fact, there are many different factors that are involved. The internet boom of the 90's pushed the common fears about taking on unmanageable debt below the surface. Everyone... and I mean everyone (consumers, lenders, businesspeople, Wall St, the federal & state governments) all believed that the good times were here to stay and so massive debt with little to support it began to accumulate. The good times will never end...right? Sure those debt payments are large but then we'll be making so much more money next year.... and the year after... and so on.

Once it started to crash, everybody's new found wealth began to disappear overnight and people went from large positive net worth positions to large debtor positions with little hope of every recovering. Companies began to slash pensions & benefits as "dinosaurs" of a bygone era and the current "new reality" (aka here & now) began to settle in.

Did consumers take on too much debt and find themselves unable to pay it back? Absolutely. Did lenders and the government encourage this? Oh.. you bet they did. Hell, even after the internet bubble, the cutting of government revenues via the Bush tax cuts and the unfunded wars that cost billions per day to run still haunt us.

My point is this: You can't blindly blame a generation for really messing things up. There were many generations both younger & older who had a hand on this. There were sane voices in the wilderness who were warning that something was amiss.... this cannot be sustained. But nobody want to listen because it just felt so damn good at the time.

There were many factors that had a hand in creating today's new reality. Certainly I have not covered them all. I have hopefully expressed in my limited knowledge as a layman one scenario which is my understanding of how we got to where we are today. I'm certainly not an economist but I have worked in the technology industry for 37 years now and this is what I observed.

Next question: Who will convince American companies to spend the record amounts of cash that they are sitting on ($2.1T - that's trillion... with a T) to benefit our economy.

End of rant.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-13-2011, 12:41 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
34,706 posts, read 33,724,405 times
Reputation: 51960
I'm a boomer (60) and I'm doing fine. I don't relate to other boomers.

Put myself through college. Worked 34 years for one employer. Have a pension. Will never collect Social Security. Have a savings plan (all my money, no government matching contributions) and money market that I've never touched. Don't owe any money to any creditor. Pay my credit card (only use one) off every month. Didn't have any kids, rotten or otherwise, to ruin/spoil/baby. Never owned a house so none to worry about taking a bath on, now, or to drag me down with repairs. Husband got the heave-ho in the 80s. I give a decent amount of money to 4 charities. Oh yeah, and I'm boring, plain and not materialistic. I don't have the latest anything except for maybe, books and photo software. It's not that I can't afford those other things or that I'm cheap, I just don't feel a need to have them or the old stuff still works. I buy good "stuff" when the old "stuff" doesn't work anymore. I drive an "old lady car" (meaning it's a plain old sedan that's not a hybrid or has any special add-ons) because it's easy for me to get into it and out of it after a long drive. Thieves would be pretty disappointed if they tried to rob me. No jewelry, no flat screen TV, no smart phone, no stereo, no flashy clothes, no gamer stuff, no fancy furniture, no flashy dishes, no art and I'm still sitting at a desktop. I have one nice camera and a few lesser ones, that's about it. I have A LOT of books but as far as I know, no one has ever been jealous of a lot of books.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-13-2011, 12:50 PM
 
Location: Toronto, Ottawa Valley & Dunedin FL
1,409 posts, read 2,357,011 times
Reputation: 1159
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoButCounty View Post
I would disagree entirely. Given today's interest rates and the fact that houses are not really an investment but a drain, I would be foolish to ever pay off my house. ...

We live in a different world now which calls for different strategies to ensure financial health in the future as we age. What does owning your home free & clear do for you? Granted you have no mortgage payments but you can't take it with you. Mortgage it and use the money to your advantage while money is still cheap, provided you have the wherewithal to make the monthly payments.
You can't take it with you, but you can bequeath a mortgage to your children, at least here in Canada.

And so far here in Canada, real estate still is an investment, not a drain.

That being said, when we get older if all goes well, we intend to sell a property and use the money to finance our lifestyle, renting a decent apartment instead of hanging on to a luxury downtown condo. But would never mortgage it to do this--what a terrible thing to do to your heirs.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Retirement
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top