More financial bombshells for baby boomers: Don’t count on that inheritance

posted at 2:41 pm on June 11, 2012 by Erika Johnsen

Is no age group safe from the fiscal woes of economic near-recession and pending entitlement crises? (Hint: No.) While we often focus on the troubles of young people unable to find employment and just chillin’ on the parents’ couches, and we’re already well aware of the upcoming squeeze on Social Security as baby boomers begin to reach retirement age, here’s a fun and exciting reminder from the Wall Street Journal.

For years now, there’s been a lot of talk about boomers getting tremendous windfalls as their parents pass on. Many boomers, in fact, have been lagging behind in their savings, betting on—hoping for—big bequests, especially since many of them suffered big losses in 2008.

But for a growing number of boomers, things aren’t going according to plan. The postwar generation is living longer—and many are spending their savings along the way. And, of course, many of them also took a hit in 2008.

The result is that, as a group, boomers likely won’t be getting as much of an inheritance as they hoped. Even worse, far from receiving a bequest, a growing number are tapping some of their own savings to help their cash-strapped parents make ends meet. …

“There are way too many adult children I see who are looking at Mom and Dad’s estate as their ticket to a secure retirement,” says M. Holly Isdale, an estate planner in Bryn Mawr, Pa. “But with people living longer, much of the money is likely to be spent.”

How much longer? Thanks to medical gains, a 65-year-old man has a 60% chance of living to age 80 and a 40% chance of reaching 85. For women, the odds are 71% and 53%, respectively. All of this has made the 85-and-over age bracket the fastest-growing segment of the population. In an era of low interest rates, volatile financial markets, and rising costs for health and long-term care, finding money to cover those years isn’t always easy.

This inheritance-news is just one in a long line of financial challenges and demographic nightmares facing the baby boomers (Americans born between 1946 and 1964) as they near retirement. Conversations about death and mortality, finances and inheritances, are already difficult and awkward enough, and the added weight of ongoing lackluster returns, a poor housing market, and escalating healthcare costs (combined with longer lifetimes) are making it all that much harder.

With adult children still living at home adding to baby-boomer parents’ financial strain, perhaps compounded by their own parents now needing financial assistance… this is shaping up to look like a pretty darn painful demographic shift. Yikes. We need to get some wealth creation and growth going in this economy, stat!

Accounting for nearly one-fourth of the U.S. population, their impact on the economy, government policy and culture is expected to be every bit as profound in their golden years as it has been since their birth. …

According to an article published on The American Dream, a website of social commentary, as many as 36 percent of those in the baby boomer generation have not contributed to a retirement program of any kind. Among those who did, many relied on 401(k)s and investment portfolios that have been seriously compromised by collapsing markets. …

Compounding efforts to build security has been a decade of the worst performance in history of financial markets, impacting 401(k)s and other securities-based investments. “They’ve not grown like previous decades. That’s just the reality,” Siebenmorgen said.

The Employment Benefit Research Institute reports 35 percent of those of retirement age are almost totally dependent on Social Security benefits for income. Only about half the remaining 65 percent have retirement savings of $50,000 or more.


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Comment pages: 1 2

Getting poorer by the hour…

OmahaConservative on June 11, 2012 at 2:46 PM

Tell me about it. My mom is 90. She has five children. One of them has stayed with her and will get the house. My parents put me through college and grad school, helped me buy my first house, and helped me through some recent tough times. I don’t expect anything from their estate. But I know at least one of my siblings does.

rockmom on June 11, 2012 at 2:47 PM

But I know at least one of my siblings does.

rockmom on June 11, 2012 at 2:47 PM

Let me guess, a lib?

OmahaConservative on June 11, 2012 at 2:49 PM

My pension is hanging by a thread( vested didn’t mean what I thought it meant)and SS is looking good either.
I’ll meet you under the bridge.

Pecos on June 11, 2012 at 2:50 PM

Translating that past paragraph into English…

Only 1/3 of current retirees have even $50,000 in savings?

Looks like a few believed some corrupt leftist piece of garbage, promising Social Security was the end all.

Good luck with that, chumps.

MNHawk on June 11, 2012 at 2:50 PM

While we’re not old enough to be baby boomers, the wife and I never think that far ahead about stuff like inheritance. First, because our parents range in age from 59-65 and will God willing be around for a long while. And secondly, because that’s morbid and beyond selfish to ever think that way.

Doughboy on June 11, 2012 at 2:52 PM

Obama care will take care of this issue easy enough.

watertown on June 11, 2012 at 2:54 PM

My pension is hanging by a thread( vested didn’t mean what I thought it meant)and SS is looking good either.
I’ll meet you under the bridge.

Pecos on June 11, 2012 at 2:50 PM

Consider living in a van down by the river.

teke184 on June 11, 2012 at 2:54 PM

Geesh after this depressing news I’m gonna have go back watching the life of Emily for a while to make up for it.

gsherin on June 11, 2012 at 2:56 PM

Thank you, President 0bama!

crr6

UltimateBob on June 11, 2012 at 2:57 PM

Fiscal reform via death panels? You betcha!

Don L on June 11, 2012 at 2:58 PM

Stop me if anyone here has heard this before…

…when I was a kid in high school I constantly heard a phrase (albeit for an environmental campaign not a fiscal one) that went something like this:

We did not inherit this land from our ancestors… we are borrowing it from our children.

Considering that his was coming from an environmental standpoint it kinda made sense to my 16 year old mind but I thought part of it was fishy. Turns out it was utter bull**** and a complete lie.

My generation’s inheritance (I’m 27) has already been spoken for with the extreme levels of spending and deficits rung up by the Obama Administration. The fact that my parent’s generation won’t have one is scary enough.

We as a generation are on our own. Nothing will be given to us for an inheritance… what we have we will have to earn on our own. Even my mother realizes this (due to my parent’s financial state) and she’s in tears because of it.

Chaz706 on June 11, 2012 at 2:58 PM

I’ll meet you under the bridge.

Pecos on June 11, 2012 at 2:50 PM

I’d say the same, but think the government has assigned me to a different bridge.

tomg51 on June 11, 2012 at 3:02 PM

Don’t forget about the recent boom in reverse mortgages. (Granted it did dip a bit when the housing bubble burst, but it’s set to grow like never before)

ButterflyDragon on June 11, 2012 at 3:02 PM

Oh, by the way. Those of you who were responsible enough to provide for your own retirement will end up being taxed to take care of those who didn’t.

/s/ Uncle Sam

Labamigo on June 11, 2012 at 3:06 PM

Read this and marvel at the leftist stupidity. The author suggests that the current gov’t dependency disaster be solved with “more gov’t dependence and giving to the minorities because if not you are a racist baby-boomer”.

Schadenfreude on June 11, 2012 at 3:06 PM

There are many Baby Boomers who never expected to inherit a dime from their parents. These Boomers actually told their parents to invest their money in themselves since they worked hard all of their lives for it. Not to be concerned about paying premiums on a large life insurance policy when a small burial policy would suffice. Many advised their parents that if a home equity loan was necessary for the parents to have a decent quality of life, then by all means, they should take one out and pay for the necessities, rather than keep trying to amass equity simply to ‘leave something’ for their Baby Boomer kid(s).

While there are undoubtedly those Boomers who have sat waiting in the vulture position to slam their parents into the nursing home in order to cash in, there are many who never relied on what their parents had for their own retirement, just as they never relied on what their parents had to make their own way in the world. I might even go so far as to add that, as generations go, the Boomer generation is still far more likely to be self reliant the generations which have come after it.

When we read these articles its useful to remember that EVERY ‘group’ of people are just that… people… and they reflect the many differing aspects of the human condition.

Its also very useful to remember that the people who write these articles are only human, too, working from their own perspective, seeing the world through their own lenses, as it were, and that in many cases… that writer is often very young.

thatsafactjack on June 11, 2012 at 3:07 PM

So stop bagging on us smokers, ya big dummies!

ConservativeLA on June 11, 2012 at 3:09 PM

No sympathy for the Boomers here. They have had about 40 years of being the largest demographic with voting rights, and the country they live in is the one THEY created for themselves. Meanwhile, we GenXers are taking care of our Boomer parents AND our children.

Laura Curtis on June 11, 2012 at 3:10 PM

I’m a self-sufficient realist when it comes to money.

I never expected anything from my parents or my government. Planning and saving for your own future is always the best course of action.

That is not to say for one minute that I don’t think Obama, given another term, won’t find a way to get his greedy socialist claws on my lifetime of savings and perhaps go so far as to confiscate everything I own upon my death and redistribute it to the OWSers.

Hope I haven’t offended him by saying that. /sarc

fogw on June 11, 2012 at 3:10 PM

This is the demise of the middle class.

Richard Blaine on June 11, 2012 at 3:11 PM

We as a generation are on our own. Nothing will be given to us for an inheritance… what we have we will have to earn on our own. Even my mother realizes this (due to my parent’s financial state) and she’s in tears because of it.

Chaz706 on June 11, 2012 at 2:58 PM

That fact that each of us, individually, is responsible for what we make of our lives was driven into me by my parents over 50 years ago.

Your realization, at the young age of 27, that you need to rely upon yourself if you intend to succeed and thrive in this world will serve you well.

Rod on June 11, 2012 at 3:11 PM

Is the Baby Boom generation the worst generation in American history?

cpaulus on June 11, 2012 at 3:14 PM

I had to laugh at the article for several reasons. First, I’m one of the loathed “Baby Boomers.” Second, my parents were divorced in 1957, and neither remarried, so both had to work for themselves. Third, my father died intestate in 1997, and when everything was settled, my sister and I divided less than $20,000. Frankly I would have gladly given the money back in exchange for my dad. Lastly, my mother is 91 and thankfully in wonderful health. She lives on SS, a small pension from her former employer and a settlement of my dad’s Railroad Retirement. In short, nothing there. I’ve never had any expectations of any inheritance from either parent and couldn’t care less. In my family we were expected to stand on our own feet and not be a burden to anyone. We’re not rich, but we don’t expect others to take care of us.

HSmith on June 11, 2012 at 3:16 PM

fogw on June 11, 2012 at 3:10 PM

Indeed on all, plus one item – no sane baby-boomer, or other person, expects to live well or depend on Social Security, which is a hoax at worst and an aid program at best.

Schadenfreude on June 11, 2012 at 3:17 PM

Consider living in a van down by the river.

teke184 on June 11, 2012 at 2:54 PM

GM has some nice ones available. Poor gas mileage, but it’ll be parked most of the time anyways.

arnold ziffel on June 11, 2012 at 3:17 PM

No sympathy for the Boomers here. They have had about 40 years of being the largest demographic with voting rights, and the country they live in is the one THEY created for themselves. Meanwhile, we GenXers are taking care of our Boomer parents AND our children.

Laura Curtis on June 11, 2012 at 3:10 PM

Math is hard.

tetriskid on June 11, 2012 at 3:18 PM

We’ve invested in the safest bet, real estate. Not that we’ve lost money, and supported my aged mother for ten years…..the plan is work until you drop.

Hening on June 11, 2012 at 3:22 PM

Yeah, so my folks are spending my potential inheritance on medical expenses and “girls.” But they’re still around, thank God, and of good mind (if, unfortunately, not of body). I know most adults must eventually face the loss of their parents, but I’m glad that mine have somehow managed to postpone that date for me…even if it means reduced cash flow expectations.

bobs1196 on June 11, 2012 at 3:22 PM

The Federal Reserve’s detailed survey of consumer finances showed families’ median wealth plunged from $126,400 in 2007 to $77,300 in 2010 — a 39 percent decline. That put them on par with median wealth in 1992.

The private sector is doing fine.

steebo77 on June 11, 2012 at 3:22 PM

Anyone who counts on inheritance to fund their old age is an idiot.
Anyone who is letting their adult children live off them is an idiot.

Anyone who is both is gonna be a broke idiot.

MAC1000 on June 11, 2012 at 3:24 PM

Is the Baby Boom generation the worst generation in American history?

cpaulus on June 11, 2012 at 3:14 PM

The answer depends on when you were born:

If before 1964 then no: The worst generations are “X”,”Y”, or “Z”.
If after 1964 then yes: Baby Boomers are the root of all evil.

Rod on June 11, 2012 at 3:25 PM

No sympathy for the Boomers here. They have had about 40 years of being the largest demographic with voting rights, and the country they live in is the one THEY created for themselves. Meanwhile, we GenXers are taking care of our Boomer parents AND our children.

Laura Curtis on June 11, 2012 at 3:10 PM

Do you honestly believe that? I happen to be a real boomer, born in 1946 right after Dad came home from serving in North Africa and the South Pacific. I have been voting for over 40 years and have always voted for the candidates with conservative republican values and policies. Why do people like you pidgeonhole all of us as the generation who put us in this mess we find ourselves in? We worked hard, we gave you the technology that allows you to post your shortsighted observatons on websites like HotAir. What makes you think boomers like me aren’t helping to take care of our parents, and our children. I also contributed into social security for over 40 years, which provided funding for my parents, grandparents and great grandparents. It would be safe to say I’ve probably contributed a hundred times more than you have, or ever will.

Please reconsider your point of view. There are some good ones out here ya know.

fogw on June 11, 2012 at 3:26 PM

The result is that, as a group, boomers likely won’t be getting as much of an inheritance as they hoped.

I just received an email from my brother who is executor for my Mom’s estate and I just about fell over when I read what the initial amount will be. All I can think is that not only do I not need that money, I don’t want it.

My parents were careful with their money and they taught me to be the same way. No amount of money can make up for the fact that I no longer have a Mom or Dad to share good news with or look for advice when I need it. When I hear that some are hoping the parents kick off so that they can continue their excessive lifestyles, it makes me sad for them because their priorities are just so screwed up.

Robin Banks on June 11, 2012 at 3:30 PM

MAC1000:

A round of applause for you!

thatsafactjack on June 11, 2012 at 3:30 PM

Both sets of my grandparents lived very long lives and passed away with basically nothing left after Medi-Cal took their cut upon their deaths. Even after their houses were sold all of the money was taken by the State for reimbursements — which is only right I suppose. The only thing left were trinkets, kitchenware, and furniture.

In fact, despite the Wills and Trusts, it cost my parents and their siblings a lot of money, a lot of time, and a metric sh*t-ton of hassles to settle their estates with the Government when the time came. All the long years of caring for their parents and seeing to their well-being, comfort, and safety took its toll on them as it was. I am not looking forward to it. Everybody in this family on both sides tend to live into their mid-80′s to mid-90′s if they are not taken sooner by unnatural causes.

FlatFoot on June 11, 2012 at 3:30 PM

That is not to say for one minute that I don’t think Obama, given another term, won’t find a way to get his greedy socialist claws on my lifetime of savings and perhaps go so far as to confiscate everything I own upon my death and redistribute it to the OWSers.

fogw on June 11, 2012 at 3:10 PM

Every week a new trial balloon for just that. If only 1/3 of current retirees have more than $50,000 saved, then we that do get there will be the “rich” and will be the targets.

MNHawk on June 11, 2012 at 3:32 PM

But…but…but Social Security funds are in a LOCK BOX!

Al Gore said so.

GarandFan on June 11, 2012 at 3:33 PM

Is the point of this article to pit one generation against another? I can think of a lot of things my parents did wrong, but not leaving me enough of an inheritance is not one of them. They own their home and they get by, but they are not rich. I would prefer they get a reverse mortgage if they need it than live like paupers in their final years. Their equity is their equity. I am at the very end of the baby boomer generation and my parents just missed the beginning of it. I don’t see what that has to do with anything.

Night Owl on June 11, 2012 at 3:34 PM

Inheritance?

Bwahahahahah!

I didn’t get one and neither will my kids. I’ll be lucky to keep a roof over my head until I die at the rate I’m going. :)

Bob's Kid on June 11, 2012 at 3:35 PM

Just more proof it’s a president-eat-dog world out there.

Marcola on June 11, 2012 at 3:35 PM

No sympathy for the Boomers here. They have had about 40 years of being the largest demographic with voting rights, and the country they live in is the one THEY created for themselves. Meanwhile, we GenXers are taking care of our Boomer parents AND our children.

Laura Curtis on June 11, 2012 at 3:10 PM


And for their next trick the GenXers will now carry themselves off the stage on their own shoulders!

They country WE live in is one where the Baby Boom generation:

* Ended segregation and fought for equal rights regardless of race, creed, color or religion

* Stopped the wholescale environmental pollution which was rampant until the 1970′s

* Established the social & economic rights of women (you would have gone insane during the Sixties and the Seventies)

* Brought about the fall of communism and an end to M.A.D. Sword of Damocles we grew up under.

Remind me again … what things of comparable scope has the GenX generation done for THEIR country?

PolAgnostic on June 11, 2012 at 3:37 PM

fogw on June 11, 2012 at 3:26 PM

Fogw, the whole point of this article is to make a statement about a challenge that the Boomers, as a generation, are facing. And as a generation, it’s a challenge pretty much of their own making, because as the largest demographic group, they had the most say in our political system.

That’s great that you personally did the right thing. But my comment was not aimed at your personally – it’s a statement about what’s going on with your entire generation.

As to what you contributed to SS, that’s great – I’ve worked since I was 14 and put in my fair share too. You’ll at least get something for it. I’m not likely to see a nickel of that, because (mostly) your generation and (somewhat) my generation have spent DECADES being too lazy, or too selfish, or too shortsighted, or too whatever, to require our political class to set budgets and live within our means instead of draining the so-called “lockbox” of SS funds. So whatever any of us contributed is pretty much irrelevant. The politicians who work for us were not properly supervised and they stole that money – spending it on other things, mostly to buy votes for themselves. I do primarily blame Boomers for that, and demographically, Boomers deserve that blame.

Laura Curtis on June 11, 2012 at 3:37 PM

Remind me again … what things of comparable scope has the GenX generation done for THEIR country?

PolAgnostic on June 11, 2012 at 3:37 PM

\

Lived under the baby boomers debt.

tetriskid on June 11, 2012 at 3:39 PM

I started out in a family just barely able to get into any ‘middle class’ bracket: I was expecting zilch to start with.

Around 1985 I learned that SSA was going bankrupt in 2050… then in 1990 in the red by 2030… 2000 it was 2020… it went into the red last year, spending special bonds and should be out of payola and be a pure and real debt organization without a shred of credibility RSN. Medicare and Medicaid are frauds, with doctors being overworked and underpaid by the governments involved and the costs being shifted to everyone else…and we got sold a bill of goods on ‘insurance’ with middle-men galore and more office staff than doctors.

All of this is subsidized in one way or another and you get less out, pay more and get lesser quality in all aspects of these things and they are all running in the red. Everyone cannot pay for the few via government: too many middle men, too many price jacks, too many bureaucrats, too much grease to go keep things going that costs everyone out of the nose.

I started saving when I could. I was already in trouble with one long-term chronic illness and didn’t really expect to see any of this shinola that was being spread around as payoffs to vote a certain way. I paid off my house as fast as I could, have no rolling debt of any sort, have no car loans… I take no vacations, I lead a relatively spartan life and make sure I have the survival necessities at hand.

I am the unelected part of the clean-up squad for the spendthrifts that came before me. And the guy to help those with fallen dreams built on insane expectations to pick them up after they have fallen to earth and reality and learn that, yea and verily, 1+1=2. You cannot rob the singular Peter to pay the collective Paul. Time to straighten up, fly right, admit to the awfulness, wake up, and learn a skill that will help fix our situation…

Hard times are ahead.

We can avoid Iron Times if we learn Iron Skills and do not demean those that repair bridges and, in fact, pay for the maintenance of same and not want a ‘stimulus’ to do that for us from on high. Good welders of steel wanted… keep your poetry to the off-hours and don’t be expecting cash for it, ok? Bricklayers, pipefitters, farmers, workers in fields of mining and drilling… the insanity ends when the overhead goes away.

To get out of debt you stop accumulating it. Then you pay it down and put more towards principle with every excess penny you got. You are owned by those you owe, and neither a borrower nor lender be…

This is no bombshell. Anyone who bothered to listen could hear this coming and prepare. I am sorry so many put fingers in their ears and sang ‘la,la,la,la,la I DON’T WANT TO HEAR THIS’. Their earwax has now compacted their brains… time to begin digging it out. Time is short and if you want to live you must learn to work with skills that are transportable, not ephemeral. Because soon, very soon, once the water and sewer systems go then, and only then, will we find out what it was like to live in dying Rome and wonder just what gods it was that created such marvelous structures and how they lived. That isn’t in a century, my friends, but your lifetime if you do not stop the denial and be prepared to fix what we have so we can continue to HAVE IT AT ALL.

ajacksonian on June 11, 2012 at 3:40 PM

PolAgnostic on June 11, 2012 at 3:37 PM

Well, if things are so great why again aren’t Boomers happy with the status quo? Look, I’m not saying that as a generation the Boomers contributed nothing of value, nor am I saying that GenXers are the Greatest Generation. I’m just saying I have no patience for whiners who complain that after 40 years of running things, they are dissatisfied with the results.

Laura Curtis on June 11, 2012 at 3:42 PM

That’s great that you personally did the right thing. But my comment was not aimed at your personally – it’s a statement about what’s going on with your entire generation.

Laura Curtis on June 11, 2012 at 3:37 PM

Are you wearing a tin-foil hat?

I feel a lot better now since you’re not blaming little old me, just an entire generation.

Look up pidgeonholing, will ya?

Sheesh.

fogw on June 11, 2012 at 3:43 PM

Man, our President is awesome…

PatriotRider on June 11, 2012 at 3:44 PM

Part of that 35% were not dependent so much at first.

If you get really sick Medicaid only covers part so you quickly exhaust what ever you have.

America was far better off before Medicaid and Social Security. The old went to Hospitals where Doctors volunteered their services and got great blessings from GOD. The old that were poor lived with their children who were blessed by GOD for caring for them. Others went to poor homes where again many were blessed for helping them by GOD.

But no. In 1947 the SCTOUS killed GOD in America. Creating out of thin air a Seperation of Church and State never created by our Founders. EVIL Satanic Justice Black took a letter assuring a Baptist Minister the Government could never tell him how to run his Church upside down. The letter separated the Government from any interference what so ever with any Religion. Black instead ruled exactly the opposite based on this letter. Excuse me Black. That letter is meaningless even if it actually said this. There were many opinions but only one became part of the constitution. Your interpretation was voted down 99%.

But we have never fixed this. Why for now America is damned by GOD.

Steveangell on June 11, 2012 at 3:44 PM

Laura Curtis on June 11, 2012 at 3:10 PM


Oh, and one other little thing …

When EXACTLY did GenX take over, come into their own, what have you?

PolAgnostic on June 11, 2012 at 3:46 PM

It would be safe to say I’ve probably contributed a hundred times more than you have, or ever will.

Please reconsider your point of view. There are some good ones out here ya know.

fogw on June 11, 2012 at 3:26 PM

You will not get much out of it.

At any age people should opt out of it, even if they lose all they contributed, so far. The entire system is a fraud…why the congresscritters are exempt from it, and s/b ‘executed’ for the exemptions (same with Obamacare).

Any sane person, young or old, should never expect much of SS.

Schadenfreude on June 11, 2012 at 3:47 PM

No sympathy for the Boomers here. They have had about 40 years of being the largest demographic with voting rights, and the country they live in is the one THEY created for themselves. Meanwhile, we GenXers are taking care of our Boomer parents AND our children.

Laura Curtis on June 11, 2012 at 3:10 PM

Oh BS! You probably voted dem your whole life. If you voted at all. How is it my fault that FDR and LBJ created this mess? I was born in 1950, worked since I was 14 and paid into SS that whole time. I also had a pension plan but the company went bankrupt and they still don’t know where the money went. No one has gone to jail either.

I am now 62 and instead of blaming others, I am working a part time job and creating my own business so I can retire when I’m 70.

I am taking care of my 87 year old mother and raising a grandson as well. Grow up and take resposibility for your own stuff before you blame another generation.

Vince on June 11, 2012 at 3:47 PM

From a personal point of view…since I am 64 and almost 65 and born in 1947 I am on what would be referred to as the leading edge of the baby boom…my parents died when I was in my 30′s. They did not have much but what I did inherit help complete my college education which I completed in night school. That in turn helped me to obtain a position in which I was able to prosper. I’m not rich but I am not on the “dole” as a liberal would be. And before one accuses me of being in a liberal generation, I was a Barry Goldwater supporter in 1964, although I could not vote in the election. I did have long hair when I actually had hair (bald now) but I was never a hippy.

logicman_1998 on June 11, 2012 at 3:47 PM

Stupidest article in a loooong time, but indicative of leftist unthinking.

Schadenfreude on June 11, 2012 at 3:49 PM

PolAgnostic on June 11, 2012 at 3:46 PM

Oh, about twenty years ago, which is why I did say I blamed the GenXers (somewhat). Although we don’t come close to Boomers demographically, we are entitled to at least some of the blame. But not most.

Laura Curtis on June 11, 2012 at 3:49 PM

I never wanted to retire. I’ve seen what happened to friends and colleagues when they retired. Many of them found themselves watching golf balls roll past the condo doors and drinking alone in the afternoons.

I had many different ‘jobs’ when I was starting out. Finally, I found one that I liked and I settled into it. I worked my way up until I owned the business. Around 2000, I determined that the robust economy of the 90′s wasn’t going to last and that my business would suffer when the downturn occurred. I sold the business and went to the university.

My goal was to retrain myself for a second career. I pursued a course of study that would allow me to work in a way that primarily utilizes my mind, rather than requiring a physical effort. I did this in recognition that as we age our bodies often don’t hold up as well as our minds. My goal was to be able to keep working as long as I could. Now its likely that they will eventually have to carry me from my office feet first… and THAT will constitute my ‘retirement’.

My point is that the ‘retirement age’ at which most entitlements kick in should be raised significantly. By the time a person is ready for retirement, most of their personal associations, outside of their own family, are with their co-workers. Over the years it becomes a major part of their social circle. People who retire, especially the ones who take ‘early retirement’ often find themselves with a lot of time, and nothing to do with it and no one to keep them company. This is precisely why a lot of people who’ve retired volunteer so many hours to hospitals and senior centers. We can still volunteer some time to those organizations while we pursue a second or third career AND we remain self sufficient and vital people while we are doing it.

thatsafactjack on June 11, 2012 at 3:49 PM

The politicians who work for us were not properly supervised and they stole that money – spending it on other things, mostly to buy votes for themselves. I do primarily blame Boomers for that, and demographically, Boomers deserve that blame.

Laura Curtis on June 11, 2012 at 3:37 PM

Let me simplify it for you.

There are conservative BOOMERS and there are liberal BOOMERS. You choose to group them altogether.

You don’t “supervise” politicians, you either keep them in office by voting for them or boot them out by voting against them.

That concludes your lesson for today.

fogw on June 11, 2012 at 3:50 PM

Oh BS! You probably voted dem your whole life.
Vince on June 11, 2012 at 3:47 PM

I’m so liberal that the Boss Emeritus invited me to post in the Green Room when it opened, and I do still post there when I have time.

Laura Curtis on June 11, 2012 at 3:55 PM

Please reconsider your point of view. There are some good ones out here ya know.

fogw on June 11, 2012 at 3:26 PM

PolAgnostic on June 11, 2012 at 3:37 PM

I don’t like being scapegoated. So thanks for the rebuttals.

My youngest often blames the boomer generation too, but when I look back, I just don’t see Woodrow Wilson, FDR and LBJ as baby boomers. Didn’t we start down this destructive path long before the first boomers came of voting age?

jazzuscounty on June 11, 2012 at 3:55 PM

Remind me again … what things of comparable scope has the GenX generation done for THEIR country?

PolAgnostic on June 11, 2012 at 3:37 PM

So you deserve to borrow such that the interest on your debt will eat 10% of the GDP of the nation forever?

How much if we let M.A.D. come back? Seriously, I did not realize the pricetag on this when I put it in my basket. I wasn’t under the impression we’d be paying for you FOREVER as part of that deal.

Did you get a contract for that agreement?

And I’d have shopped around more on the rest… crippling the economy for all time wasn’t something I agreed to.

gekkobear on June 11, 2012 at 3:55 PM

I got back a nice set of beer steins I bought in Germany while in the service that I gave my dad. Worked for me. :)

jimfreedom on June 11, 2012 at 3:55 PM

You will not get much out of it.

Schadenfreude on June 11, 2012 at 3:47 PM

Yeah, I figured that out a long time ago. Opened up my first retirement account in 1976. Investing wisely and conservatively you can accumulate a substantial savings over 36 years. I never expected to every receive a nickel out of social security and planned accordingly.

I’m a freak of nature.

fogw on June 11, 2012 at 3:56 PM

I’m so liberal that the Boss Emeritus invited me to post in the Green Room when it opened, and I do still post there when I have time.

Laura Curtis on June 11, 2012 at 3:55 PM

Yeah, she probably wanted an opposing view to keep it fair and balanced.

Vince on June 11, 2012 at 3:56 PM

Doesn’t matter anyway.Our parents are likely to be the longest lived generation. Suceeding generations will not have access to the medical procedures and life extending drugs that our parents have, because of the cost burden of these things to Medicare.

paulsur on June 11, 2012 at 3:58 PM

Laura Curtis on June 11, 2012 at 3:10 PM

Oh, and one other little thing …

When EXACTLY did GenX take over, come into their own, what have you?

PolAgnostic on June 11, 2012 at 3:46 PM

RE: Laura Curtis and the Blame Game.

If there is one defining trait that gen X, Y, and Z all share it’s the propensity to fix blame on others.

They don’t realize that “fixing blame” fixes nothing.

Rod on June 11, 2012 at 3:59 PM

More evidence that the Greatest Generation set the system up to provide for themselves.

The bills are now coming due. Boomers will get the blame for being greedy, but they also get no benefits.

So, who really benefited from the failed programs from the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s?

Huh……

BobMbx on June 11, 2012 at 4:02 PM

gekkobear on June 11, 2012 at 3:55 PM

We’ll be wishing for MAD after Iran gets nukes.

Laura Curtis on June 11, 2012 at 4:02 PM

BobMbx on June 11, 2012 at 4:02 PM

I’m not sure why you’re saying the Boomers will get no benefits. They’re getting benefits now, and will continue to get them until the system crashes.

Laura Curtis on June 11, 2012 at 4:03 PM

They don’t realize that “fixing blame” fixes nothing.

Rod on June 11, 2012 at 3:59 PM

Sure it does. It follows Dear Leaders’ example.

Economy in the toilet? Hold a press conference.

See? All better now.

BobMbx on June 11, 2012 at 4:03 PM

While there are undoubtedly those Boomers who have sat waiting in the vulture position to slam their parents into the nursing home in order to cash in, there are many who never relied on what their parents had for their own retirement, just as they never relied on what their parents had to make their own way in the world.

thatsafactjack on June 11, 2012 at 3:07 PM

Nursing homes are incredibly expensive. My mother’s Alzheimer’s care costs are rising in July from $222 to $234 per day. Slamming them into long term care is no way to “cash in.”

Meanwhile, we GenXers are taking care of our Boomer parents AND our children.

Laura Curtis on June 11, 2012 at 3:10 PM

Hubby and I are tail-end baby boomers financially taking care of or contributing financially to our mothers, GenX children and new grandchild. I’m not complaining but as small business owners we could go broke at the whim of the marketplace. We are also saving for our own retirement and have told our kids not to rely on SS being there for their own retirement.

One size does not fit all.

Fallon on June 11, 2012 at 4:04 PM

Well, if things are so great why again aren’t Boomers happy with the status quo?

If there was ONE thing you could use to describe the Baby Boomer generation, it would be. “unsatisfied with the status quo”.

Overall – put anything you read which engages in “OMG! Things are bad”-ism under the giant lens of skepticism. These articles are generic and do not sift into the nitty gritty reality of factors which will significantly influence the future outcomes. Coldhearted but true, many of those unprepared financially for retirement will not live long enough to feel much impact.

Specifically

40% of 65 year old men will not reach age 80.

60% of 65 year old men will not reach age 85.

Look, I’m not saying that as a generation the Boomers contributed nothing of value, nor am I saying that GenXers are the Greatest Generation. I’m just saying I have no patience for whiners who complain that after 40 years of running things, they are dissatisfied with the results.

Laura Curtis on June 11, 2012 at 3:42 PM


Life is not fair.
The MSM is the worst place to go for the up side of the story. Media is ONLY interested in the whiners. Here is a completely different perspective for you.

Hmm, I’m single, 51 and have been unemployed for 2 and a half year now. When I look on my lot in life, it is with wondrous amazement.

I drive a 1996 BMW, 99 percent of the King’s Pharaoh’s and Emperors were not transported around their kingdoms with the comfort, speed safety or style with which I drive around in.

99 percent of the richest people to ever walk the face of the earth have never lived in the comfort that I have, air condition on demand, the widest variety of foods imaginable just steps from my house. Entertainment the vast majority of the worlds wealthiest people could not have afforded had they spent every single penny of their fortunes.

I have running water, a refrigerator (that even has food in it), electricity, 24/7 access to the greatest communication device ever imagined by man (this intertube thingie). Access to medical treatment that 99 percent of the King’s Pharaoh’s and Emperors in human history would have sacrificed their entire kingdoms to have.

When I look at my lot in life, I cannot help but be overwhelmed by how much I have been blessed. Could it be better, certainly it could. Could I be employed and making more money, absolutely, could I be amassing to myself more physical possessions and wealth, yes I could. But these things that I do not have, do not diminish the amazing bounty that I do have.

When I look at my lot in life, I do not see the things that I do not have and lament my lack, I see what I do have and rejoice in it. But, then again, I have always been a bit of an odd duck as they say.

SWalker on June 11, 2012 at 2:19 AM

This was from yesterday’s QOTD thread.

PolAgnostic on June 11, 2012 at 4:04 PM

+1000

Let me simplify it for you.

There are conservative BOOMERS and there are liberal BOOMERS. You choose to group them altogether.

You don’t “supervise” politicians, you either keep them in office by voting for them or boot them out by voting against them.

That concludes your lesson for today.

fogw on June 11, 2012 at 3:50 PM

Nicely done fogw. I like the cut of your jib.

Fritz

Old Fritz on June 11, 2012 at 4:07 PM

So, who really benefited from the failed programs from the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s?

Huh……

BobMbx on June 11, 2012 at 4:02 PM

Like any pyramid scheme, the first ones in and out get all the money.

Fallon on June 11, 2012 at 4:09 PM

Don’t worry about the politicians who have lying to you all for the past 60 years…

… They have taken steps to secure their futures and will be taken care of quite nicely.

You can rest easy knowing that…

Seven Percent Solution on June 11, 2012 at 4:09 PM

I’m 33, I’ve never even thought about ‘inheritance’ except in regards to how I want to try and leave MY kids something. I want to be so wildly successful that I wont need an inheritance. It’s my goal to make sure my parents are taken care of (if they need it) not that I be taken care of by them. Anybody that had “expectations” of an inheritance deserves to be heart broken by their parents inability to provide for them. The perpetual child mentality is going to ruin this country (hasn’t it already?)…

StompUDead on June 11, 2012 at 4:09 PM

More evidence that the Greatest Generation set the system up to provide for themselves.

The bills are now coming due. Boomers will get the blame for being greedy, but they also get no benefits.

BobMbx on June 11, 2012 at 4:02 PM

FDR gave us social security. He set up the system. He died in 1945. Now how is it that Boomers are responsible, and did all of this because they were so selfish?

fogw on June 11, 2012 at 4:10 PM

I’m not sure why you’re saying the Boomers will get no benefits. They’re getting benefits now, and will continue to get them until the system crashes.

Laura Curtis on June 11, 2012 at 4:03 PM

I’m a boomer, born in essentially the last year of that demographic (1961).

I get nothing, but will have paid in the most per dollar earned (highest SS and FICA rate) over my lifetime before the system collapses, which will happen before the actuaries say 1) I can draw benefits, and 2) I’m dead.

My point was the Greatest Generation was never in any danger of not having their full slice of benefits. The Ponzi scheme was designed to last well into the boomer phase, and even now you can see how the Greatest Generations’ benefits will be maintained at 100%, even though they paid in the least amount.

There is some carryover into the early boomers. It had to, otherwise the scam would have been sniffed out much earlier.

BobMbx on June 11, 2012 at 4:10 PM

You don’t “supervise” politicians, you either keep them in office by voting for them or boot them out by voting against them.

That concludes your lesson for today.

fogw on June 11, 2012 at 3:50 PM

::eyeroll:: right, so you elect them and just go about your business for the next 2, 4 or 6 years, never worrying about what they’re up to. That’s been so effective so far! Good governance abounds.

Laura Curtis on June 11, 2012 at 4:11 PM

…OWS…!!!

KOOLAID2 on June 11, 2012 at 4:12 PM

fogw on June 11, 2012 at 4:10 PM

I said they would get blamed for it, when in reality all they did was coast into the benefits. They didn’t create the programs that dog us now…but they did nothing to fix it either.

BobMbx on June 11, 2012 at 4:12 PM

Meanwhile, we GenXers are taking care of our Boomer parents AND our children.

Laura Curtis on June 11, 2012 at 3:10 PM

The oldest boomer is 66 years old. I think most 66 year olds are taking care of themselves.

Vince on June 11, 2012 at 4:16 PM

Oh, about twenty years ago, which is why I did say I blamed the GenXers (somewhat). Although we don’t come close to Boomers demographically, we are entitled to at least some of the blame. But not most.

Laura Curtis on June 11, 2012 at 3:49 PM


Agree, plenty of blame to go around.

Where was the country 20 years ago financially?

When was Social Security projected to go bankrupt 20 years ago?
Had the dot com bubble even started to form 20 years ago?
What was the unemployment rate 20 years ago?

Heck, Glass-Steagall was not repealed until 14 years ago.

Treat the above questions as rhetorical. Back the clock up 11 years.

Many of the challenges we face have become issues in just that period of time and there are solutions. I’ve posted a number of them here in the last two months. I’ll dig up the one regarding SS and post it.

PolAgnostic on June 11, 2012 at 4:16 PM

No sympathy for the Boomers here. They have had about 40 years of being the largest demographic with voting rights, and the country they live in is the one THEY created for themselves. Meanwhile, we GenXers are taking care of our Boomer parents AND our children.

Laura Curtis on June 11, 2012 at 3:10 PM

I was under the impression the GenXers supported Obama more than other demographic groups, so IMO, they can share the blame and will certainly share the consequences. While we clearly started down this path a long time ago, Obama is accelerating this progression. I was born in 1961 and have realized, since I started working 33 years ago, that I would never be able to draw on Social Security. I still pay in, of course.

I doubt most Boomers expect to fund our retirement from an inheritance. Given the degree of global financial uncertainty that exists at this time and will probably be ongoing, it would be imprudent for anyone other than persons with assets over $10,000,000 primarily deposited in Switzerland to be sanguine about their retirement savings. (How many times have our retirement accounts cratered? I can think of at least three sudden declines of about 50%, and many housing markets have had drops of 30-50%) Most of us should plan on working well into our 70′s and possibly our 80′s.

talkingpoints on June 11, 2012 at 4:18 PM

I’m so liberal that the Boss Emeritus invited me to post in the Green Room when it opened, and I do still post there when I have time.

Laura Curtis on June 11, 2012 at 3:55 PM

Meh, most of us ignore the corner. Still, fight yer fight, but don’t assume it converts into much at the bank.

Serious note, whatever you choose to do with it – with fogw you fight a true giant.

Schadenfreude on June 11, 2012 at 4:19 PM

The politicians who work for us were not properly supervised and they stole that money – spending it on other things, mostly to buy votes for themselves. I do primarily blame Boomers for that, and demographically, Boomers deserve that blame.

Laura Curtis on June 11, 2012 at 3:37 PM


When did this lack of supervision start?

PolAgnostic on June 11, 2012 at 4:20 PM

::eyeroll:: right, so you elect them and just go about your business for the next 2, 4 or 6 years, never worrying about what they’re up to. That’s been so effective so far! Good governance abounds.

Laura Curtis on June 11, 2012 at 4:11 PM

Geez! I guess that the only votes being cast were by the people born between 1946 and 1964.

Vince on June 11, 2012 at 4:20 PM

::eyeroll:: right, so you elect them and just go about your business for the next 2, 4 or 6 years, never worrying about what they’re up to. That’s been so effective so far! Good governance abounds.

Laura Curtis on June 11, 2012 at 4:11 PM

Sorry if you don’t like the Consitution, but that’s how things work in our Republic. Last time I looked we didn’t have a Secretary of Supervision to make sure our politicians behave themselves.

You’re the one who said they “were not properly supervised”. Care to explain how that works, other than through the voting process?

Oh I know what you’d do, you would constantly worry about what they were doing. Worrying solves all the problems. LOL.

fogw on June 11, 2012 at 4:23 PM

I’m a freak of nature.

fogw on June 11, 2012 at 3:56 PM

You are, but nature w/b so much better if we had several million more, at minimum.

Consider another one here. They could have and can take all that was contributed, gratis, with zero return, just leave me the hell alone on it, going forward.

Any sane person, in any of the generational categories, should think this way, unless they are delusional. The entire system is bankrupt and broke. Done. It always was and will remain a hoax, a welfare branch, no more.

Schadenfreude on June 11, 2012 at 4:23 PM

Meh, most of us ignore the corner.
Schadenfreude on June 11, 2012 at 4:19 PM

I’ve never posted in the Green Room, and rarely visit…

OmahaConservative on June 11, 2012 at 4:26 PM

Didn’t we start down this destructive path long before the first boomers came of voting age?

jazzuscounty on June 11, 2012 at 3:55 PM

Sure did.

I’m smack in the middle of the Boomers; no inheritance (didn’t expect one), cared for (and still doing so) aging parent(s), raised children, paying for college, weddings, etc. (paid for my own and part of my wife’s college), have no “defined benefits” retirement – only what is saved/in 401K, etc., and in spite of coming from a family of Democrats/union workers, I vote very conservative and strictly pro-life.

I said years ago that the “gubmint” could keep what I paid to SS if they would just stay out of my pocket from that point on, to no avail, of course. So, I have never expected that “investment” to pay any “dividends” and I have always advised others, particularly those younger, to plan accordingly.

Personally, I think that the “Greatest Generation” both sacrificed and benefited during their lifetimes more than most of us will ever experience (I hope!) Debt paid. Time to trim it all back and clean up the feeding trough. Should start with Congress, which means voting in new blood and holding them accountable. Unfortunately, that takes time and we’re running short.

IrishEyes on June 11, 2012 at 4:27 PM

Americans net worth dropped by 40% in 3 1/2 years.

Hope ‘n Change, fer sure.

Schadenfreude on June 11, 2012 at 4:28 PM

So you deserve to borrow such that the interest on your debt will eat 10% of the GDP of the nation forever?
How much if we let M.A.D. come back? Seriously, I did not realize the pricetag on this when I put it in my basket. I wasn’t under the impression we’d be paying for you FOREVER as part of that deal.

Did you get a contract for that agreement?

And I’d have shopped around more on the rest… crippling the economy for all time wasn’t something I agreed to.

gekkobear on June 11, 2012 at 3:55 PM


Exactly when did the rampant, unsustainable borrowing begin?

2001?

2006?

If you are over 29 – you ARE part of the problem.

Well, that decision was made in late 2008/ early 2009 and was something few people had ANY say in. I’ve spent thousands of hours since then learning about the problems, who made them, who made the decisions and where the bulk of the corruption is centered. What have YOU been doing since then?</em>

PolAgnostic on June 11, 2012 at 4:29 PM

You’re the one who said they “were not properly supervised”. Care to explain how that works, other than through the voting process?

Oh I know what you’d do, you would constantly worry about what they were doing. Worrying solves all the problems. LOL.

fogw on June 11, 2012 at 4:23 PM

Paying attention to what laws are proposed and will be voted on, then phoning, sending letters, and showing up at town hall meetings to pressure your elected officials to do the right thing. In short, making more noise than the left so that elected officials feel like their best bet for retaining power is to please us, rather than liberals. If you don’t call that supervision, what would you call it?

Laura Curtis on June 11, 2012 at 4:29 PM

S/b “Americans’ net worth”.

Schadenfreude on June 11, 2012 at 4:30 PM

what would you call it?

Laura Curtis on June 11, 2012 at 4:29 PM

Good citizenship.

Laura, you’re a good one and fogw is the best. It’s not a fight one enjoys to watch. Best to focus the energy against the peski leftists.

Schadenfreude on June 11, 2012 at 4:31 PM

Worrying solves all the problems. LOL.

fogw on June 11, 2012 at 4:23 PM

Works just as well as arguing over who’s to blame.

Rod on June 11, 2012 at 4:31 PM

PolAgnostic on June 11, 2012 at 4:16 PM

GenXers had voting rights starting about twenty years ago, but again, demographically, the Boomers have been in the driver’s seat. There are far fewer Xers than Boomers. So I don’t absolve my generation of all responsibility, but I do blame the Boomers more than the Xers. Just as my daughter’s generation will blame the Xers for not straightening this mess out when we have the most power.

Laura Curtis on June 11, 2012 at 4:33 PM

I said they would get blamed for it, when in reality all they did was coast into the benefits. They didn’t create the programs that dog us now…but they did nothing to fix it either.

BobMbx on June 11, 2012 at 4:12 PM

Who the heck is “they”? My point is, “they” is not “me”, yet I am a Boomer. Quit putting the blame on everyone in an entire generation. Read my previous posts. I haven’t coasted into anything. I planned for my retirement, I saved and I never counted on anything from our debt-ridden government.

fogw on June 11, 2012 at 4:33 PM

Looking at the graph I have to take umbrage. How can 11% of the people expect to get $250,000 or more from their inheritance? I thought that made them the 1%? I guess Obama’s policies are working!!/

StompUDead on June 11, 2012 at 4:34 PM

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