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Happiness of Boomers Questioned
Old 02-08-2008, 07:25 PM   #1
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Happiness of Boomers Questioned

I am not a boomer as I was born in 1944 so I suppose that I'm a pre-boomer. We pre boomers, seldom care about comparisons with our fellow pre-bs and we are thus always happy and quite content. We never compare ourselves to other pre-bs.

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In happiness surveys, people in relatively poor nations often score higher than folks in the U.S. Why? Their neighbors tend to be poor too, and they do not feel disadvantaged in the comparison. However, "boomers are always comparing themselves to others and focusing on what they don't have," says Stephen Pollan, co-author of It's All in Your Head: Thinking Your Way to Happiness.
http://finance.yahoo.com/focus-retir...ment-lifestyle
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Old 02-08-2008, 11:28 PM   #2
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I think you see the comparisons amongst all age groups, not just Boomers as Pollan references. I see it and hear it among some of my Mom's friends who are in their 70's to 90's. I also hear it among the Xer's. Most of my Boomer friends aren't into comparing themselves with others. I know some others who do compare themselves with others, but not a majority. Heck, they were doing that from grade school on up.......just as people before us did.....and just like people after us did. Those that I know who don't give a rat's @ss about what others have, do seem much happier and up-beat than those who try to keep up with the Joneses.

I have one sibling that is, and has, ALWAYS compared herself with the Joneses, and she's never really been happy. She's always felt slighted in life. Of course she always wanted to hang out with rich kids, and not associate with the other 97% of her peers. Our family was by NO means financially well-to-do, but we never went hungry, filthy, naked, or homeless. And most of her peers' families were in the same boat as us.

My personal view (right or wrong) is that people who compare their lives and situations to what others have or what others don't have, should get a life and start enjoying what they DO have. Let the other guy/gal do or have whatever they want, and don't be concerned about it. I'm probably one of the happiest Boomers that I know of!!! Life couldn't be better!!!

Like the song goes....."Don't Worry....Be Happy"!
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Old 02-08-2008, 11:46 PM   #3
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I saw a guy pull into my subdevelopment in a really nice Mercedes. I, very briefly, thought to myself "Man, that guy must be loaded." Then I quickly realized that 1) he lives in the same development I do (all houses are very close in price), and, 2) the odds are very low that he actually makes more than I do.

That was the last time I ever felt a need to compare myself to the Joneses... when I realized they were probably taking on way more debt than I ever cared to.
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Old 02-09-2008, 09:10 AM   #4
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I compared myself to others while I was still working. But, after retirement...no more. I'm much more content now that I'm away from others that always were talking about buying this and that...so much more content.
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Old 02-09-2008, 09:17 AM   #5
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I saw a guy pull into my subdevelopment in a really nice Mercedes. I, very briefly, thought to myself "Man, that guy must be loaded." Then I quickly realized that 1) he lives in the same development I do (all houses are very close in price), and, 2) the odds are very low that he actually makes more than I do.

That was the last time I ever felt a need to compare myself to the Joneses... when I realized they were probably taking on way more debt than I ever cared to.
You ARE the Joneses!
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Old 02-09-2008, 09:28 AM   #6
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You ARE the Joneses!
What'd I do to you :confused:
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Old 02-09-2008, 09:50 AM   #7
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What'd I do to you :confused:
Nothing at all. You live in a development which people perceive to be occupied by people who are "loaded". If your mind is thinking that, others may be too. I'll bet there are people who drive past your house, wish they lived there, and think "Marquette must be loaded".
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Old 02-09-2008, 10:01 AM   #8
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Nothing at all. You live in a development which people perceive to be occupied by people who are "loaded". If your mind is thinking that, others may be too. I'll bet there are people who drive past your house, wish they lived there, and think "Marquette must be loaded".

Oh, I wish. It's a nice development and all but I was just thinking that he was loaded because he drove a $100k car. If I'm lucky enough to sell my townhouse this year, I'll probably get $250k for it. Not bad, but a far cry for the $1mm-$5mm houses in the gated community across the street.

That's a good point, though. No matter where you are in life, there's probably someone looking up to you and saying "man, that person is better off than me!" I guess that falls in line with the article.
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Old 02-09-2008, 10:16 AM   #9
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No matter where you are in life, there's probably someone looking up to you and saying "man, that person is better off than me!"
In your case, they are probably right!

8)
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Old 02-09-2008, 10:44 AM   #10
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It is interesting. several years ago, I was driving in a very nice part of town, looking at all the grand homes and the fancy cars and wondering "What do all these people do for a living that allows them to make so much more money than I do?" But eventually I realized that they didn't make more than me, they just spent more.
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Old 02-09-2008, 11:20 AM   #11
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I went back to NY to visit my Mom acouple weeks ago. We drove past where my grandparents used to live in Saddle River NJ - the area has become like an episode of the rich and famous.....While I did wonder what these people did for a living to have these over the top opulent homes - I did not feel at all jealous, in fact, I would not like to live in a home like those....the hassle and upkeep would be stressful.
I'll stay with my home nestled in the mountains! You can't see another home from my house - so........what Joneses?!
And nature keeps me grounded....and thus happy.....

PS Turkeys are not terribly intellegent - 3 big Toms were all "fluffed" up and fighting with their reflection in my chrome truck bumper this morning - pretty funny. My indoor cat was watching and has no interest in going outside!
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Old 02-09-2008, 01:58 PM   #12
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It is easy to look across the street and wonder how "they" do it. One of the neighbors here has all the toys for his kids. A year ago the mailman misdelivered a piece of mail - it was an overdue water bill with a 30-day cutoff notice. (They're delivered on a postcard here.) Of course it could be he just overlooked paying it but one also wonders if he just couldn't pay it.

My reaction was interesting - I was on the phone to the water company before noticing that it wasn't even my bill.

My wife and I chuckle at the TV commercial for some debt-consolidation service: It shows a guy on his lawn tractor in front of a large home, four pillared porch roof, 'benz in the driveway, etc. and he's saying "Some people wonder how we do it. It's easy. We're up to our eyeballs in debt!"
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Old 02-09-2008, 10:01 PM   #13
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My wife and I chuckle at the TV commercial for some debt-consolidation service
I heard a commercial on the radio the other day for one of these "services" and what I recall most is the fact that you had to have at least $10,000 in CC debt before they would help you. They must be working on a % basis...
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Old 02-10-2008, 06:17 AM   #14
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I bought a benz in a moment of weakness about 20 years ago. When I was doing the paperwork with the finance guy, there was a list of buyers with car type, payment type, etc, on his desk. I was stunned that almost all purchases that day or week were financed through the dealer.
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