Originally Posted by donheff
Of course we don't know what will happen for the Xers going forward. The other factor to remember is that for the vast majority of boomers investing didn't exist in the 70s. No IRAs, no 401Ks (Note: these things were developed in the 70s but not ubiquitous or well understood). So the older Boomers started out with no savings just like newbies whacked by the current recession. If you polled the older members of this forum you would find that many (if not most) of us started seriously saving in our 30s or even 40s. Clearly, many of today's youth also fail to invest but they are inundated with reminders of the importance to do so and they have new vehicles available to them that were not there 'Back in the day."
Not entirely accurate. Back in the 70's, the tax deferred retirement vehicles didn't exist for us, but some of us always saved. I graduated college with 2k in the bank - more than I started with - and that was a fairly substantial sum for those times.
There was more of talk about the wisdom of saving back then too. The spend all you have and leverage even more ideas didn't really come about until the 90's. We still had our depression era parents telling us to save.
You really can't tell what the future will bring. Things looked pretty bleak in the 70s but changed a lot in the ensuing years.
What I question is the conventional wisdom of what investment vehicles we should use - told to us by an industry that benefits from scams and frequent trades. I'm also thinking now that all this tax deferred stuff will end up meaning I will pay a lot more in tax than if I had just saved after taxes. I make more money in retirement than I did for most of my earning years so if I add up all the tax I will pay compared to the tax I would have paid if it wasn't tax deferred, I'm not so sure I come out ahead.