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Young Boomers Going Broke!?
Old 06-18-2008, 04:17 PM   #1
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Young Boomers Going Broke!?

Really nothing new here - no specifics - just singling out young boomers. Being a young boomer, I don't feel the doom n'gloom described. But good news doesn't sell today.

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The youngest boomers were having the most problems paying their mortgages or rents. They were also more apt to pull money out of their 401(k) accounts and other investments and change their lifestyles. About 76%, for example, said they are eating out less, and 71% said they are spending less on entertainment.
Will youngest boomers go broke? - MSN Money
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Old 06-18-2008, 07:03 PM   #2
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There are three major things that affect personal net worth
that are within one's control:

Income - Spending vrs Saving - Debt.

I would assume young boomers, like most Americans,
get into trouble by mismanaging the last two.

Recently, on the Dave Ramsey program a doctor's wife
called in crying about how they had massive debt and
no money. Household income was $200,000 a year.

Income doesn't see to be the issue as much as spending
beyond one's means and accumulation of massive debt.

As the old saying goes.... no matter how much one's
income increases, one's outgo rises up to meet and
exceed it.


~
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Old 06-18-2008, 07:18 PM   #3
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[rant]
I have mixed reactions to this genre of deadline journalism.

First, these articles seem to be published at least weekly during up markets and hourly during recessions. There's always someone willing to provide a gloomy story or a scary sound bite, but rarely any context other than anecdotal or made-for-journalism non-peer-reviewed surveys. Bonus points for quantifiers like "horrific". It's like the first couple reels of "The Perils of Pauline" where she's tied to the train tracks, a steam whistle is heard offscreen and then... tune in next week!

Second, where's the statistical rigor and insightful analysis? Would your high-school statistics teacher take this for your semester project?:
Quote:
This study is based on a national telephone survey of 1,002 adults ages 45 and older who were currently working, looking for work, or retired. This sample was then boosted to obtain additional interviews with Hispanics, producing an oversample of 400 Hispanics ages 45 and older. The interviews were conducted in English by Woelfel Research, Inc. from April 12 to April 23, 2008.
I guess if you're "happily unemployed but not retired" or "Se habla espanol?" your input wasn't deemed necessary. And was the article going to talk about the significance of the Hispanic oversampling, or does it just make the stories better?

Third, is some taxpayer or charity or enforcement authority expected to save these people from their blissful ignorance? Were they forced by unethical financial advisors or greedy 401(k) custodians to raid their retirement funds? Or did they just overspend on their discretionary expenses, and as a result:
Quote:
About 76%, for example, said they are eating out less, and 71% said they are spending less on entertainment.
Doesn't sound like anyone's homeless or selling blood products for food. As for going without medications or health insurance... refer back to that phrase "blissful ignorance".

Fourth, what's the final reel of this horrific scenario? Famine? Pestilence? Riots in the streets? Mass suicides or euthanasia? No, they're going to keep working. Eeek. That's right, the people who spent all their money are going to salvage their flattened retirement accounts by... (wait for it)... working longer. Holy crap, Batman, quelle horreure.

I wonder if they'll keep donating their payroll deductions to Social Security and Medicare.
[/rant]

Disclosure: Instead of reacting to articles like these, spouse and I give a significant portion of our SWRs to the Hawaii Food Bank and the Institute for Human Services-- real charities helping real people with real problems... and who probably don't have enough of a work history to be able to depend on SS or Medicaid, either.
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Old 06-18-2008, 07:36 PM   #4
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Nords, beautifully dissected I am in tears again this place is a wonderland of comedic relief.
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Old 06-19-2008, 03:41 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Helena View Post
There are three major things that affect personal net worth
that are within one's control:

Income - Spending vrs Saving - Debt.

I would assume young boomers, like most Americans,
get into trouble by mismanaging the last two.

Recently, on the Dave Ramsey program a doctor's wife
called in crying about how they had massive debt and
no money. Household income was $200,000 a year.

Income doesn't see to be the issue as much as spending
beyond one's means and accumulation of massive debt.

As the old saying goes.... no matter how much one's
income increases, one's outgo ego rises up to meet and
exceed it.


~
Fixed that for you.
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Old 06-19-2008, 04:02 PM   #6
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Parents at the age of the younger boomers (45 to 55) have always had the temporary financial pain and emotional pleasure (okay, emotional pain too) of children in their teens. Of course people the age of the younger boomers are broke. Been there, done that. But it goes away when the children are out on their own (which would correspond to today's later boomer ages). So IMHO it's partly a temporary situation.
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Old 06-19-2008, 11:24 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Darryl View Post
Nords, beautifully dissected I am in tears again this place is a wonderland of comedic relief.

I agree.... and I keep wondering why people are leaving I must have a thicker skin than others....
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Old 06-20-2008, 09:14 AM   #8
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Yep. I am tired of all the rocks news people are looking under to find pain.

You could find horror stories of relatively high-income people going broke because of too much consumption and debt any time. But when the perception is that the economy is strong, no one writes these articles. As soon as the media has beaten the drums of recession enough to make it a self-fulfilling prophecy, they pull out these types of articles to scare them even more and make it worse.

You'd think they were all short on the economy the way they "sell" doom and gloom stories for more revenue.

Greed and fear sell. And usually an excess of greed leads to an economic hangover that turns it to fear, and these media types lead the charge in both ways -- not just reporting on it, but influencing it. I wouldn't be surprised if some newspapers start including a foil hat insert in the Sunday edition.
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"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?" -- Joe Dominguez (1938 - 1997)

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Old 06-20-2008, 10:05 AM   #9
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I love this board! What a bunch of straight shooters.....what an absolute relief from the contrived politeness/indifference of society!
These articles make me mad too....you don't need to have a degree to know that you can only spend what you make....if you borrow money, you will need to pay it back, and that one day you will get old and will need money to live off of!!!
It's not rocket science!
I don't even bother listening to the news or reading these silly articles anymore.....makes my blood pressure rise!
I'm becoming a grumpy old woman!
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Old 06-20-2008, 10:34 AM   #10
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To me it is funny when the TV people go out to show how 'bad' things are and they get this guy who maxed out credit cards... took out a home loan to pay them off, maxed them out again and now is having trouble paying them.... they asked him 'how much credit card debt do you have?' his answer '$79,000'.... WHAT??

Nobody asks 'what did you spend all that money on?'.... or 'how stupid can you be?'.... you know, the real questions that should be asked...

But no, it is the horrible greedy CC companies that came out and FORCED the guy to spend all that money because of their teaser rates...

as John Stossel would say... 'give me a break'....
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Old 06-20-2008, 10:57 AM   #11
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But no, it is the horrible greedy CC companies that came out and FORCED the guy to spend all that money because of their teaser rates...
If you swim with the sharks long enough, you're bound to get eaten eventually.
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"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?" -- Joe Dominguez (1938 - 1997)

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Old 06-20-2008, 11:36 AM   #12
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OMG what a great post Nords.
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Old 06-20-2008, 11:43 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Texas Proud View Post
To me it is funny when the TV people go out to show how 'bad' things are and they get this guy who maxed out credit cards... took out a home loan to pay them off, maxed them out again and now is having trouble paying them.... they asked him 'how much credit card debt do you have?' his answer '$79,000'.... WHAT??

Nobody asks 'what did you spend all that money on?'.... or 'how stupid can you be?'.... you know, the real questions that should be asked...

But no, it is the horrible greedy CC companies that came out and FORCED the guy to spend all that money because of their teaser rates...

as John Stossel would say... 'give me a break'....
This is exactly what I think. Consumers presume they shouldn't be accountable for the money of CC compnies they spend. And it even doesn't belong to them in the first place. I think most of them haven't grown out of their childhood X'mas days when they got $$ as presents.
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Old 06-20-2008, 01:49 PM   #14
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Old 06-20-2008, 01:54 PM   #15
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These stories don't make me angry, they amuse me at the incredible financial intelligence of the masses of America regarding credit, debt and speding too much damn money.
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Old 06-20-2008, 04:12 PM   #16
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These stories don't make me angry, they amuse me at the incredible financial intelligence of the masses of America regarding credit, debt and speding too much damn money.
Why should they make me angry? The more they fritter away their money, the more they spend and go into debt, the longer they have to work and the longer they have to pay Social Security taxes. If they keep it up, it might actually be there for me in a couple decades...
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"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?" -- Joe Dominguez (1938 - 1997)

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Old 06-20-2008, 06:39 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Texas Proud View Post
Nobody asks 'what did you spend all that money on?'.... or 'how stupid can you be?'.... you know, the real questions that should be asked...

But no, it is the horrible greedy CC companies that came out and FORCED the guy to spend all that money because of their teaser rates...

as John Stossel would say... 'give me a break'....
Indeed - DW and I know a couple just like that, I've written about them here before. They've repeatedly run up the CCs on "stuff" and trips and are now $500k or so in the hole after sucking all the equity they could out of their house. He's a carpenter and she's a retired math teacher - one would think she'd know better.

Listening to them, DW and I just look at them in slack-jawed astonishment.
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Old 06-20-2008, 07:49 PM   #18
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i keep pretty close to home, but seems most everyone i know couldn't hold a nickel for more than a month ... by which time a new "need" would arise.
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Old 06-20-2008, 09:14 PM   #19
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The more they fritter away their money, the more they spend and go into debt, the longer they have to work and the longer they have to pay Social Security taxes.
That's what I hope, on good days. On bad days, I have the disturbing feeling that a lot of my fellow Americans are bent on dying in debt and leaving the rest of us holding the bag. Personal responsibility seems in short supply.
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Old 06-20-2008, 09:48 PM   #20
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I didn't read the article. I can tell by everyone's response that it's the same old tune. All I have to do is look at some of the members of my own family and other people I know. All too common a story. In fact I was talking to someone I hadn't seen in a long time today and she said "still being frugal"? I forgot that it isn't normal to watch how one spends money. By the way she's upside down in her house that she's had for 10 years. She must have taken out one of them helocs? You think?
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