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Number Of Older Workers (55 And Over) Rises To New Record High

Tyler Durden's picture


In the latest installment of another long-running series, we look at the age bracket distribution of those who are lucky enough to get new jobs each month, versus those who aren't. It should come as no surprise that once more the majority of new jobs created in the month of May went to the oldest age-group cohort, those 55 and older, which saw an increase of 203,000 jobs in May, more than every other age group bracket. The result: with an all time high 31,488,000 workers aged 55-69, Americans are far more busy working in their older years than retiring (or gambling in the rigger stock market casino).

Which is why perhaps it is quite appropriate that the E-trades of the world use a baby as their mascot. Because with the bulk of jobs going to old people, those 55 and younger are getting the sloppy seconds of whatever the older generation doesn't want. Which isn't much. 

As the chart below shows, since the start of the Obama regime, 4.3 million jobs have been created for workers 55 and older. Everyone else? A loss of 2.5 million jobs.

In short: the gerontocratic, retirement-less recovery.


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Fri, 06/07/2013 - 10:11 | 3633508 Jason T
Jason T's picture

baby boomers ..  having cake and eating it too.   

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 10:13 | 3633518 Edward Fiatski
Edward Fiatski's picture

The youth will be using them for soap when the time comes.

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 10:18 | 3633538 localsavage
localsavage's picture

So you think that any of them have the skills to make anything....even soap

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 10:20 | 3633553 Incubus
Incubus's picture

You just boil it and skim off the lye at the top? 


Dunno. I need to study fight club again.

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 11:31 | 3633793 El Viejo
El Viejo's picture

Tell them to join the military. They'll get free soap and all the fight they want.

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 12:02 | 3633920 TPTB_r_TBTF
TPTB_r_TBTF's picture



Many boomers can go 8 hours without checking their social media accounts;

wherease, most youngins cannot last even a few minutes without their iToys.

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 12:07 | 3633950 yabyum
yabyum's picture

tptb, 1000+. I only need to change my depends twice a day.

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 12:44 | 3634166 max2205
max2205's picture

Somebodys got to pay into Soc Sec and never get anything back

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 19:00 | 3635601 Lost Word
Lost Word's picture

Are these real numbers or just estimates and percentages of work force ?

My guess is that the + 55 age percent dropping out of the work force is increasing and not counted in the employment rate, therefore the +55 age employment rate only appears to be increasing.

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 10:21 | 3633559 camaro68ss
camaro68ss's picture

cant you make soap on farmville? Im an great farmer, you should see my farm....

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 10:58 | 3633659 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

I can teach you how to make rope from natural wood fibers if you want to complete the yahtzee...

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 11:28 | 3633783 Edward Fiatski
Edward Fiatski's picture

That is a good question - Have their parents taught them well? :-)

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 10:48 | 3633647 alien-IQ
alien-IQ's picture

not if that youth is as stupid as you appear to be. more likely, you'll end up being the soap.

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 10:54 | 3633663 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

take a look around the room... If nobody looks like a potential bar of soap... you're it...

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 11:19 | 3633751 PiltdownMan
PiltdownMan's picture

Ugh. But it is a troubling trend.

And markets rally on 175K low paying job report and 90 million not in labor force???????????????

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 10:18 | 3633540 insanelysane
insanelysane's picture

I agree that they had their elected officials raid the social security fund in the '80s and '90s and are now looking for the money again but that generation shows up to work on time and does their work without complaint.

The millenials in the office drive me crazy with their excuses as to why they are late; alarm didn't work, using phone as alarm but battery died, got halfway to work and forgot computer, needed to stop for gas, ...

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 10:45 | 3633594 Dr. Richard Head
Dr. Richard Head's picture

While I agree partially with you, I would like to point out that work is not always someplace you go, rather it is what you do.  If I am more efficient and can achieve the same or greater results in less time than the one is on-time to the minute every day, does it really matter what time I come into work?  Granted, I am 35 and have worked for the same company since 1996.  Perhaps the leaway I enjoy, allong with part ownership of the company, is why 9 am sometimes comes to 9:15 am like today. 

I think the greater commentary regarding these charts and this article is in the fact that the boomers, who were promised the greener pastures of retirement through the social "safety net" of social security, are finding out that their days in the salt mine are not numbered and may not end until their last breath of death. These boomers, by the way, are the same ones that defend the system when their favorite team is in power and bitch about the system when their team is not, while not seeing the truth that neither party gives a flying fuck about them, their liberty, or their property.

Then again, I am falling right into the social divide that your argumennt espouses.  I guess I took it - hook, line, and sinker.

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 11:42 | 3633826 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

Sam Walmart has an incredibly generous senior citizen employment policy. I can't remember the details, but I do know they get a deep discount on cat food 

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 12:01 | 3633916 Midasking
Midasking's picture

To debate this is futile.. the US is screwed. No jobs, Huge Debt, Huge Gov., no work ethic.. Time to move on

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 10:19 | 3633549 ShrNfr
ShrNfr's picture

Thank you, I will have some for dessert. But first I have to eat your lunch.

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 10:37 | 3633615 Go Tribe
Go Tribe's picture

You're so wrong. We come cheap now, is all. The illegal immigrants have stopped immigrating. We are the new illegals.

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 22:16 | 3636177 DosZap
DosZap's picture

You're so wrong. We come cheap now, is all. The illegal immigrants have stopped immigrating. We are the new illegals.


Don't know where you get your news, but your dead wrong.They have RUN OUT of applications already, and the illegals are being invited in, getting FREE everything, that WE all have paid for.

Open the gate, and all the horses get out or in.

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 10:46 | 3633642 alien-IQ
alien-IQ's picture

if you really believe that anybody in their 60's is happy about having to work a minimum wage job to be able to eat at this point in their lives, then I truly hope that you are forced to shovel shit for minimum wage until you drop dead.

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 14:19 | 3634642 Totentänzerlied
Totentänzerlied's picture

Happy about it, no. Deserving it for buying 50 years of insane prosperity with stolen wealth and not even having the integrity to admit it, and still demanding more plunder, big fuckin' YES.

They thought they could have it all for free, and so became willing accomplices. How's that working out for ya?

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 19:03 | 3635611 Lost Word
Lost Word's picture

Every age group is equally guilty of being sheep.

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 11:25 | 3633772 Meremortal
Meremortal's picture

My friends who run businesses say they look for boomers to hire. Boomers don't come to interviews demanding vacations as soon as they start their jobs. They also show up on time and actually do something besides play on their phones all day.

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 11:48 | 3633853 Midasking
Midasking's picture

baby boomers are in for a real treat! Mentally most won't be able to handle it.. and they will demand the government "do somthing"... think we are close to the breaking point. Can't wait to see this fiasco! Check out

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 10:11 | 3633509 Incubus
Incubus's picture

Movin' on up...

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 10:17 | 3633534 Chupacabra-322
Chupacabra-322's picture

No doubt they're working at Target, Wal Mart or The Home Depot making slave wage.

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 10:49 | 3633649 Dr. Richard Head
Dr. Richard Head's picture

The number of them that I see as cash register jockeys at fast food joints and shelf stockers at the grocery store used to make me a little sad.  After canvasing neighboorhoods to gather petition initiative signatures i have realized that the baby boomers are the ones in power and the baby boomers are the ones that defend the status quo more than any other age group.  Statism is their religion.

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 10:55 | 3633668 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

The trick is to get your 55+ moms & dads out there in the working force & move into their basement...

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 10:11 | 3633511 RaymondKHessel
RaymondKHessel's picture


Fri, 06/07/2013 - 10:11 | 3633512 aka Gil
aka Gil's picture

Those numbers will continue to increase. I'm one of those old fucks (barely). I haven't worked for 6 months but will be jumping back in soon.

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 10:39 | 3633617 Go Tribe
Go Tribe's picture

Good luck to you. My situation is deteriorating and I'm not looking forward to entering the serf force.

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 11:53 | 3633860 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

Grow a garden. If you don't have land, find someone who does and cut a deal for some of the spoils. You could even sell the organic food or barter for something. Food prices will continue to rise while its quality drops and danger increases. Growing a lot of your own, getting that nutrition, that medical health and eating less meat can save you a lot in a lot of departments. You can grow year round in any of the contiguous US states. There is enough light and enough heat with plastic cover(s). I do in the Puget Sound area even when it drops to 25. Think outside the box and outside the box stores.  

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 10:12 | 3633514 RaymondKHessel
RaymondKHessel's picture

Retire, grab a pension, then start another job the following Monday. Double-dipping.

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 10:15 | 3633529 youngman
youngman's picture

That is how it works in the public sector... I am in Colombia with many doubles and even a triple dipper....

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 10:56 | 3633674 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

next time take one dip & END IT!...

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 10:20 | 3633551 Osmium
Osmium's picture

What's a pension?

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 12:33 | 3634089 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

and why does it rhyme with tension? 

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 10:12 | 3633515 CcalSD
CcalSD's picture

Work til you DIE!

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 10:31 | 3633597 alien-IQ
alien-IQ's picture

...or DIE looking for work.

it's what Wall Street calls a "win-win".

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 11:28 | 3633785 grid-b-gone
grid-b-gone's picture

Do what you like to do and working until you die is better than most other options.

Funny though, that those who grew up believing deficits matter are working (working longer, but working) and those who matured post-Cheney's wishful thinking comment are getting a late start in life.

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 10:13 | 3633516 RSloane
RSloane's picture

Retirement is too risky for seniors, even in this risk-on world we live in.

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 15:04 | 3634832 tarsubil
tarsubil's picture

It seems something like 50% of boomers keel over within the first 6 months of retirement. Most have been running their whole lives. Once they have time to sit and look at themselves their broken spirit leads them to the grave.

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 10:13 | 3633521 Kreditanstalt
Kreditanstalt's picture

WHAT are all these oldsters DOING?????  Curious...are they ALL Walmart greeters?  Can't be...

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 10:40 | 3633626 Go Tribe
Go Tribe's picture

We're everywhere: WalMart, Home Depot, golf courses, part-time placement serfs, etc. Sorry, but the "Greatest Generation" fucked us and saddled us with bubblemasters of the uniworst.

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 14:22 | 3634653 Totentänzerlied
Totentänzerlied's picture

Everywhere... In the useless credit-fueled service economy which is a net-destroyer of wealth. How can anyone ever thank you enough?

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 19:08 | 3635617 Lost Word
Lost Word's picture

Don't blame everyone for the crimes of a few.

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 10:43 | 3633635 W.M. Worry
W.M. Worry's picture

At the long haul LTL trucking Co. I just left the average owner/operator age is about 60. The funny thing is that I made the same net in 1983 as I made last year doing the same job. Luckily I design and build houses on the side so I'm going back to swinging a hammer. I'm 62

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 10:48 | 3633650 Kreditanstalt
Kreditanstalt's picture

How many young people even qualify?  You need training certificate, licenses, insurance...blah blah drive a truck these days...and how many young people would be "qualified" to BOTH build houses AND drive a truck?  It's just not reality for most of us. 

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 10:57 | 3633676 W.M. Worry
W.M. Worry's picture

When I was in College I drove a long haul moving van in the Summers and worked as a plumber during the school year. I came out with no debt a journeyman plumbers certificate and a CDL (before it was called that) . My wife and I spent 15 years working as long distance movers before I even taught myself to design and build houses. It's called hard work. You just have to get off your ass and do it.

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 11:24 | 3633771 Kreditanstalt
Kreditanstalt's picture

Just because people are LAZY??  NOT true.  Why the hell does every possible grunt work  job or career these days need certificates, licenses, paper qualifications, tickets", insurance, not to mention "experience"?  There are forest industry grunt workers here making $30-$50+/hour + benefits +pensions driving logging trucks which I - at 53 - could learn to drive in two days and would do it at $20/hour, no benefits no pension.  But will I ever get the chance?  Not on your life!: they are PROTECTED by the system, by governments, by union "bargaining", by "minimum wages", by "seniority"... 

Let's have a totally free and competitive market in labour and let's FORCE potential employers themselves to do the legwork of interviewing and getting to know potential employees instead of falling back on government=imposed "qualifications" and protections...

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 12:11 | 3633976 Bobbyrib
Bobbyrib's picture

That's a nice story, but when you were in college, the economy was a hell of a lot better than the Great Depression Pt. 2. Also you did not have to contend with the illegal immigrants that today's youth does, who push down wages (liberals [i.e. Neo-Cons and actual liberals] allowed into the country). You act as if nothing has changed in the country and all you have to do is roll up your sleeves and work. TPTB are using illegal and legal (visas) immigrants to push down wages now more than ever.

It's really good to contstantly generalize about an entire generation, isn't it? Why don't you take your hippie ass back to the communes in CA?

See what I mean?

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 12:20 | 3634026 zjxn06
zjxn06's picture

"so I'm going back to swinging a hammer. I'm 62"


I'm working at 56 and hoping to continue to at least 70.  After 33 years of working feel like I'm finally firing on all cylinders.

I'm finally old enough to know what work is.

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 11:33 | 3633805 Meremortal
Meremortal's picture

I'm an oldster. I semi-retired from my one-man business at 60. At 64, I take care of my rentals and do volunteer work. The rest of the time I hike, fish, travel and play in a rock and roll band.

I haven't taken social security yet, waiting for the larger payout at 70.

Just like younger people, there are as many stories as there are boomers. Stereotyping is for fools. Some of my boomer friends are millionaires, some are broke. It's all over the lot.


Fri, 06/07/2013 - 11:51 | 3633867 grid-b-gone
grid-b-gone's picture

Workers I know over 50 are electricians, remodelers, house appraisers/inspectors, teachers, professors, Nautilus sub builders/refurbishers, school bus drivers, truck drivers, rental unit owners, UPS driver, greenhouse owner, aquiponics operation owner, farmer, state road worker, gun range manager, security guard, golf course worker, school bus driver, office workers, nurses, engineer, town rec worker, lawn business owner, ...

I'll bet I could double the list.

Young workers need to understand they knock themselves out of the running for many entry-level jobs by being less than careful driving. In my town, you need a 10-yr clean driving record to get an interview as a school bus driver. Even a crossing guard needs to have a squeeky-clean history.

Luckily for many Boomer hippies and those with disco-era indiscretions, mistakes are not saved electronically for employers to review years later - another casual act young people do not pay enough attention to.   

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 10:14 | 3633522 slightlyskeptical
slightlyskeptical's picture

More like they can't make it on the returns they are able to earn .... so it's back to work.

The destruction caused by QE has spread it's tenacles almost everywhere.

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 10:29 | 3633585 Inshock
Inshock's picture

Personal knowledge for several standard seniors.  They are broke and want to do something outdated like pay thier bills.  Honorable.  I don't know about the well funded or well planed retiree.  The ones I know are hurting big time and are doing anything to make ends meet.  Farm marketing, driving other seniors, selling what little they have.  Example selling paperbacks, items from the household.  What I am telling you is true for the several seniors I have wittnessed this with. 

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 10:31 | 3633595 Inshock
Inshock's picture

There are many over 70 people that I personally know that are still trying to find SOMETHING to bring in pennies to pay the bills.


Fri, 06/07/2013 - 10:14 | 3633523 youngman
youngman's picture

This is the new normal...older workers will keep their jobs until they are kicked out....kind of like a 90 year old getting a new 10 year drivers license.....while the younger workers will not get their first job until they are 30......and they will take it

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 11:10 | 3633604 DosZap
DosZap's picture

I find these stats to be the opposite of what I personally experienced, and what my spouse is currently going through.Once you hit 50-55, you are OUT, unless you have a SPECIAL skillset.Lose a good job at this age level, play hell getting another CLOSE to the same money.

These charts do not show most of these folks are working for less, and with no bennies, and are usually contract labor.

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 12:08 | 3633953 grid-b-gone
grid-b-gone's picture

Yep, older workers were cleared out in 2008, often just because of salary level or health care expense. Many have found jobs as their value vs. younger workers became clear, but they returned without their previous salary and benefits and now have to work longer to achieve their retirement goals.

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 10:17 | 3633535 Bearwagon
Bearwagon's picture

Again this bullshit, as if it were "the boomers" who ripped off the wealth of a whole world. That's plain old 'divide and conquer', lads! As if retirees are skimming all profits of a whole economy. Please! It's a few thousand evil psychopaths who are our real enemies, not millions of elderly, who hope for a somewhat decent living in their last days. Let us not be distracted by this balderdash!

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 10:29 | 3633584 freewolf7
freewolf7's picture

It's the banks.

It's the banks.

It's the banks.


Fri, 06/07/2013 - 10:31 | 3633596 tao400
tao400's picture

the elderly are keeping the young from getting jobs. they need to move on. it's the order of things.

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 10:42 | 3633629 alien-IQ
alien-IQ's picture

Do you seriously believe that anybody in their 60's enjoys uttering the words "would you like fries with that" at this point in their lives? Are you really that fucking stupid?

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 10:53 | 3633661 RSloane
RSloane's picture

+1 for alien-IQ. Maybe if "the youth" would move out of the god damned basements of the elderly the elderly could finally retire. I know three elderly couples who had their children and their childrens' families move back into their homes. One of them [60 yrs old] got a second job driving a truck for a meat delivery service. Neither his son or his daughter-in-law work. They are waiting for just the right jobs before they move out. The grandfather doesn't want to see his grandchildren 'go without' so he's now working much longer hours than he ever has in his life.

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 10:55 | 3633666 Dr. Richard Head
Dr. Richard Head's picture

I agree, but what did the greatest generation do while this fiat prison was being created around them?  They voted for this wing of prey over that wing of prey.  They accepted the status quo while tinkering on the edges of problems with diversions such as religion, gay marriage, and women in the work force.  They bought the marketing propaganda of the MSM and the 401K stock market.  They bought into the lies of social security and income taxation.  They defended the murderous war policies of the state.  They draped the fucking flag over their themselves, held their hands to their hearts as they pledged their allegiance to the state.  I have been fighting the good fight at every turn.  At every turn there happens to be a baby boomer that stands in the way and they throw a punch every time. 

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 10:59 | 3633686 RSloane
RSloane's picture

"The Greatest Generation" were the parents of the boomers, not the boomers.

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 11:03 | 3633709 Dr. Richard Head
Dr. Richard Head's picture

Fair enough.  A little slip there on my part. 

What was that quote from a ZH article here a little while back - "The first generation creates the wealth, the second generation starts spending the wealth, and the third generation consumes what is left."

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 12:15 | 3633998 Bobbyrib
Bobbyrib's picture

"What was that quote from a ZH article here a little while back - "The first generation creates the wealth, the second generation starts spending the wealth, and the third generation consumes what is left.""

There is already nothing left. Why do you think Bernanke is printing?

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 10:50 | 3633655 Kinskian
Kinskian's picture

And more of the young should have been strangled in their cribs, or at the least before they could vote.

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 11:39 | 3633816 Meremortal
Meremortal's picture

In a free market economy (if we still had one) there would be jobs for everyone willing to work. There would be no fighting over an ever decreasing pie.

The real secret is not a job. The real secret is to work for yourself. Apple was started with $500 in a garage.

You want something?

Do something. Serve somebody. Because, like Dylan wrote, no matter how big or how small, you're gonna serve somebody.


Fri, 06/07/2013 - 10:18 | 3633542 catacl1sm
catacl1sm's picture

Am I the only one that noticed that steady increase in 55+ workers stared around 1995? Can't really blame this particular trend on the Fed.


But, Fuck you Bernanke.

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 10:18 | 3633544 RaceToTheBottom
RaceToTheBottom's picture

Keep the job till they find out your brain has atrophied.  That is my plan.  Alternatives are not great....


Fri, 06/07/2013 - 10:18 | 3633546 jughead
jughead's picture

The more cake I eat now, the less dog food I'll have to eat later.

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 10:21 | 3633560 Miffed Microbio...
Miffed Microbiologist's picture

At 52 I am one of the youngest at my work. Three years ago there was a massive panic because it was estimated in 6 years 75% of microbiologists in San Diego hospitals would be retired and all the local hospital internships for licensure had closed. At my hospital there are several people in their mid 70s still working full time. Many others who had indicated they were retiring soon are no longer indicating such. I had planned to go part time at 62 and retire fully at 67. That plan is perminantly scrapped as woefully impossible. Death or perminant disability seems the only way these jobs will be vacated. Funny thing is they now have 2 licensing programs up and running. They cost $24,000 for 2 years of training ( these programs used to pay a small monthly stipend). So if any of you young people out there would like to pile on more debt for non existent jobs there's a path for you.


Fri, 06/07/2013 - 10:26 | 3633578 tao400
tao400's picture

Why aren't people retiring, did they lose a bunch of money in the market, get out and then not ride it back up? You are a very good barometer of what is happeing. please respond. thanks.

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 10:29 | 3633586 alien-IQ
alien-IQ's picture

In a word: Inflation. (which the government claims does not exist) but one trip to the gas station or grocery store will say otherwise.

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 11:10 | 3633734 ceilidh_trail
ceilidh_trail's picture

Inflation is a big part of it, coupled with bernankicidle depressed interest rates. I have worked and gotten a paycheck since age 15 and have been investing since my early 20's. I am approaching 55. Still, my only hope is riding the market up as bernanke's policy has destroyed the traditional path of moving funds towards fixed income/"stability" while still persuing some growth via equities. Soooo, faced with the danger of getting wiped by market meltdowns or inflation spikes +/- some combination of both, most do not feel like we have a choice except to keep on working.

I am an intensive care nurse that has watched several coworkers retire and come back to work part time. I have a hard time seeing myself keep up this pace when I am in my 60's. We routinely have to physically move hundreds of pounds of person by repositioning them in bed with most unable to assist due to coma, sedation, etc. The job is tough mentally and physically- most of us end up with bad backs, feet, etc. But, faced with delayed SSI (age 67) rising food&energy costs etc, I will plod on until things get better. Gotta pray that enough people get fed up enough that our .gov has a revolutionary change. I know, not likely but one can always dream...

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 10:30 | 3633589 bnbdnb
bnbdnb's picture

I like working.

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 10:33 | 3633603 tao400
tao400's picture

Which means that there are not enough jobs for the number of people who want them. that is very distressing.

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 10:34 | 3633606 Inshock
Inshock's picture

there are some that lost their retirement by way of fraud.  I know of one who lost their saved nest egg to ONE person who gained their trust then used up their money..  Seniors are easy targets for fraudsters.  Oh and there was no recourse because they did it willingly.  SOL

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 11:05 | 3633715 Miffed Microbio...
Miffed Microbiologist's picture

Primarily coming from the people I know, the overall reason is simply fear. They are terrified if they fully retire and they cannot absorb wild fluctuations in income, they can't return to their jobs if they had been filled. Several had taken seconds on their homes to help their kids through school ( groan and roll my eyes) and now realize they have to put off retirement until these loans are paid off. There is a small minority that doesn't know what they'd like to do during retirement. However they all are remaining full time so I think there's more to it then simple boredom. In my field the uncertainty of obamacare may be influencing their decisions. The pall of fear is palpable.
My closest colleague's husband is in management at Northrop Grumman with a cushy pension and complained all the time how much he HATES his job. He had planned to fully retire 2 years ago and was counting down the days. He's still working and I haven't felt comfortable broaching the subject with my associate. I'm amazed myself at the whole phenomenon. I had assumed I would have been shunted into more managerial duties as these people left which would have been better for my wrists and hands ( most in my line of work rarely make it more than 4 years and become disabled with repetitive injuries. I've done molecular for 12). These are my observations coming from the medical professional side. I'm not sure if this is true across all industries.


Fri, 06/07/2013 - 11:20 | 3633757 ceilidh_trail
ceilidh_trail's picture

Miffed- I just posted and then saw your comment. Fear is a good summation. It's funny- I know a guy who works for Grumman on the east coast (LI). He is the same, could've retired but still there. Also, us on  the floors always thought you lab guys had it good- shows how biased our little worlds can be. How did we let these clowns do this to us? I know, it's partially due to being on the wrong end of the baby boom. But, mostly I think it's due to us being overwhelmed by the leeches in our society- those on the top rungs and the bottom.

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 12:14 | 3633990 Miffed Microbio...
Miffed Microbiologist's picture

Yes ceilidh it's a sad state of affairs for all of us in healthcare. I do not envy you. Percentage wise, far more nurses are disabled due to handling mortally obese patients then we are in the lab. A few years back I took a per diem job at another hospital to help pay bills and was required to take training on how to hold an obese pt and operate a hoist that looked like it belonged in a large veterinary practice. I kept insisting I was only going to be in the lab but they wanted me to know how to do these procedures in case of an emergency. That hospital had lost many nurses due to injuries and was doing whatever it could to slow the rate.

The entire field has changed so much in the last 10 years if I could, I would gladly hand it over to an exuberant young person. Though I am good at what I do and have personally saved many lives which even Drs I work with admit, I have no personal satisfaction in what I do. Regulatory agencies, government, insurance reimbursals are now the prime focus, not patient care. Last year I had a 25 year old man at his job had a large metal bar pierce his skull removing his eye.I isolated a rapidly growing mycobacterium. I panicked and called the dr and he panicked as well ( one kind he would survive the other would quickly invade his brain and kill him) 5 days using the methods i have was the earliest I could find out which one it was. I knew this man did not have 5 days so I sent the bug to a lab in Utah that could sequence it and have the results the next day. I violated procedure by not getting authorization from billing and management for incurring such costs. I got a major slapping for this and told never to do this again without authorization or I would be written up. That man got the correct antibiotic in a timely manner and walked out of the hospital alive. If I had followed procedure to the letter who knows what would have been the outcome. To be honest, I'm not sure hospital bureaucrats really care. May be now we have obamacare things will be better ;-)


Fri, 06/07/2013 - 10:30 | 3633588 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

There seems to be a lot of short term thinking going on, which is a problem throughout our quarter to quarter reporting nation.

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 10:21 | 3633561 eclectic syncretist
eclectic syncretist's picture

Wecome to Ben Bernanke's Yo-Yo economy.

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 10:21 | 3633562 RaymondKHessel
RaymondKHessel's picture

Let me know when you find someone under 45 that knows mainframe.

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 10:22 | 3633564 therearetoomany...
therearetoomanyidiots's picture

"those 55 and younger are getting the sloppy seconds of whatever the older generation doesn't want."

Yah, maybe...hasn't the author noticed all the old people running the cash register at the local Big Y, Stop & Shop, etc.  I hated it when the cashiers were from the islands and central america (like at publix) and can't speak english, or not very well.  But, this is a disturbing trend. 

It's like that old investing ad that used to be on the TeeVee, where the guy comes home and tells the wife they aren't going to be able to retire like they thought, and could she start a low paying 'extra' job to supplement their Soc Sec.   There was a whole series of these ads.  

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 10:24 | 3633572 tao400
tao400's picture

What jobs are they doing, that is the question. Retail? McDonalds? That would be a good survey to run. Are they older people just looking to add a little income in low paying jobs so that they can cover their basic necessities and not go backwards financially?

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 10:38 | 3633611 Inshock
Inshock's picture

They are driving parts for Napa, farm marketing, answering phones, going to telemarketing.. selling the few things they have.  I have no idea about people of comfortable means only the average retiree. 


Fri, 06/07/2013 - 10:24 | 3633574 bnbdnb
bnbdnb's picture

From BLS statistics, all age groups Jan 2009 to today

Growth 10.6m (234739k to 245363k)

16-54 0.3m (162953k to 163246k)

55+ 10.3m (71786k to 82117k)

How are the 16-54 age groups going to get jobs, if their age group isn't growing?

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 19:24 | 3635655 Lost Word
Lost Word's picture

I doubt these numbers are real.

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 10:25 | 3633576 Fix It Again Timmy
Fix It Again Timmy's picture

Oh, hell.  Let's throw another $Trillion dollars a year on "national defense"; that SHOULD solve this problem...

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 10:27 | 3633580 alien-IQ
alien-IQ's picture

It's pretty hard to save for retirement if there are no jobs available when you're young.

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 11:02 | 3633705 Incubus
Incubus's picture

We have...ways to make things work.

Won't be pretty. Docility will be a liability when it comes time to rattle the cages.

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 10:32 | 3633601 bnbdnb
bnbdnb's picture

Who's going to take care of these older people when they are 70?

From BLS statistics, all age groups Jan 2009 to today

Growth 10.6m (234739k to 245363k)

16-54 0.3m (162953k to 163246k)

55+ 10.3m (71786k to 82117k)

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 10:33 | 3633602 moneybots
moneybots's picture

Where i worked there weren't that many older workers.  The newer jobs were going to the 20 and 30 somethings.

I was at Ralph's grocery store the other day and two people were bagging my groceries.  One a 50's-ish  guy, who i realized was in training.

At Home town Buffet i saw a 60's-ish man swabbing the floor.

Not sure where all these older people are supposed to be getting jobs, over young people.

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 10:43 | 3633634 Inshock
Inshock's picture

These people have something the younger do not have in many cases, a good work ethic.  The problem for them though is that their body is not always up for the task.  But they want to do the job to make some extra cash.. I know one senior lady who skips on meal a day so she can get her hair done each week.. very sad right?  What a shame.

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 10:55 | 3633665 Kreditanstalt
Kreditanstalt's picture much for "economic growth".  So much for "consumption".  I only spend money on three things: taxes, food and Internet.  Good luck getting any "consumption-driven growth" out of us peasants...


Fri, 06/07/2013 - 10:35 | 3633608 Peter Pan
Peter Pan's picture

We need to be careful that we do not turn this issue into a feud between the younger and older segments of society.

The real enemies reside in Washington and Wall Street. Do not forget that.


Fri, 06/07/2013 - 10:39 | 3633619 alien-IQ
alien-IQ's picture

Correct. I do not think anybody would dispute least not anybody with a minimum of two functioning brain cells.

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 10:43 | 3633633 tao400
tao400's picture

Except that that is exactly what is going to happen. the older people are just trying to stay up with inflation and not go backwards, the younger people who want to raise families can't get jobs. Would you be pissed if you were 28 and thought a 60 year had the job that you should. I would.

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 11:49 | 3633851 alien-IQ
alien-IQ's picture

how would you, as a 28 year old, feel if your 65 year old mother and father had to take jobs at wal mart for minimum wage just to be able to eat? would you tell them they should starve? commit suicide? rob a fucking bank? and for what? so you can take that wal mart job instead and buy a new i-phone?

you are operating under the delusional assumption that people in their 60's are somehow happy about having to go to work for minimum wage at a time when they thought they'd be retiring and watching their grandchildren grow up?

if I were your father (and I thank god I'm not) and I read these comments of yours, I'd beat the living shit out of you.

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 10:40 | 3633624 ian807
ian807's picture

10 years ago, when dinosaurs roamed the earth, everyone was complaining that older workers were the first to be fired and replaced with cheaper younger workers. I saw this happen pretty frequently at a number of companies I dealt with.

The problem, of course, was that many, hell, most of these cheaper, younger workers weren't worth the oxygen they used up. The concept that they had to sit at a desk for 8 hours or so and well, work, was just too much for a lot of them. Discovering that the real world of business entailed real feedback which took no interest in their self-esteem was a surprising shock for quite a few too (Your report was crap. Do it over. By tomorrow). In short, working was hard. Oh, no!

So, over the last 10 years, I've had to do a lot of hiring at my company. Frankly, I don't even bother look at anyone under 35 unless they come with a very strong recommendation. Military guys get first in line since they can actually get something done without giving me a bunch of shit about it.

So, that's the reality on the ground. No particular economic connection. Just practical concerns.

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 10:45 | 3633638 tao400
tao400's picture

Dude, that's awesome. As for me, I do the opposite. I don't hire anyone over 35 because they are slow on computers and want a higher salary and are thus more apt to bitch and moan and complain and lower morale because their resume, in their mind, makes them think they are underpaid.

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 11:00 | 3633695 AgentScruffy
AgentScruffy's picture

It depends on the individual. I know one 50+er who just lost a job, was comfortable and skating on length of tenure at the company. This person doesn't even know how to log on to a computer. She was living in la-la land, comfortably oblivious to tectonic shifts in how business is being done. All the jobs she's hearing now about pay half---and she blames her employer for nixing the advanced salary she obtained by hanging around at one location for years.

On the other hand I know people under 35 who expect the world to be handed to them on a plate, (it's all about "what do I get?") and good luck getting them to work hard. God forbid you ask them to do something like clean the office kitchen up. Two individuals in this age bracket "confided" in me that they only work 4 hours a week. For a full-time paycheck. One used to have 3 chat windows open at a time. (Neither one is still there.)

One dividing factor between winners and losers in the workplace is: do they have a victim mentality or an owner mentality?

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 11:17 | 3633748 ian807
ian807's picture

Yes, dude. Awesome. FYI, at 55, I design automated testing systems, installed, built and currently maintain a 16 VMWare servers and about 120 virtual machines which I configure and maintain using software that I wrote, personally. Admittedly, I wrote the software in .net and Windows powershell so I'm a litte out of date, because I'm so slow on computers, you know.

So what have you done? Lately?

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 12:44 | 3634162 SILVERGEDDON

Yeah, that's all fine and good - but how are you at growing food, felling trees, construction work, heavy equipment operation, solar power system jury rigging, offensive weapons systems, defensive tactics, food preservation, hunting, blacksmithing, stuff like that there. You know, real skills thart will actually keep your feeble cells dividing long enough for you to reproduce.



Natural selection just sent in your denial of service letter.

People of age know stuff that may be instrumental in helping you create a future that makes more sense than our past and present reality. If you keep your eyes open, you will see both the forest, the trees, and the POTB that want the rest of us tearing each other apart while they continue to be the parasites upon society that their only skill set allows them to be.

Wake the fuck up - " we are all in this together, so keep your stick on the ice. "

Kudos to Red Greene, Canadian Survivalist.

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 16:18 | 3635114 ian807
ian807's picture

OK, I'll bite.

1) Growing food. I suck. That said, I know virtually every edible, poisonous and medicinal plant in my area. We're stuffed with acorns here, which, after proper leaching, are a good calorie source. No shortage of pecans or walnuts either. I'm also well stocked with reusable mouse and small animal traps as well as fishnets and hooks. I won't starve. Thanks for asking.

2) Felling trees and construction work. A bit in the past, but have certainly done both with both axe and saw. Most recently this weekend, when a pecan tree branch was blocking the road.

3) Solar power. I have 6 80 watters and 10, 50-watters. They're set up on portable platforms so they can be taken in at night to avoid thieves and other undue attention.

4) Offensive and defensive weapons. Let's just say that with my over/under 2.22 rifle shotgun combo, I'm a reasonably good shot after I get the 22 sighted in each spring. I favor a peep sight, but I'm not averse to scopes.

5) Food preservation. Weak in that area except for drying meat and fish. With the nuts in my area, I might make a passable pemmican but I haven't tried it yet.

6) Hunting. I've taken deer at about 30 yards, but trapping gets you more consistent food, hence the aforementioned small animal traps.

7) Blacksmithing. Not so much. Tools aren't going to be a problem for a while. I cast a pretty good lead bullet though.

FYI, you forgot about water purification, which is going to get *really* important in a grid down situation. I'd suggest getting a bucket of pure unadulterated pool sodium hypochlorite and building a mirror distiller system for the long haul.




Fri, 06/07/2013 - 20:00 | 3635761 SILVERGEDDON

I actually had a list a mile long, but didn't want to come off as a smarmy dickhead. Bottom line - older folks have skills, life experience, and the numbers to create communities capable of long term survival. No one person will last long on their own - even a couple people isn't enough. Sooner or later, you begin to realize that there is safety in numbers, work to stay alive is easier based on more labor, and that the older you get, the more you want to learn, because you realize that even after 50 or 60 years, you really don't know diddley squat relative to the vast number of skills needed to float even a small community.

As for water purification, google sand filters. 3 or 4 - 55 gallon drum systems work best. Cheap, easy to build and duplicate, no chemicals or complicated crap required.

See ? You can learn something new every day !

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 10:48 | 3633648 U4 eee aaa
U4 eee aaa's picture

Older folks can underbid the younger on wages. Houses, cars, furniture etc. are often already paid for and the kids are often out of the house. That means the cost of living is dramatically lower for older people. Plus, many have at least some money saved up. They may only need a minimum wage job in order to maintain their cost of living. They also don't have to pay for student loans in many cases.

I've been working to that goal myself where, if absolutely necessary, I can always get a minimum wage job if I need to and still survive or even thrive. That is why I have been saving like a slave. Just in case I need to 'underbid' junior some day for a job (nothing personal junior, I hope you understand)

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 10:56 | 3633673 insanelysane
insanelysane's picture

This is my goal after my youngest finishes high school!  4 years till then.

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 13:31 | 3634407 Sweet Pea
Sweet Pea's picture

That's nice and I'm in the same place, but remember that the lower paying the job, the shittier it is...heavy lifting you didn't expect, people yelling at you and treating you like an idiot. And so forth.

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 10:48 | 3633651 IMACOINNUT
IMACOINNUT's picture

visited my son and dau-in -law last night, she was on and off her android 1/3 of the time, my son got back on his world of warcraft for 30 min even though the conversation was going well, and tonight i'm back to work where the staff (mostly 25-40) will be on their androids as much as possible. I'm about to retire at the SS min age and don't wonder employers don't want these kids around. They can't separate from the android nipple.

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 10:48 | 3633652 Seasmoke
Seasmoke's picture

Bring back the Carosel from Logan's Run.

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 10:56 | 3633670 moneybots
moneybots's picture

"It's pretty hard to save for retirement if there are no jobs available when you're young."

How do young people save for retirement with an average $26,000 of college debt to pay off?

Walmart runs an ad in which the family has a 300 dollar a month cell phone bill.  How do parents save up money for retirement, paying that much a month for multiple cell phones?

In my area at work, the unmarried 20 somethings had their smart phones and looked through the Fry's Electronics ads for their next "toy" to buy.

How do young people save up for retirement when they are spending their money?

It is a consumer society.  Consumption isn't 70% of the economy  because only the baby boomers did it.

My Greatest Generation era parents used to save up S&H Greenstamps in order to consume.


Fri, 06/07/2013 - 11:07 | 3633721 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

     That's another plus for "Obunga Care" costs. /s 

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 11:10 | 3633730 nowhereman
nowhereman's picture

There is this question I've been mulling over since I turned 65, and realized that the far greater portion of my life is behind me. That is, there are a great many people in my demographic, and when we were young, life insurance was a big thing.  Now with many of us on the cusp of the great beyond, do Insurance Companies have the where with all to meet their obligations?

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 11:11 | 3633736 autofixer
autofixer's picture

RETIREMENT is a concept conjered up by Bismark in 1883 based on the 1882 book, The Fixed Period, by Anthony Trollope.  "Retirement" is a failed concept along with most concepts that came from the 19th century, i.e., all of the "isms".

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 13:32 | 3634411 moneybots
moneybots's picture

The fixed period.  One second, one minute, one hour, one day, one year...

A stopped clock is tight twice a day in its fixed period.

Failed concept.  Would that include pretty much everything?

Things work until they don't.  Home prices only go up on an annual basis, until they don't.

The economic boom is a failed concept.  Every one ends in a bust.  Every "new Era" ends the same way.  "This time is different" ends tha same way.

"Why do banks look for new ways to lose money, when the old ways worked so well?"

Failed concepts that keep being repeated.  From that i would have to guess that there is no successful concept.

Big failed concept:" we have to do something so that this can't happen again."  Every cycle has an up phase and a down phase, so it will happen again.  The New Deal laws were "modernized" as they got in the way of completing the cycle this time around.

A retirement system works until it doesn't  Nothing stays the same as a cycle moves through its phases.


Fri, 06/07/2013 - 11:27 | 3633779 Tombstone
Tombstone's picture

So what the stats might show is that the boomers will work until they are either 70-80 years old, given pink slips, killed off by Obummercare (the lack of), or they drop dead.  Meanwhile, the government provides lifelong welfare to the younger generations as they will be voting for many decades for Kommicrats.

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 11:28 | 3633782 wagthetails
wagthetails's picture

Boomers - the TBTF generation. 

I'm a capitalist, but capitalism can't function properly w/o proper competition...which is why we have laws against monopolies. (bad sadly just like law against illegal immigration, we dont' enforce monopoly rules any more). 

We have a handful of bank, and a handful of huge companies in each space

Our gov: In addition to spending 43 cents of every dollar spent in this economy is actively inlvoved with picking winner/loser and now, manipulating financial markets, is the bigest monopoly of all. 

The Boomer represent the evil of monopolies on a human level.  They are no worse than the prior generations or subseqent ones...but they are too large and their flaws (which every generation has) are therefore magnified. 

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 11:40 | 3633821 alien-IQ
alien-IQ's picture

that is one of the most idiotic comments I have ever read on ZH.

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 11:52 | 3633869 ian807
ian807's picture

Looks to me like competition is working just fine. What you don't like is that the boomers are winning just now, usually on merits like dependability, experience, skills, wage flexibility and so on.

FYI, prior to 2008, boomers were losing and being replaced by younger workers. So it will be again when the boomer workforce gets old enough and competence degrades as boomers age and young people mature into something worth hiring. The market is just doing what it does - balancing competence with wages and hiring accordingly.

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 12:02 | 3633922 wagthetails
wagthetails's picture

It is indeed natural, as i said, they are only doing what the prior or subsequent generation would have done under same exact circumstances.  But becasue they are so large it is creating large issues.  No training programs, not enough mid managers below the age of 50 around to take the reigns from the boomers when they retire.  A general lack of concern for putting together a 10-15 corp plan as they don't plan on being their that long. 

My concern is that the Boomer generation has not sufficiently trained the very people who will be needed to take up the torch and produce enough so that it can be sufficiently taxed in order to take care of boomers. 

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 12:11 | 3633977 Incubus
Incubus's picture

don't be so myopic. we have a billion asians of various flavors that'll fill in the management role.

"Native" American youth are a lost generation.

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 18:57 | 3635597 Village-idiot
Village-idiot's picture

Nice observation and very well put!

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 12:00 | 3633885 edifice
edifice's picture

I don't know... A lot of Boomers worked very, very hard throughout their lives and are now collecting the benefits the system told them would be there.  In the Boomers' case, the benefits will be there; they'll be the last generation this is true for.

My dad (early Boomer) worked on a road crew at night, running a jackhammer until his hands were swollen, to put himself through college.  Then got drafted while working on said road crew (was not enrolled) and was sent to Vietnam.  He later maintained 4 rental properties, while teaching school as a day job.  A hard working man.

This is cyclic.  My generation, "Generation X," and probably the Millennials will not recieve benefits, though we will pay into the system until we die.  Just how it is.  Hedge accordingly.

The fact that many of the Boomers didn't save for retirement (and are now taking low-wage retail positions or hanging on in the corporate world), is just the end result of growing up during the most successful period in American history; created by the GI Generation, after WWII.

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 11:52 | 3633874 Debt Slave
Debt Slave's picture

Where I work, no one in a management position is under the age of 47, including myself. We're paid well and we deliver results, not excuses. We report on time for work every day, and there are rarely any complaints. We stay with these jobs because they are good jobs. The last manager we hired was 12 years ago and he is still with us. Several of us have completed 20+ years of service. It's almost like a family because we have known each other for so long.

Management found out long ago that the younger folk may be cheaper, but they are less dependable. That's just the way it is.

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 12:52 | 3634200 moneybots
moneybots's picture

How old was Zuckerberg when he started Face Book?  How old was Steve Jobs when he started Apple?  How old was Bill Gates when he started Microsoft?

Someone who is 47 generally has more experience than someone 25, but someone that has a natural organizational ability can be any age.

Steven Speilberg's first movie was an ABC Movie of the Week.  It is the only one of the series that i remember.  He had great directorial talent right out of the gate.

The trade papers announce so and so is moving to 2oth Century Fox to be in charge of X department.  These people aren't all in their fifties.  Word gets around when someone is good and they move up the ladder.





Fri, 06/07/2013 - 18:52 | 3635588 Village-idiot
Village-idiot's picture

Many times the younger workers have themselves to blame. Many positions require a police-record check, require the applicant pass a drug and sobriety test. Many younger applicants cannot supply these; most older applicants can! A good example of this is in the trucking industry. The average age of a long-haul trucker in N. America is getting into their late 50s.

High school students had better start understanding this as they make important decisions in their lives. "Should I remain drug-free or should I go out with my friends and get into trouble?" Many of these decisions can have dire consequences that can affect you for the rest of your life.

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 11:56 | 3633902 moneybots
moneybots's picture

"baby boomers ..  having cake and eating it too."


That really applies across the board.  How much does the average person have saved up for retirement?   Zero Hedge had a post on various shocking statistics and i don't remember what the number was, but it was rather low.  The problem is multi generational.

It is a consumer society and baby boomers have not been the only ones consuming.

And another thing about consumption, it provides jobs for people.

When people don't buy a car, a car sales person loses a job.  People on the assembly line lose a job.  People who manufacture the parts lose a job and so on.

I get sales phone calls every day.  They don't want me to save my money, because their job and the jobs of those they represent, depend on me spending my money.

All those with a cell phone and particularly a smart phone, raise your hands.  Why aren't you saving that money you are spending, for retirement?


Fri, 06/07/2013 - 13:29 | 3634396 tlnzz
tlnzz's picture

No surprise here. The Government, with reckless monetary policy, has destroyed retirement plans for people who have prepared all of there working life for a decent retirement. There was a time when retirees could collect a decent amount off of there investments. That's gone. They're not going back to work because they're tired of sitting around. Many are going back to work to survive.

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 14:10 | 3634606 Nue
Nue's picture

In America you can retire when you die.

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 16:07 | 3635074 SmittyinLA
SmittyinLA's picture

We need more young immigrant parasite debt consumers to offset our hard working boomers

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