Guest Post: 10 Things Baby Boomers Won't Tell You

Tyler Durden's picture

Authored by Catey Hall, via Jim Quinn's Burning Platform blog,

The aging 'me' generation is still putting itself first...

1. “Paws off, Junior. This cash is mine.”

Children of boomer parents shouldn’t expect a big inheritance, even if their parents are rich. Only about half of high-net-worth baby boomers — those with more than $3 million in investible assets — say they consider leaving money to their kids a priority, according to a 2012 U.S. Trust Survey. In contrast, nearly three-quarters of people older than boomers say it’s important to them.

Even boomers — typically defined by demographers as those born between 1946 and 1964 — who do plan to leave an inheritance may do so with strings attached. Indeed, nearly seven in 10 high-net-worth boomers surveyed by U.S. Trust said they were not fully confident that their children could handle an inheritance.

“More often than not, clients leave inheritances in trusts,” says John Olivieri, a partner at New York law firm White & Case who works with a lot of boomer clients. With a trust, a third party manages the money and doles it out at intervals that the parent has specified. “Some parents have concerns about how their kids would invest and spend the money,” Olivieri says.

2. “Make room, kids. We’ll be living with you when we’re old…”

Boomers are expected to live longer than any previous generation. At the same time, many haven’t saved nearly enough for retirement. More than 44% of early boomers (whom the Employee Benefit Research Institute defines as those born between 1948 and 1954) and 43% of late boomers (born between 1955 and 1964) may not be able to afford basic living expenses in retirement, according to a 2012 analysis by EBRI. The result? Kids could be supporting mom and dad well into their 80s and 90s.

One of the biggest drains on boomer retirement savings will be health-care expenses. Medicare pays for only about 60% of the cost of health services the typical retiree will face, estimates EBRI. A couple that is 65 today might need nearly $300,000 to cover health costs. “People who haven’t saved enough for health-care costs may deplete their assets,” says Michael Markiewicz, a partner at New York-based Fogel Neale Partners. “A lot of them may have to live with their kids or depend on them for money and care.”

If parents do move in, their kids should expect to spend an extra $6,000 to $10,000 annually on food, clothing and other basics, says Andy Cohen, CEO of, a website that provides resources for caregivers. Add thousands more for big-ticket items like wheelchair ramps or home health-care aids. Expensive as that sounds, it’s still often less than what it would cost to move a parent into an assisted living community, about $42,600 per year, on average, according to 2012 data from the MetLife Mature Market Institute.

3. “…and we blame you for that.”

Nearly one in six people ages 45 to 64 say that paying for their kid’s college tuition got in the way of saving for their own retirement, compared with just one in 20 who say that buying a home did, according to a 2012 study from Capital One ShareBuilder.

That’s not surprising, given that the typical middle-income family will spend more than $230,000 to raise a child from birth to age 18, up 23% (in today’s dollars) since 1960, according to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. When you add paying for college to the mix — for tuition, fees and room and board as of the 2012-2013 school year, you’d pay an average of $17,860 per year for a four-year in-state public school, $30,911 per year for a four-year public out-of-state school or $39,518 per year for a private four-year school, according to the College Board — you could easily spend upwards of $100,000 on the basic’s for your child’s education. This means that retirement savings can really take a hit. “A lot of parents prioritized saving for their kids’ college over saving for retirement,” says Dan Greenshields, the president of CapitalOne ShareBuilder.

The reason? “Parents often equate paying for college with helping their child become successful in life,” says Deborah Fox, the founder of Fox College Funding, a San Diego-based college-funding consulting firm. That’s something they feel they have a duty to do, whether or not they can afford it, she adds.

4. “We can’t face reality.”

What boomers think retirement will be like and what it actually is like are two very different things. A case in point: The forever-young generation just can’t deal with the idea of growing old. Only 13% of pre-retirees (people over 50 who have not yet retired) think their health will be significantly worse in retirement than it is now, while 39% of retirees report that it actually is worse, according to 2011 research by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health.

Boomers are a little fuzzy on the financial realities as well. While only 22% of pre-retirees think their financial situation will be worse in retirement, roughly one-third of retirees say that it is worse. Along those same lines, only 14% of pre-retirees predict that life overall will be worse when they retire, but a quarter of retirees report that it actually is worse. “There’s a real disconnect because your life pre-retirement is much different than your life post-retirement,” says Hal Hershfield, a professor at NYU’s Stern School of Business who conducts research on judgment, decision-making and social psychology with an emphasis on how thinking about time can alter decisions and emotions.

5. “ ‘Til death do us part’ doesn’t apply to us.”

Boomers are untying the knot at a record pace. The divorce rate for people over 50 has doubled in the past 20 years, says the National Center for Family and Marriage Research at Bowling Green State University, compared with a slight decrease in divorce overall. More than 600,000 individuals over 50 divorced in 2009, and if the rate continues to grow at the current pace, that number will hit more than 800,000 by 2030.

What’s fueling this trend? Empty nesters find they are a lot less compatible when the kids aren’t around is one phenomenon, says Toronto-based psychologist Tami Kulbatski. Another might be that boomers are more likely to have married young (boomers were far more likely to be married when they were between the ages of 18 and 30, than were members of Generation X, according to research from the Pew Research Center for People & the Press). Now, a lot of boomers are in their second, third or even fourth marriage, and these marriages are more likely to end in divorce, says Krista Kay Payne, a researcher at the center.

Divorce will likely take a chunk out of the average boomer’s already inadequate retirement funds. Lawyers’ fees alone can range from a couple of thousand to tens of thousands of dollars or more, says attorney Jeff Landers, author of “Divorce: Think Financially, Not Emotionally: What Women Need to Know About Securing Their Financial Future Before, During and After Divorce.” Add to that things like alimony and having to split up assets, and boomers’ financial picture gets even murkier.

6. “We’re unhappy …”

Boomers are the least happy of all age groups, according to a 2008 study published in the American Sociological Review journal. “The generation as a group was so large, and their expectations were so great,” Yang Yang, the author of the study, told the American Sociological Association, “not everyone in the group could get what he or she wanted due to competition for opportunities.“

Another report from the Pew Research Center came to a similar conclusion: On a scale of one to 10, boomers, on average, rate their lives a 6.2, compared with a 6.7 for older adults and 6.5 for younger adults. That may not look like much of a difference, but this pattern has held steady for the past two decades. In other words, the boomers — even when they were younger — have been consistently less happy than other generations for the past 20 years.

7. “… and we eat our feelings.”

Nearly 40% of people ages 60 and up and nearly 37% of people 40 to 59 are now considered obese, according to a 2012 report from the Centers for Disease Control, compared with less than one in three for people age 20 to 39. What’s more, baby boomers are fatter than their parents’ generation, according to a study released this year by JAMA Internal Medicine, with nearly 40% of boomers reportedly obese, versus 29% of the previous generation.

Obesity can lead to serious health problems, including diabetes and heart disease. A 65-year-old person who has been obese since age 45 personally incurs roughly $50,000 more in Medicare costs over the course of his or her lifetime than a “normal weight” 65-year-old does, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. Medicare and Medicaid end up paying for roughly half of the cost of obesity, which accounts for $190 billion in medical spending annually, according to a 2012 study published in the Journal of Health Economics.

8. “And we’re addicts.”

Maybe it’s because so many grew up in the ’60s, but whatever the excuse, boomers are drinking and drugging their way into old age at a rate much higher than their parents’ generation. The number of people 50 and over who were admitted to substance abuse treatment programs increased 136% between 1992 and 2010, according to the latest data from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

Alcohol is the most common reason that boomers seek treatment, but the proportion of admissions of people over 50 for heroin abuse nearly doubled and for cocaine use more than tripled over that period. “Because of the magnitude of these changes and their potential impact, it is increasingly important to understand and plan for the health care needs, including the substance use prevention and treatment needs, of this population,” the administration writes.

Treatment doesn’t come cheap. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the mean cost per admission for outpatient substance abuse treatment is more than $1,400 without methadone (a synthetic opioid used to treat heroin and morphine addictions) or $7,415 with it; prices can run into the tens of thousands for inpatient treatment. What’s more, Medicare will only pay about 65% of an outpatient treatment program, and it will pay for inpatient treatment only if a doctor deems it “medically necessary” and the care is in a hospital. (Medicare doesn’t fund treatment at those designer “rehab spas.” Sorry, boomers.)

9. “We will bury you in debt.”

We’re a nation in record debt — an estimated $16 trillion — and the sheer number of boomers is expected to significantly add to that in the coming years, as more begin to receive Social Security and Medicare benefits. (Social Security and Medicare spending represented 38% of federal expenditures in fiscal year 2012, and “both programs will experience cost growth substantially in excess of GDP growth through the mid-2030s,” according to the Social Security Administration.)

But in many ways, boomers have been less willing than other demographic groups to support policy changes that could trim the debt. Fully 68% of boomers oppose eliminating the tax deduction for interest paid on home mortgages, compared with just 56% of all adults, according to the Pew Research Center. Furthermore, 80% of boomers (vs. 72% of all adults) oppose taxing employer health insurance benefits and 63% of boomers (vs. 58% of all adults) oppose increasing the age one qualifies for full Social Security benefits, the study shows.

Many boomers are more opposed to these plans because “they would feel the impact more than other groups,” says Kim Parker, the associate director of the Pew Research Center’s Social and Demographic Trends Project. But without some sort of deficit reduction, future generations will be left with the dire economic consequences a massive deficit can cause, she says.

10. “We’re obsessed with (not) aging.”

Sagging skin, crows’ feet, a dull complexion — these used to be the inevitable signs of aging. But if the boomers have anything to say about it, that’s going to change. Revenue for so-called cosmeceutical companies — which manufacture cosmetics with pharmaceutical capabilities, some of the most popular being wrinkle-reducing moisturizers and creams that even skin tone — is expected to hit $5 billion this year and is expected to grow 7.5% each year through 2018, according to data from market research firm IbisWorld; people over 50 account for more of cosmeceutical companies’ consumers than any other age group.

And it’s not just lotions and serums that they’re into. People 51 and up had 24% of all surgical cosmetic procedures, like face-lifts and tummy tucks, and 30% of all cosmetic “minimally invasive” procedures like cellulite treatments, Botox injections and laser hair removals, in 2012.

It also appears that boomer men are one of the fastest-growing segments of the population going under the knife. While overall cosmetic procedures in men increased just 9% in 2012 compared with 2011, face lifts, which are typically performed on the over-50 set, increased 21%, according to data from the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. And this will become more popular, says Jack Fisher, the president of the society, as many boomers want to look and feel young.

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otto skorzeny's picture

why can't these old fucks just be put out to die on ice floes like the eskimoes do? the only ones that can actually afford to retire are the .gov retiree shitheads which is ironically why no one else can retire because of having to pay crushing taxes to support these privileged assholes.

phyuckyiu's picture

I learned well from the boomers. Always take more than you give. The dying carcass won't be there to feed off of forever ya know.

phyuckyiu's picture

I once asked my Mom if the half million she spent on Lhasa Apso's the last few decades might have been better spent helping me start a business. She said 'Well that wouldn't have helped me very much now would it.' True story.

economics9698's picture

Blame Wilson, FDR, and the Fed you ignorant assholes.  The boomers, 1946-64, had zero, nothing to do with Social Security and could not vote when Medicare was born.


Your ignorance is amazing.

AlaricBalth's picture

Sorry for this repost, however I thought it may be apropos to the conversation.

Collectively, we boomers were lucky. We were the most healthy, educated and privileged generation ever born. Our youth was spent virtually worry free. Our college educations were inexpensive, gas was economically priced, jobs were plentiful and our futures were bright. We were the "Hippies" of the late 1960's and early 70's. Love was free and drugs were cheap (or was it the other way around).

Then the 1980's rolled around and we became "Yuppies". We began to believe that success was our birthright. We bought our BMW's and wore our V-neck sweaters. Our "Sharper Image" catalogue was the preferred choice of reading material. We turned conspicuous consumption into an art form. Hell, even Newsweek Magazine gave us our own year (1984). We were so busy clamoring to the top of the corporate ladder that we forgot to develop any job or management skills which would lay a foundation for future generations to flourish.

Then as we aged, we hit our peak spending and borrowing years in the 1990's. Frankly, we went a bit middle age crazy. We splurged on McMansions and second homes. We thought fuel would be relatively cheap forever and bought gas guzzling SUV's. We also padded our financial statements and maxed out our credit cards trying to "keep up with the Jones's". Some of our brethren became bank CEO's and leading politicians, whose unethical and irresponsible behavior has been a reflection of our entire generation. We didn't want the party to end and they just tried to prolong it for us. We wanted it all and never learned nor cared for moderation.

As the the late 90's and 2000's rolled around, our two decades long debt fueled spending binge started to waver. By 1997, the Congressional Budget Office projected budget surpluses as far as the eye could see, thanks to the "Peace Dividend" and record tax receipts due in large part to baby boomers being in the midst of their peak earning years. But instead of allowing those surpluses to accumulate, boomers demanded and received a huge gift from Congress in the form of a capital gains tax cut. This bribe for votes, led to unprecedented speculation in stocks in the late 90's which resulted in the Dot-Com bubble. When the bubble burst, which all bubbles do, tax receipts plummeted and huge deficits returned. In order to combat the economic effects of the Dot-Com bubble, Alan Greenspan, the patron saint of baby boomers, decided to create another bubble in the housing market by drastically lowering interest rates. This allowed boomers to extend and pretend for just a little longer. The results of this gambit are still reverberating through the economy.

And now, in the Autumn of our lives, it looks like we are going to get it all (of course in devalued dollars). We are the largest special interest voting block and no politician, left or right, will risk our wrath. We will leave those coming up behind us with nothing but debt, austerity and a lower standard of living. We will be reigning in our spending and hoping to save so we can offset future inflation. The malls, our cathedrals of consumption, will be ghosts towns compared to what they were, with "30%-70% off" signs decorating their stores windows. We will be net sellers of equities and mutual funds soon, not net buyers. And unless Ben Bernanke plans on extending Quantitative Easing to infinity, the stock market will reflect our retreat to less risky asset classes. Therefore, trade accordingly.

It was fun while it lasted but now the piper must be paid. You know the old saying, the longer the party the bigger the hangover. Well, this hangover may last 25-30 years until the last of my generation are dead, either through natural causes, death panels or intergenerational warfare.

Have a nice day!!

economics9698's picture

What bull shit this post is.  Alan Greenspan was a fucking sleazy cunt.  Reagan sold out Social Security to Tip O’Neil, and a good portion of the baby boomer grew up post hippie generation.

AlaricBalth's picture

The "Hippy years" were from about 1966- 1974. Most Boomers were in their 20's or teens in those years so I respectfully disagree.
I lived it.

I agree with you on Greenspan but he did much to prolong the Boomer debt binge and therefore was the "patron saint" of that generation. I did not mean "saint" literally and it doesn't read like that.

phyuckyiu's picture

Economics96 you are right, there are greater enemies than the boomers. HOWEVER, there are 100 articles about the fed per one article about the selfish boomers, so you'll just have to let us have this one little tiff eh. It's always fun watching everyone yell at each other. Can I Haz Moar Bitcoinz articlez pweeeez?

markmotive's picture

Baby boomers won't tell you that their generation's success is subsequent generations' destruction.

Non-U's picture

I'm from the beginning of the 60. When I was a teen, the hyppies were has-been but feminisme, AIDS, immigration and white-man hate were my daily bread. My money for my retirement is spend oversee or is gambled at Wall Street. You just mix all the boomers to fit your way of thinking.

Badabing's picture

@Catey Hall
Your mom and dad must suck as bad as you!

economics9698's picture

"I'm from the beginning of the 60. When I was a teen, the hyppies were has-been but feminisme, AIDS, immigration and white-man hate were my daily bread."

Non-U pretty much nailed it.  Many baby boomers grew up in the hate whity culture.

Surly Bear's picture
  • Greatest generation my ass, Tom Brokow is a punk!
MachoMan's picture

I see a lot of excuses for baby boomers, but I'm not seeing any explanations for why nothing was changed...  If you acknowledge the power of the boomer voting block, then how can you deny ratification of programs made before the boomers?  Likewise, how can you deny approval of programs made during the boomers' voting lives?

Not only has there been a life of excess, but now that it is patently obvious the party is over, the victim card gets thrown on the table...  color me unimpressed.

economics9698's picture

There is no difference in the parties, it doesn't matter.

For the record the boomers elected "conservative" Reagan, a "conservative" republican president, congress, and senate for 6 years in the 2000's.


Elections have been useless since Nixon. 

LooseLee's picture

Since Kennedy. I remember his death although I was only 2 years old. It was on the TV all the time. I am the youngest of 'boomers' but do not (and have not) considered myself part of that 'cult'...

MachoMan's picture

You're ignoring the point by taking it too literally...  there are many ways to vote outside of ballot boxes...  I think it's fair to say that the lifestyle choices made by boomers merely solidified and played into what happened politically.  Again, more excuses, no explanation.  [mind you, many of these people were the same people protesting vietnam and who saw first hand what happened during the civil rights movement...  it's not like they can play dumb to these methods either].

WarriorClass's picture

Nothing was changed because our vote doesn't mean squat.  It didn't then and it doesn't now.

Join your local militia.


Non-U's picture

 Did you vote for the 8 trillons spent by Bernanke since 2008 ???????

tarsubil's picture

The baby boomers weren't the greatest generation were they? I thought they were boomers' parents. Still, how could they have been so great if they produced the boomers?

I spoke with my sister yesterday and we both felt it was obvious that neither of our boomer parents had ever grown up. It is one thing to be damaged from childhood. It is another to never ever admit who you are or take any responsibility for what you've done. It's too bad but if my parents are anything like a mean in the boomers than they are going to simply become divorced from later generations. My dad has five kids; two never talk to him and three rarely talk to him.

grid-b-gone's picture

Tom Brokaw's book was about the generation that was mostly the parents of Boomers. 

Greatest Generation = roughly WWII, Boomers = roughly Viet Nam. Korea = parents of late boomers.

I'm amazed how some of these anti-boomer rants can miss the timeline by one or two generations.



francis_sawyer's picture

@econ9698 ^^^... I made pretty much the same comment [in another thread] the other day...


What was funny, is that it generated the typical... [oh poor you] comment reply [at which I had to laugh]... I'm not 'complaining' about any of this...

There's a big difference between 'complaining' about something or simply acknowledging it as a valid &/or substantial element of the larger picture... It's the same ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM dynamic that gets talked about all the time on ZH... Don't like WHO runs banking & MSM?... Take your money out of the system & turn off the TV... It's that simple... OR, maybe it isn't that simple... But if that's too hard for you to do, then you, 'defacto', are a supporter of that system...

jbvtme's picture

"No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people."  H.L. Menchen

petolo's picture

Don,t worry ZH, I have my CO hose ready to attach to the car exhaust when and if I become a drain on the system. BTW, I have never solicited anything from gubbermint. I have lived off the land, grid and a quasi -criminal existence for the last 40 years Proud to be a votary of Prince Kropotkin and Thorstein Veblen  Please no paint brushes here?. 

Chuck Walla's picture

Mr. Balth is very correct in his assessment of my generation. Suck it, Mutha's!


Diogenes's picture

Speak for yourself you ignorant fuck. I was born in 1951 and none of those things apply to me.

phyuckyiu's picture

This is about averages Diogenes. Cmon now, you are better than that 'all women are not like that' crap.

TimmyM's picture

These generalities are crap though. People are people. Passing judgement on an age group is shallow just as racism and sexism is.
Boomer experiences were vastly different too. Early boomers dealt with Vietnam, Kennedy's , Kent St. and Watergate.
How many GenXers understand what is was like to see your high school buddies get drafted and die for the MIC?
And some late boomers came of age with double digit unemployment rates in 79-83.
But consistently bad throughout is the growth of statism for 140 years. Younger people only have one thing to legitimately blame and that is the unsustainability of statism. The popularity of Ron Paul showed many are figuring that out. This is where there is hope.

phyuckyiu's picture

I think peak energy and the boomer generation co-incide, it's not entirely their fault, just the roll of the dice really. But the way I see boomers clutch their jewels like daffy duck in the ali baba cave screaming 'mine mine mine' leaves something to be desired.

greatbeard's picture

>> screaming 'mine mine mine'

How much of your time or assets have you given away?  What have you done to make the world a better place?  Change starts at home and I'm not talking about your diaper.

Creepy Lurker's picture

"And some late boomers came of age with double digit unemployment rates in 79-83."

People like me. I turned 18 in 1980. Since I was born in '62, I get lumped in with the boomers, but I've never identified with them. My experience was very, very different. I grew up expecting to leave high school and take a factory job, and about the time I was supposed to do that, the world changed suddenly. But I'm not posting this to complain. I just want to say I'm tired of being lumped in with the spoiled brats who had everything handed to them. I've always worked for a living, and refrained from having children I couldn't afford. I have a niece about 6 yrs old. Thanks to my husband and I, she will actually get some kind of inheritance. It's for damn sure her loser (single) mother won't be leaving her anything.

I always identified more with Gen X. I went more or less the non participant route. It's been educational. I'm an observer. I read a lot. And what I see happening here is not much different from the decline ot Rome. Yeah I know that's becoming trite, but that's because it's true. There's going to be a dark age, and all this BS is going to be irrelevant. How dark and how deep remains to be seen, but I'm pretty sure it won't be pretty.

Skateboarder's picture

CL, best wishes to you and your loved ones. It takes balls to admit that many of your years will have gone to waste. But anyone who does, and comes out winning, is a true human for the future, truly deserving to pass on the more excellent traits of this species. Someday I wish to continue my genetic line. It is unlikely.

BoNeSxxx's picture

I am not as convinced that the future necessarily needs to be a dark one.  As long as we wrest the key control grid measures from our captors and protect what is left of the Bill of Rights, there is a chance our future can be brighter.

More and more people - especially young people - are waking up to the failed bullshit of debt serfdom and wage slavery.  They are less materialistic and more inclined to eschew the decaying metropolis/suburban myth.

If we can manage to opt out of the banking scam, keep local, barter, unplug our TVs, and get reconnected to one another, there is hope.  Albeit not a lot... but enough to keep me from eating a .45


EDIT: For those who haven't had the good fortune to read "Ishmael" by Daniel Quinn, I highly recommend it.  Forget about Peak Oil, generational warfare and Ponzi Fiat Fraud for a moment... Quinn takes us back to where mankind 'jumped the shark' spiritually.  There are now two parts of my life (to quote another reviewer), the part before I read Ishmael and the part after I read Ishmael.

Liberty2012's picture

Thank you Bones

Edit - I'm reading the book. Very interesting right from the start.

Winston Smith 2009's picture

"More and more people - especially young people - are waking up to the failed bullshit of debt serfdom and wage slavery."

I don't see much of that and what little there is is only because they're being forced to by economic realities, not because of some great cultural awakening and far too many still fall for major party propaganda and believe that voting for Democrats will fix that.

"They are less materialistic"

I see much evidence of exactly the opposite of that.

"If we can manage to opt out of the banking scam"

Most people don't even realize there is one.

"keep local, barter, unplug our TVs"

Don't see much, don't see any, ha!  Where do you live?

BoNeSxxx's picture

"Albeit not a lot... but enough to keep me from eating a .45"

Next time, read the entire post.

Oh, yea, and don't be a douchebag.

Creepy Lurker's picture

Bonesxxx, I sincerely hope you are right. It would be a wonderful thing to see humanity break the cycle its been repeating over and over for millennia. I'd like to think we're due for some actual progress.

BoNeSxxx's picture

Right there with you CL...

I don't think there is much hope for the zombified throngs but, as long as they taste half decent, the enlightened few just might see the other side ;-)



p.s.  the cycle of which you speak is referenced in the book I mentioned above.  +/- 3 million years of evolution in harmony with nature... the cycle of perpetual growth based on a very flawed hypothesis and the ensuing boom/bust cycles has only been going on for about 10,000 years.  Good read I tell ya.

Caviar Emptor's picture

Great post. You (and I) are part of what some have corrctly identified as Geneation Jones

Not boomers (too young for Woodstock, Vietnam draft, remember where you were when Kennedy was shot, I have a dream...) , missing all defining boomer moments and instead : Oil shocks, Inflation, unemployment, crime waves, AIDS, Nixon resigns, Watergate, Carter, urban blight, rust belt, crack is whack, homeless people, Archie Bunker, angry white males, deficits, national debt clocks, wine coolers.

Totally separate experience and times, but we get lumped together with boomers.

Zarba's picture

+1, Creepy.  I'm a '61 baby, and I NEVER identified with the Boomers. Whiny, self-indulgent debt junkies. I came of age through the Punk Generation ("...No Elvis, Beatles, or The Rolling Stones, in 1977...".  I saw the decline and fall of the industrial belt in Pennsylvania.  Saw my parent's generation retire with healthy pensions, money in the bank, and intact families.  Their kids (us), found jobs. 

The good factory jobs that supported the middle class had disappeared. The empty shells of the factories stand their as mute monuments to the decline and fall of our civilization.

Pensions? Fugettaboutit.

Families? More than half are divorced. Kids?  When I was a lad, 3-4 kids was the norm, and most moms in my area were stay-at homes. Now? 1, maybe 2 kids, both parents working to pay the bills. Education? Well, we pay dearly for private schools because the Boomers dumbed down public education to the point of irrelevance. $30K+ per year just so my kids can get a decent education and not have to walk through metal detectors every day.

Retirement? We've saved for years, and now Bernanke is punishing savers by destroying the currency.

The Boomers took the richest, freest country the world had ever known, looted it, and turned it into the biggest private and public debtor nation in history, just so they could get the free stuff they were "entitled" to. They have saddled this and future generations to debt slavery to pay for their free Viagra and lavish public pensions. My kids will never see the standard of living we have, and nothing like their grandparents. 

And they will be pissed. We took the promise of America and flushed it.

Every day I weep for my country and for my kids. The looters will outvote them and take everything they can get their grubby hands on.  And then denounce the hard workers for their "greed".


Arrowflinger's picture

I could not haver put it better.

The prospect of 70 million Boomers aging and dying guided my strategy for the last 3 decades.

Frugality to the max gave me more than I needed to retire by all previous metrics.

Bernanke has eviscerated the Rule of Law, destroying the "Store of Value" of money. This was to bail out the 401k's chock full of worthless derivatives. Savers were dumped as chumps. Punishing responsibility has destroyed society, utterly so.

I consider myself uniquely blessed and prepared professionally for this dog-eat-dog feeding frenzy, one in which even the wealthy need protection.......from each other.

You cannot get my fellow boomers to comprehend even the basics of what has happened.

"Sated" is the word.


Georgiabelle's picture

The Boomers didn't dumb down the education system, the teacher's unions and their Democratic party cheerleaders did. Every Boomer I know did what we did: find an affordable house in the best possible school disctrict, even if it meant a grueling commute, and work your way up from there. Those who couldn't get into a decent school district and couldn't stomach what was happening in their childrens' schools pulled their kids out and started the home school movement. My cohort was, and still is, all about doing whatever it takes to give their kids the best possible chance at a good future. Many of us have also been responsible for caring for our parents and grandparents in their declining years. Given how much of our time has been consumed with these dual responsibilities in addition to working insane hours in an effort to support three generations it's not surprising that we weren't always paying full attention to what was going on in DC. 

Dingleberry's picture

Zarba, excellent post. 

suicidalpsychologist's picture

After reading zarba s comment; just a precision; coming from france, knowing europe...the exact same process happened in whole europe, it's not just north america.


Now, will people be honest enough to realize all of this is linked to the disapearing of the Christian religion, and its replacement by the atheist, materialistic, religion ? Probably not a lot, because a lot of people nowadays have no clue about books, reading, history and spirituality. People have troubles connecting the dots because they are overfed with instant crap and have no idea what existed BEFORE. Well, the dark ages that are indeed coming are due to a lack of spirituality. And the very, very few who will survive it will be, spiritual.

Chuck Walla's picture

I'd say Creepy is right. He doesn't belong, they over extended the dates for whatever reason.


crazyjsmith's picture

TmmyM- Demographics are NOT generalities. They create and explain economic and social trends and are far better at forecasting and predicting economic trends than most other metrics. Any good long term economic forecasting model starts with demographics as it's foundation.

TimmyM's picture

I agree with your point. The spin of this post was too judgmental and inter generational rift baiting.
Personally, I believe we could view the "greatest generation" as a bunch of lemmings, duped into the destruction of our founding fathers anti foriegn war constitutionalism. But that would be falling for the judgementalism I just criticized.
The way I see it. The industrial revolution reinforced a trend toward centralization of all institutional categories. Gov., school, church, corporation became a movement of big bureaucracy. The statism and corporatism have merged into modern fascism.
The individuality empowered by the information age made obsolete all these institutions.
Studying the demographics underneath this is only relavent to timing the anti centralization revolution. Because applying demographics to centralized planning and economic forecasting remains within the unsustainable paradigm, this aspect of social study is limited.