Wikinvest Wire

The "not so great" generation

Sunday, March 23, 2008

This USAToday story about the rise and fall of many baby boomers is, unfortunately, probably a sign of things to come.

The plan wasn't very sound, when you think about it, but it sure worked pretty well for a while - have everyone buy lots of stuff that they don't need with money they don't have until everyone is in debt up to their eyeballs.

As long as the economy was booming, stocks were rising, and real estate prices only went up in one direction - up - the plan worked pretty well.

Now that none of those things are happening anymore, baby boomers scream, "Mommy! Daddy! Make it better."

Economy compels some to move home with parents
After being laid off from her job as an events planner at an upscale resort, Jo Ann Bauer struggled financially. She worked at several lower-paying jobs, relocated to a new city and even declared bankruptcy.

Then in December, she finally accepted her parents' invitation to move into their home — at age 52. "I'm back living in the bedroom that I grew up in," she said.

Taking shelter with parents isn't uncommon for young people in their 20s, especially when the job market is poor. But now the slumping economy and the credit crunch are forcing some children to do so later in life — even in middle age.

Financial planners report receiving many calls from parents seeking advice about taking in their grown children following divorces and layoffs.

Kim Foss Erickson, a financial planner in Roseville, Calif., north of Sacramento, said she has never seen older children, even those in their 50s, depending so much on their parents as in the last six months.

"This is not like, 'OK, my son just graduated from college and needs to move back in' type of thing," she said. "These are 40- and 50-year-old children of my clients that they're helping out."
These are 40 and 50 year old "children" indeed.


This week's cartoon from The Economist:

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Anonymous said...

I'm 30 and about as frugal as they come. I can't see ever moving back home. But I figure one of these days my spendthrift mom who at 54 is a typical boomer with no nest egg or retirement will be moving in with me.

d said...

I saw plenty of affluent houses in Silicone Valley, and OC in its hayday have 3 generations under one roof.

Most of the grand-children are very well educated.

Anonymous said...

I'm 28 and doing better than both of my boomer parents, who have gotten themselves into the typical situation (complete with bum house flipping investment, home equity extraction, and structurally-growing credit card debt) and seem to be clamoring for me to bail them out.

Anonymous said...

The boomers are like a giant swarm of locusts that consume everyting and leave nothing behind.

Let them eat cake.

donna said...

Hey, some of us have lived within our means and are doing all right.

Unfortunately there are way too few of us, and mostly those who had older parents who remembered the depression years very well and taught us to be frugal as well.

I have a 47 year old friend in LA who was laid off and may have to move in with his family soon. He's upset, but I think it will be better for him than the hellhole apartment he's in, actually.

staghounds said...

I found this the most interesting thing in the article:

"events planner at an upscale resort";and "publicist".

Perhaps they should try doing one of those millions of "jobs Americans won't do".

The picture is very revelatory, too. "LOOK AT ME!!!"

She can't even say "My parents are making the sacrifice, not me. The story ought to be about them".

Wouldn't hurt her to skip a meal or two, either.

Never mind, she's going to be in a national rag, and can't even manage to put on a pair of shoes.

I agree, the boomers are total locusts.

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