Skip to comments.(More Generational Strife?) Retirement Wars
Posted on 11/10/2011 4:21:38 AM PST by Publius804
Will Baby Boomers be the last generation to enjoy the modern concept of a leisure-filled retirement? It's a worthy question to ponder in light of a new Pew Research Center report showing a growing wealth gap between young and old in the United States.
Using government data over the last 25 years, Pew found that households headed by those over 65 have made "dramatic gains" in economic well-being, while those headed by younger adults have fallen steadily behind.
In 2009, elderly households possessed 42 percent more median net worth than their same-age counterparts had in 1984. Young adults veered in the opposite direction: Households headed by those under the age of 35 had 68 percent less wealth in 2009 than those in their same age range had in 1984.
Put simply, the age-based wealth gap was 10:1 in 1984. A quarter-century later, it's 47:1.
It's obvious why older Americans typically have a higher net worth -- extra years of earning -- but the rising gap illustrates a growing problem, one worsened by the Great Recession: Many Americans in their golden years are enjoying a retirement that, most likely, will be extinct by the time today's younger workers reach their 60s.
That reality is setting the stage for a generational war over retirement, and a large part of the equation is Social Security. The political fault lines on the issue already are real.
(Excerpt) Read more at spectator.org ...
I’d say the preceding generation was the last one to enjoy a leisured retirement.
Baby boomers are just beginning to retire now, and many of them have also lost a great deal of their retirement money and probably wouldn’t have had the comfy retirements anyway. But I suspect that the pressure is going to be on them to simply go the next step and die. They’re going to be told that they’re too expensive and just clogging up the works and hogging that money and airspace that should be passed along (to the government).
Having any retirement at all might be iffy for the Boomers.
Keep on toiling you youngsters, I’m enjoying my life of Riley and if you’re too young to know what that means, Google it.
Is there anything worse than an old man being provocative this early in the morning?
I have heard this more and more from the young ‘uns in my work places (I am a contractor- I go from place to place)
There is a LOT of complaining that the geezers voted themselves our paychecks 20,30, and 40 years ago.
All the current talk about spending your future grandchildren’s money is starting to reming people that they are the grandchildren of people who did this to us
Anyone who has been in office more than 20 years should be thrown out on their ass (or into jail) for what they did to this country over the last 20 years. Not re-elected.
My CD rolled over last week
The bank gave me .10 for an interest rate.
Anybody got enough money to retire on.10?
Might as well keep your money under the mattress.
People don’t seem to realize that if you are retired and have a pension you DO spend a LOT of $$$ which in turn helps out the economy .The pension, Social Security, and 401 money retired boomers spend ( and there are a lot of boomers) is a driving force in the economy.
“There is a LOT of complaining that the geezers voted themselves our paychecks 20,30, and 40 years ago.”
That would be my diehard democrat parents 78 and 80+ respectively. They loooove their social security. They blame everything on the GOP and could care less if the system is broke. Meanwhile, me and my young Boomer husband contribute to the black hole of SS/Med weekly and have been since we were 15.
could care = couldn’t care
Yep. Intelligent youngsters will look for businesses which do the jobs aging folks are either no longer capable of or which they no longer desire to do for themselves, and thus get a slice of that pie.
The rest just want it handed to them...
People dont seem to realize that if you are retired and have a pension you DO spend a LOT of $$$ which in turn helps out the economy .The pension, Social Security, and 401 money retired boomers spend ( and there are a lot of boomers) is a driving force in the economy.
Now imagine if the "Fair Tax" was imposed, chopping their spending power by a quarter - provided that they stay in the US. Simply moving to another country would restore their spending power, and remove them from a growing demographic that hates their guts for having money and living off of them via pension and the soon to be dead Social Security.
How much of the change is due to so many youths spending like there is no tomorrow, and racking up student loan debt that no one would have ever considered 20 years ago? Kids who want to live in a house NOW (I first bought at 35), or want a nice car NOW (I’ve been known to use a motorcycle thru a north Utah winter). Or because they are King of the World in War Something 12, and don’t want to stoop to daily work?
I'll speak for my parents, who are in their 80's and enjoying a modest lifestyle.
They didn't buy a house with virtually no money down as soon as they were married. They rented for a while, saved up a decent down payment, then bought a modest house (about $11K in 1960), reared three children there, and lived there until retirement.
When I was a child, my mother sewed all our clothes, we ate out maybe once a year.
We took packed lunches to school because it was too expensive to buy the school lunch (which cost 25¢ at the time). Our dinner treat of the week was the Sunday pot roast.
Our vacations consisted entirely of traveling to see relatives. No trips to Disney, or HI, or condos at the beach.
We bought used cars and drove them until they literally fell apart. We were the last on the block to have a B/W TV and the last to have a color TV. In fact, we were always the last to have any kind of newfangled technological gizmo.
If something needed fixing around the house, Dad did it.
We didn't have tennis lessons/art lessons/golf lessons/summer camps/etc.
Our activities were the ones offered for free in school, the community, and church.
Mom stayed at home, but when it was time for us to go to college, Mom took a job and that's how our college education was paid.
Compare that lifestyle to the lifestyle of any young adult you know.
Read my Post 15. It’s an amplification of what you wrote. We are on the same page.
I am a late baby boomer. I have already decided in my mind that many of the ‘benefits’ of a progressive society won't be there as promised. And I have anticipated, that even the retirement accounts of IRAs and 401K will be taken away in a last ditch effort of appeasement to the old and the young.
How shall we say it...the young are waking up to realize they are being fleeced and boomer's will find themselves looted in the progressive system.
I do not begrudge the elders of the now and yet...I do not support the idea that a promise is a promise. The morally correct thing is to find a way to end the system. Perhaps persons born after 1970 or 1965 are no longer eligible to receive benefits. Contributions will still need to be made, but it is the promise to stop this lunacy to the younger generation that is the reward. The program should realize a wind down and extinction in 20 years. I am willing to make that sacrifice to restore the 'dream of America,' to the generations behind me. I realize we cannot do both.
The price of college tuition, fees, and books has doubled in the past decade.
Kids who want to live in a house NOW
I'd like to live in a house that I own some day, but real estate here in Northern Virginia is in the $500K+ range (and that's in the outer suburbs).
Of course, after living all twenty-six years of my life in the Federal deathtrap, I think in a few years I will be done with this place.
want a nice car NOW
I bought a used 2010 vehicle with 30K miles this year. Want to blame me? I was driving a 2001 vehicle with 240K miles previously, and although it still runs, it had become somewhat unreliable - and I really don't want to be stuck in a dead vehicle on the way to my full-time job or my part-time graduate classes in engineering.
Or because they are King of the World in War Something 12, and dont want to stoop to daily work?
I haven't played video games or computer games in forever. Quite a few of my fellow Gen Y colleagues do; while they're gaming, I'm usually getting eaten alive by the Angry Birds of stochastic processes and queueing theory.
Anyone else want to attack the productive young'uns who are getting raped to pay for Socialist Insecurity and Medicare (Socialist healthcare for old people)?
The problem is that the "conservative base" prefers to cuddle with the Republican Party, and I know of few (if any) young'uns who trust the Republican Party, especially after the Party's behavior of the past decade.
Shucks, I myself don't trust the Republican Party after Bush and a Republican Congress went on a spending orgy!
even the retirement accounts of IRAs and 401K
Unlike many of my counterparts, I have begun saving. If Fedzilla openly confiscates what savings I have, I will strongly consider defaulting on debts I owe to Fedzilla (and am currently repaying) and possibly leaving the U.S. for good - after all, much of the developed world is aging and there is a dearth of STEM workers, which means that other countries with better-managed economies will begin (if they haven't done so already) to start poaching talent.
I do not support the idea that a promise is a promise.
In order for a promise to be a promise, it has to be voluntary. Otherwise, it's nothing more than extortion and stealing. And no, neither the unborn nor infants are capable of making promises.
Perhaps persons born after 1970 or 1965 are no longer eligible to receive benefits. Contributions will still need to be made, but it is the promise to stop this lunacy to the younger generation that is the reward.
"Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth."
When Social Security dies, it will be because the program - bloated and heavily in the red - collapses because the arrival of new victims slows to a crawl and the program finds itself unable to tax its current victims at a rate higher than 100 percent. Of course, Fedzilla could ramp up the printing presses, but that might trigger a hyperinflation and bring the entire system down.
No, you crank....
I've got an IRA Money Market account, apparently invested in T-Bills.
Three years ago, it was paying about $400 per month.
Starting about two years ago, that yield dropped from $400 per month to literally under one dollar per month.
Thank You, Spendthrift Congress and their enabler, the Benbernank. You've destroyed a reliable income source for every saver in the country.
Fortunately, I'm not retired yet and have a little bit of time to pursue an alternative.
Let's say the oldest Boomer was born in mid-1946.
That means they would have hit 65 this past summer.
That means very, very few of those households "headed by those over 65" are headed by Boomers.
“Is there anything worse than an old man being provocative this early in the morning?”
YES... there is. Are you wandering around the yard again with your bathrobe open?! You promised me you would STOP doing this and waving to the neighbors on their way to work!!! LOL!
Ping list for the discussion of the politics and social (and sometimes nostalgic) aspects that directly effects Generation Reagan / Generation-X (Those born from 1965-1981) including all the spending previous generations are doing that Gen-X and Y will end up paying for.
Freep mail me to be added or dropped. See my home page for details and previous articles.
THANKS greybeard58 for suggesting the Google of Life of Riley.
I always wondered what that meant and where it came from.
It is perfectly fascinating, ah to be a Riley!
It’s obvious why older Americans typically have a higher net worth — extra years of earning — but the rising gap illustrates a growing problem
Wow. Just wow.
First and foremost, a rising wealth gap, all other things being equal, is a GOOD thing. It implies that the current generation of retirees has created more wealth over their lives than the former. The people just getting started are “always” going to be near zero, because they are at the beginning.
Also, I don’t know if they counted pensions as wealth, but we have seen a large movement from pensions to individual retirement accounts, which could make the current generation appear wealthier. And of course, something just might have happened in the early eighties that might have had an effect on those very near or past retirement who might have unfortunately moved a lot of their money to cash or equivalents, so maybe 1984 isn’t the best year to compare to?
A lot of cruise ships will be going into drydock.
Yep. Additionally, our annual vacation was one daytrip by family car to the beach. The family car was used by Dad to get to work with the exception of that one day.
And you spend a lot less than someone who is working (typically). Because you needs are less. Most who retire either own the home or downsize, don't have kids, and don't have a lot of other payments. Retired people spend a lot, but a lot less than current workers.
I gather you two are buddies.
Be good to your kids.
They pick your retirement home
two words......”Death Panels”
My wife and I I spend a LOT like many of my retired friends. The Kids have their own good jobs, no student loans, and instead of Occupying Wall Street they occupy their own houses, work, and contribute to my SS payments . We thank them for working .
$$ comes from savings,pension and SS. What a great idea! We made great DECISIONS in life( planned ahead ) and are reaping the rewards. Thing is, I still get taxed to the hilt even retired because of LESS deductions.
We spend a LOT more because now we can afford to buy and do what we couldn’t afford to do while working and raising two children.
Don’t have to save it for anything ( we invest in lead , and firearms instead of gold in case of a SHTF moment.
“I bought a used 2010 vehicle with 30K miles this year. Want to blame me?”
Why not? At 26 - your age - I drove a 12 year old car.
Now, are there youths who are working and trying to get ahead? Yes.
Are there a great many who rack up huge college loans they have no plausible chance of paying off? Yes. Do those outstanding loans affect their net worth? Yes. Multiply it by 1,000,000, and can you create a debt that makes it look like youths are oppressed? Yes.
That doesn’t make me a huge fan of spending money on the old. I expect SS to be means-tested by the time I can apply (15 years), and I won’t make the cut. I actually approve of means-testing SS, since it was ALWAYS welfare for the old & stupid.
I despise Medicaid and Medicare, and was furious when GWB pushed free prescription drugs. I think many old people demand a level of health care that no one can pay for, and I think they need to accept the fact that sometimes you get sick and die. My Mom accepted the idea in her 80s, and I will at some point. I have pain in my back nearly 4 years after a tumble off a horse, and expect to deal with it for the rest of my life. I do NOT plan on back surgery, etc.
But I’ve also got a son who flunked his college classes because playing video games was too much fun, and doing that until 3AM meant he couldn’t pass his classes. That was HIS fault, and sure wasn’t anything I taught him. I’ve got a daughter who complained about needing to live in an apartment at 22 - and her apartment was 4 times larger than what I lived in at that age (I shared a 200 sq ft apartment).
It is highly simplistic to write that the old have proportionately more wealth than the young, and assume it is all due to greed on the part of the old.
At 18, if I had needed to borrow 50,0000 for college, I would not have gone to college. Not on the loan. I have money now because my wife and I worked hard and didn’t spend, and now those who cannot control their spending - on both sides of me age-wise - want my money to cover their waste. And yes, it pisses me off.
I guess you’ll be part of the recipe for Soylent Green.
Right on! Pisses my wife and I off also. We have decided we will DIE fighting against this Progressive machine if we have to . BTW, WE ARE NOT ALONE!
Beat em’ to it ! Mountains in Summer, Florida in Winter.
We exchange tips on agility with our walkers....
Meant nursing home.
(If they’re still around after 2014)
How dare you confuse the prejudiced with facts. Yesterday some idiot was blaming boomers for letting communists get a "foothold" in the universities.
“Will Baby Boomers be the last generation to enjoy the modern concept of a leisure-filled retirement?”
They’s also be the first....My grandparents never even considered retirement and I don’t recall it ever being a topic of discussion until my parents started talking about it.
“In 2009, elderly households possessed 42 percent more median net worth than their same-age counterparts had in 1984.”
The dam evil wall street!
Good to hear! But you are not the norm.
All the data I have seen shows that most retired people spend a lot at first, then in a few years spending goes down to below what they were paying out (in total) during their earlier years.
They have most disposable cash, but less month to month outlay.
ErnBatavia is a boomer. I, having been born on June 29, 1945, am a bit too old to be one but we both like getting those S.S. checks every month, so you kids (assuming you are young yet) keep on working and keep those checks coming to us.
DaleReed, the other member I've pinged, has been sucking up those S.S. checks longer that we have so he's ahead of us. We are all a part of the "Greedy Old Bastards" club, here at F.R.
(I have too, that's where all the covers are)
Did you hear about the couple who had been married for 70 years? They were sitting in their rockers one evening and he turned to her and said, "I'm so proud of you dear". She turned to him and said, "That's OK, I'm tired of you too".