Author Topic: Worthy of sympathy or complainypants?  (Read 6815 times)

pwniator

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Worthy of sympathy or complainypants?
« on: August 06, 2018, 04:19:35 AM »
Read this in the NYT this morning. I feel bad for anyone affected by legitimate hardships or force majeures but I felt like this was another 99% complainypants article. Too harsh?

I guess the title is appropriate:

‘Too Little Too Late’: Bankruptcy Booms Among Older Americans

https://nyti.ms/2nbIpXM
« Last Edit: August 06, 2018, 04:21:45 AM by pwniator »

AMandM

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Re: Worthy of sympathy or complainypants?
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2018, 07:29:58 AM »
I have a lot of sympathy for people whose medical expenses skyrocketed because their insurance rules changed, like the man whose Parkinson's meds went from $70 to $1000. That is out of their control, and usually they don't have options.

I have some sympathy for people who entered the workforce in a world of guaranteed pensions and got shifted to the world of IRAs and 401ks.  Yes, they could have made higher contributions, but I suspect the changes were not explained clearly, and I especially don't blame low-skill workers for lacking the financial sophistication to figure it out on their own.

I have a lot less sympathy for people who cosigned big student loans for their kids.

Sibley

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Re: Worthy of sympathy or complainypants?
« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2018, 09:19:44 AM »
My response is dictated by the individual's circumstances. And since this will probably make people mad, an upfront note: I default to a population level view of things rather than an individual level view. In practice, this looks extremely coldhearted. This is simply a difference in viewpoint. Where you might be looking at Aunt Sally, I'm looking at Aunt Sally's entire GENERATION. Big difference there.

There are many situations that lead to financial problems that are within the individual's control. Having a much larger house than necessary. New cars all the time. Buying too much crap. Financially supporting someone who should be ok on their own but isn't because they're being enabled. In those cases, while I'll feel bad for someone, they made their choices and now they are simply experiencing expected consequences.

For people who did everything right, but had things happen that were outside of their control, I really do have sympathy for them. You can't choose to be hit by the drunk driver. Can't choose your genetics that increase your risk of cancer. Etc.

Most people are somewhere in the middle. In general, I want to make sure that everyone has a minimum level of housing, food, medical care, etc that is adequate, but not luxurious. That I consider a human right. Anything above and beyond that is a bonus and is dependent on resources you may have accumulated.

I would actually be in favor of publicly subsidized senior housing that is similar to college dorms. Residents would contribute a set % of their income as rent, and food, utilities, etc would be provided. We have a model in the independent living/assisted living/nursing home facilities that are springing up, combined with college dorms. Done right, it's a positive for everyone.

Methods of Escape

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Re: Worthy of sympathy or complainypants?
« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2018, 05:26:13 PM »
I find it interesting that 25 years ago the 25-34 and 35-44 cohorts had the highest rates of bankruptcy.  25 years later as that same generation has moved into the 55-64 and 65-74 those cohorts are seeing the biggest increases.  Seem to indicate a propensity for bankruptcy has followed a generation as they aged.

AccountingForLife

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Re: Worthy of sympathy or complainypants?
« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2018, 06:20:49 PM »
I have a lot of sympathy for people whose medical expenses skyrocketed because their insurance rules changed, like the man whose Parkinson's meds went from $70 to $1000. That is out of their control, and usually they don't have options.

I have some sympathy for people who entered the workforce in a world of guaranteed pensions and got shifted to the world of IRAs and 401ks.  Yes, they could have made higher contributions, but I suspect the changes were not explained clearly, and I especially don't blame low-skill workers for lacking the financial sophistication to figure it out on their own.

I have a lot less sympathy for people who cosigned big student loans for their kids.

They skyrocketed because his union decided not to insure him anymore, due to "eligibility requirements." Why he didn't just go on the open market and buy his own insurance I am not sure (maybe because it cost more?) It still could've saved him money over paying out of pocket.

Hargrove

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Re: Worthy of sympathy or complainypants?
« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2018, 06:45:56 PM »
Why find a reason to ignore suffering, unless we think we should maybe care a little about suffering?

MKinVA

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Re: Worthy of sympathy or complainypants?
« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2018, 07:44:58 PM »
I agree with Sibley. There should be more and better senior housing available throughout the country. Older people could get together like the Golden Girls and live in a modest house together. The difficulty comes when someone needs care (but that is a another matter.)

It also has bothered me for years that people are convinced that owning their own home is the only way to go. People are spending way too much of their nest egg on a home with at least 1% to 2% each year spent on taxes, not to mention upkeep over the years. For so many people who never really increase their income over their lifetimes, a house is too damn expensive. Then you have those who use it as an ATM and run up the credit line as if that doesn't have to be paid off. They are told (on tv, by their friends, realtors, etc.) that the increase in value will pay for that. I think anyone under 60 has learned that lesson the hard way. Maybe twice.

I just purchased Your Money or Your Life for my stepson who started his working life one year ago. I hope some of it soaks in early.


MarciaB

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Re: Worthy of sympathy or complainypants?
« Reply #7 on: August 07, 2018, 09:54:55 AM »
I find it interesting that 25 years ago the 25-34 and 35-44 cohorts had the highest rates of bankruptcy.  25 years later as that same generation has moved into the 55-64 and 65-74 those cohorts are seeing the biggest increases.  Seem to indicate a propensity for bankruptcy has followed a generation as they aged.

Well, if we're talking about sheer numbers, that cohort are baby boomers, who are a huge generation bubble. Everything associated with them was the highest/lowest, biggest/smallest, etc.

OtherJen

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Re: Worthy of sympathy or complainypants?
« Reply #8 on: August 07, 2018, 10:04:28 AM »
I find it interesting that 25 years ago the 25-34 and 35-44 cohorts had the highest rates of bankruptcy.  25 years later as that same generation has moved into the 55-64 and 65-74 those cohorts are seeing the biggest increases.  Seem to indicate a propensity for bankruptcy has followed a generation as they aged.

Well, if we're talking about sheer numbers, that cohort are baby boomers, who are a huge generation bubble. Everything associated with them was the highest/lowest, biggest/smallest, etc.

In terms of absolute numbers, they would be the largest. However, the analysis in the linked article standardized the rates of bankruptcy among age groups by presenting the data as number of bankruptcies per 1000 individuals in each age group to control for differences in overall group size. Boomers still had a higher frequency of bankruptcy even after controlling for age group size; in other words, the higher rate of bankruptcy appears to be independent of population size.

Just Joe

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Re: Worthy of sympathy or complainypants?
« Reply #9 on: August 07, 2018, 10:14:12 AM »
I agree with Sibley. There should be more and better senior housing available throughout the country. Older people could get together like the Golden Girls and live in a modest house together. The difficulty comes when someone needs care (but that is a another matter.)

It also has bothered me for years that people are convinced that owning their own home is the only way to go. People are spending way too much of their nest egg on a home with at least 1% to 2% each year spent on taxes, not to mention upkeep over the years. For so many people who never really increase their income over their lifetimes, a house is too damn expensive. Then you have those who use it as an ATM and run up the credit line as if that doesn't have to be paid off. They are told (on tv, by their friends, realtors, etc.) that the increase in value will pay for that. I think anyone under 60 has learned that lesson the hard way. Maybe twice.

I just purchased Your Money or Your Life for my stepson who started his working life one year ago. I hope some of it soaks in early.

The buying vs renting a home decision is very regional. Web articles seem to mostly be aimed at coastal city dwellers. Here in flyover country the numbers are different.

In some LCOL areas buying a home is a no brainer. Even with the cost of maintenance and insurance it can cheaper in the long run than renting - plus there is the value of the property. When an elderly relative of mine was unable to live alone they moved into an assisted living facility and used the money from the sale of the home to help with expenses. The money lasted about as long the relative did - five or six more years.

Also, in the big city nearest us gentrification is forcing renters out as rent costs go up. Residential owners will feel a pinch eventually when taxes go up someday but that is happening at a much, much slower pace. Their property values will increase and if they can't afford the taxes they can sell their property which is worth more than a decade earlier and move elsewhere.

carolina822

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Re: Worthy of sympathy or complainypants?
« Reply #10 on: August 07, 2018, 09:58:35 PM »
I have a lot of sympathy for people whose medical expenses skyrocketed because their insurance rules changed, like the man whose Parkinson's meds went from $70 to $1000. That is out of their control, and usually they don't have options.

I have some sympathy for people who entered the workforce in a world of guaranteed pensions and got shifted to the world of IRAs and 401ks.  Yes, they could have made higher contributions, but I suspect the changes were not explained clearly, and I especially don't blame low-skill workers for lacking the financial sophistication to figure it out on their own.

I have a lot less sympathy for people who cosigned big student loans for their kids.

They skyrocketed because his union decided not to insure him anymore, due to "eligibility requirements." Why he didn't just go on the open market and buy his own insurance I am not sure (maybe because it cost more?) It still could've saved him money over paying out of pocket.

Yeah, because the pre-ACA insurance market was just itching to sign up a customer with a serious pre-existing condition for less money than it cost to cover his treatment. Good grief.

While we're saying what he should have done, how about just not getting Parkinson's in the first place? Problem solved. Duh.

magnet18

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Re: Worthy of sympathy or complainypants?
« Reply #11 on: August 08, 2018, 07:55:38 AM »

I have some sympathy for people who entered the workforce in a world of guaranteed pensions and got shifted to the world of IRAs and 401ks.  Yes, they could have made higher contributions, but I suspect the changes were not explained clearly...

This is my parents, to a T
Their parents never saved a single dime, never gave money any thought whatsoever, spent every dime that came their way, and retired with double pensions and double social security

My parents did the same thing, and then one day realized.. shit... Wait a minute... Where's my pension???  And now they're playing catch-up, simply because their entire lives their role models were just spending freely and rolling in money.  Not just the financially illiterate, I'm talking about engineers and teachers, an entire cohort that started careers in the pension sunset era, none of them thought about it, and about 50% landed in pension companies like their parents and are fine, 50% landed in non-pension companies and got a slap in the face

I doubt we ever see another generation get retirement handed to them on a platter like the boomers

Upside for mustachians, you don't have to work 30 years to get a 401K

jlcnuke

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Re: Worthy of sympathy or complainypants?
« Reply #12 on: August 08, 2018, 12:23:02 PM »
I have a lot of sympathy for people whose medical expenses skyrocketed because their insurance rules changed, like the man whose Parkinson's meds went from $70 to $1000. That is out of their control, and usually they don't have options.

I have some sympathy for people who entered the workforce in a world of guaranteed pensions and got shifted to the world of IRAs and 401ks.  Yes, they could have made higher contributions, but I suspect the changes were not explained clearly, and I especially don't blame low-skill workers for lacking the financial sophistication to figure it out on their own.

I have a lot less sympathy for people who cosigned big student loans for their kids.

I have sympathy for those who are adversely impacted through no fault of their own, such as those with significant medical debt have traditionally been in this country.

I do, however, wish the myth of "everyone used to get a pension and so everyone assumed they'd get one" would die already. There were only a few years in this country's history where more than 50% of workers were covered by a pension. In almost all of our history, most workers have not been covered by a pension. That "golden age" where everyone worked for 1 employer and retired with a pension simply never existed.  Failing to save adequately has been a problem in this country since long before any of the people retiring today have been alive, and failing to address that properly in their lives isn't something I have much sympathy for.

magnet18

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Re: Worthy of sympathy or complainypants?
« Reply #13 on: August 08, 2018, 01:55:50 PM »

I do, however, wish the myth of "everyone used to get a pension and so everyone assumed they'd get one" would die already. There were only a few years in this country's history where more than 50% of workers were covered by a pension. In almost all of our history, most workers have not been covered by a pension. That "golden age" where everyone worked for 1 employer and retired with a pension simply never existed.  Failing to save adequately has been a problem in this country since long before any of the people retiring today have been alive, and failing to address that properly in their lives isn't something I have much sympathy for.
I agree that the people before them, my great grandparents and older, got no retirement assistance whatsoever aside from a bit of social security. 

But here is my anecdotal view on the golden generation of pensions
My side of the family
  Dads dad - factory machinist, pension
  Dads mom - telephone company, partial pension
                       - deliver mail, partial pension
  Moms dad - power plant, pension (and farm income)
  Moms mom - teacher, pension

My wifes side of the family
  Dads dad - factory, pension
  Dads mom - pension
  Moms dad - navy + police, pension
  Moms stepmom - police dispatch, pension
  Moms mom - teacher, pension
  Moms stepdad - engineering company, pension, retired in 50s

I don't know about you, but I see 10/10 that got pensions, including those that switched around, because partial pensions added up

So I can see how my parents lacked a proper financial role model

It's still a complainypants excuse, and they could sell their house move into an RV and retire today (that's my dream, for some reason they don't think it sounds like fun), and they bought an RV without the intent of moving into it (70s rv), so there's a lot of inefficiency still going on, but from their point of view, I see how it could be infuriatingly unfair feeling

jlcnuke

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Re: Worthy of sympathy or complainypants?
« Reply #14 on: August 08, 2018, 02:01:50 PM »
See, you see evidence of 10/10 that had pensions, I see evidence of 10/millions... That's the problem with anecdotal evidence, it necessarily doesn't scale.

The objective evidence says most workers, most of the time, have not been covered by a pension of any sort.  With about 45% of employees having pension options in the early 1970's. Of course, that pensions didn't even exist until ~140 years ago is another part of that story too.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2018, 02:07:59 PM by jlcnuke »

magnet18

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Re: Worthy of sympathy or complainypants?
« Reply #15 on: August 08, 2018, 06:25:36 PM »
45% of private sector employees, that doesn't necessarily include government pensions, of which there are many (teachers, mailmen, police, etc.), or account for the fact that womens work was less likely to be offered a pension (secretaries, etc.)

If unpensioned were women just earning part time or secondary incomes (it was the 70s) that number could theoretically max at 90% of private sector households, or overlap with mixed private/public households to reach a much higher coverage rate

I'm just spitballing as devils advocate obviously, I didn't take the time to dig into their sources

Prairie Stash

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Re: Worthy of sympathy or complainypants?
« Reply #16 on: August 09, 2018, 08:23:13 AM »
45% of private sector employees, that doesn't necessarily include government pensions, of which there are many (teachers, mailmen, police, etc.), or account for the fact that womens work was less likely to be offered a pension (secretaries, etc.)

If unpensioned were women just earning part time or secondary incomes (it was the 70s) that number could theoretically max at 90% of private sector households, or overlap with mixed private/public households to reach a much higher coverage rate

I'm just spitballing as devils advocate obviously, I didn't take the time to dig into their sources
Now you're backing yourself into a corner. You had a terrible financial role model growing up; your parents. Maybe I'm wrong, but thats the desription you presented. However, even with the terrible model you're turning out fine. A complainypants will blame the situatution on everyone else; parents, the government, society etc.

You are the anecdote that disproves your parents, you can have a terrible role model and still turn out great.

magnet18

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Re: Worthy of sympathy or complainypants?
« Reply #17 on: August 09, 2018, 08:34:56 AM »
45% of private sector employees, that doesn't necessarily include government pensions, of which there are many (teachers, mailmen, police, etc.), or account for the fact that womens work was less likely to be offered a pension (secretaries, etc.)

If unpensioned were women just earning part time or secondary incomes (it was the 70s) that number could theoretically max at 90% of private sector households, or overlap with mixed private/public households to reach a much higher coverage rate

I'm just spitballing as devils advocate obviously, I didn't take the time to dig into their sources
Now you're backing yourself into a corner. You had a terrible financial role model growing up; your parents. Maybe I'm wrong, but thats the desription you presented. However, even with the terrible model you're turning out fine. A complainypants will blame the situatution on everyone else; parents, the government, society etc.

You are the anecdote that disproves your parents, you can have a terrible role model and still turn out great.

I never said the pension thing isn't a complainypants excuse, my parents are full of complainypants excuses.  When they realized they weren't getting a pension, they shouldn'tve bought a new mustang, they should've started shoveling into retirement accounts ASAP

At this point I'm curious about the debate/data that says the the golden pension generation never existed, because as I said, from my anectotal standpoint, I don't know a single person in my grandparents generation not covered by some sort of pension.  Applying the 4% rule in reverse, even a few grand a year in pension income is the equivalent to saving hundreds of thousands, making pensions a fairly big deal.

Prairie Stash

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Re: Worthy of sympathy or complainypants?
« Reply #18 on: August 09, 2018, 09:37:03 AM »
45% of private sector employees, that doesn't necessarily include government pensions, of which there are many (teachers, mailmen, police, etc.), or account for the fact that womens work was less likely to be offered a pension (secretaries, etc.)

If unpensioned were women just earning part time or secondary incomes (it was the 70s) that number could theoretically max at 90% of private sector households, or overlap with mixed private/public households to reach a much higher coverage rate

I'm just spitballing as devils advocate obviously, I didn't take the time to dig into their sources
Now you're backing yourself into a corner. You had a terrible financial role model growing up; your parents. Maybe I'm wrong, but thats the desription you presented. However, even with the terrible model you're turning out fine. A complainypants will blame the situatution on everyone else; parents, the government, society etc.

You are the anecdote that disproves your parents, you can have a terrible role model and still turn out great.

I never said the pension thing isn't a complainypants excuse, my parents are full of complainypants excuses.  When they realized they weren't getting a pension, they shouldn'tve bought a new mustang, they should've started shoveling into retirement accounts ASAP

At this point I'm curious about the debate/data that says the the golden pension generation never existed, because as I said, from my anectotal standpoint, I don't know a single person in my grandparents generation not covered by some sort of pension.  Applying the 4% rule in reverse, even a few grand a year in pension income is the equivalent to saving hundreds of thousands, making pensions a fairly big deal.
My grandfather (mother side) had a pension, his wife did not. My fathers parents did not. My step grandfather did not. Thats all anecdotes are worth, one person stating the opposite. JLCnuke already supplied the data...The main reason my grandparents did not have pensions is they were farmers, self employed. I'm thinking you're exagerating that you've never met a lifelong farmer, I'm from a slightly rural area and farmers are very common, I've never met anyone who had never met a farmer (that statement isn't worth much).

My father also is without a pension, he started a small business that failed. I'm pretty sure a lot of people started small businesses in the 70's and don't have pensions. Another classic, the small Mom and Pop restaurant, how many of them have pensions? In my city we also have independent taxi cab drivers, authors and other artists, lots of small businesses, lifelong home makers etc. lots of people without pensions that would not have had pensions in the 70's either. Surely you've met someone self employed at some point?

The rate of people without pensions, far exceeds the poverty rate among seniors in my area. While we do have CPP (Canadian SS) and other support programs it doesn't paint the picture that people were ignorant of finances in the 70's. Quite the contrary, people back then with the ability to save were doing so, now we have people with and without pensions enjoying their retirements.We also have people that never saved who express regret now, but a lot of people in the 70's were privately saving and provided good examples that could have been emulated.

Laura33

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Re: Worthy of sympathy or complainypants?
« Reply #19 on: August 28, 2018, 10:34:27 AM »
The tl;dr is that I think the Boomers got a little screwed just because of timing: by the time it was clear that they needed to save more, and tax-preferred cheap investment vehicles were readily available, they were later in their careers, and so lost their first decade of compounding. 

First, we can debate how prevalent pensions were and were not, but there was clearly a significant trend away from pensions that started while Boomers were in the workforce.  There was also a trend away from unionized/factory jobs that started probably in the '80s, which generally provided both pensions and good other benefits (e.g., lifetime medical care), and which provided decent, reliable jobs to men with only HS-level educations; and since that again started when the Boomers were already in the workforce, it wasn't as easy to go get that college degree and retrain for white-collar work as it was for those of us who grew up being told that manufacturing was no longer a "safe" plan and a college degree was a better path up.

At the same time, those who did choose to save for retirement did not have the same tax-sheltered options that we did; the idea of 401(k)s and IRAs certainly was not around, except for perhaps the select few who had lawyers and accountants to tell them about those sorts of tax shelters (I myself didn't even have a 401(k) option until 1995).  Oh, and mutual funds didn't exist for the first @15 yrs +/- of their careers; you had to buy individual stocks, and you had to pay a broker like $600 for every trade -- and then when mutual funds did become more popular, they were available only through those same brokers and charged like 6-8% loads.  My grandma always put aside 10%, but she put it in CDs, because that's what middle class people did back then.

Another trend was the prevalence of dual-income families.  Again, this really began in the late '70s/early '80s, when the Boomers were already in their 30s and up.  So Boomer women, by and large, didn't grow up expecting to work once they had kids, and so many did not have college degrees, and the ones who did were largely qualified for low-paid "women's work" (secretary, teaching, nursing).  And then let's not even get into sexism; my stepmom was not allowed into the state law school in the mid-'70s, and when she graduated from a different school near the top of her class, she couldn't get a job at any firm.  Not to mention that it was entirely legal to fire a woman when she got pregnant.

And then you have the stagflation of pretty much the entire 1970s, with a crappy economy for a full decade.  So for many Boomers, their first 10-15 years in the workforce did not provide a lot of wage growth or upward potential, while prices were rising dramatically.  We have data now that suggest that Millennials who graduated in the Great Recession are still behind their cohorts who graduated just a few years later, so it should not be surprising that a cohort whose first decade-plus of work was in a very poor economy had a harder time catching up than those before and after them.

And then finally, you have the beginning of the college cost spiral -- right when their kids were going to school.  Having watched the manufacturing economy come tumbling down, a lot of Boomers advised their kids to go to college.  But they grew up in a time when it was possible to work your way through, so the idea of "save for your kids' college" was not as ingrained as it is now, and when they started to pay attention, it was too late to make much impact.  So they chose to take on loans to put their kids on what they saw as a better, more secure path.

At this point, you probably think this is a complainypants rant.  It's not.  I mention all of these things not to say Boomers never had a chance, but because it all affected Boomers' ability to save and invest, cheaply and tax-efficiently, during the first decade or so of their careers -- which is by far the most important decade in terms of future wealth given the power of compounding.  If two people start investing in 1980, but one hits 65 and retires in 2010 and the other is a decade younger and retires in 2020, the one who retires in 2020 is going to have more than double his counterpart -- even if he didn't invest at all over the intervening decade -- simply because he could afford to let his money grow for another decade.  The Boomers didn't have that extra decade.

Not to mention that the younger guy had better, cheaper investment options.  I mean, we all talk about the value of saving in a pretax 401(k) over a Roth, and a Roth over a taxable account, and investing in low-cost index funds vs. individual stocks, and the market over a bank account/CD, and so on.  If a Boomer had say $2K to invest in 1975, it would most likely go into a CD, where it would sit and not compound.  Or if he was sophisticated and wealthy enough to invest, he'd call his broker and pay about $600 to put the remaining $1400 into an individual stock, which might or might not survive the next couple of decades.  Or if he had a mutual fund available, he'd pay another maybe 5-6% for the load, and then another 1-2% in management fees every year -- not to mention paying taxes on the gains every year.  That's a lot different from someone who could put $2K into VTSAX in their 401(k), you know?  So in the new world of 401(k)s, VTSAX, and disappearing pensions/medical insurance, Boomers started out behind the 8-ball just as a virtue of their bad-luck timing.

Does this mean that Boomers were just screwed and could never succeed?  Of course not.  Boomers still had thirty years, including the longest bull market in history, to save and catch up.  And those who figured out how to save and live frugally are generally perfectly comfortable now, barring some external event out of their control.  But when you are talking about bankruptcy, you are talking about people at the edge here -- the people who didn't have the skills or ability or knowledge or mentality to adjust to the shifting economy; people who maybe got caught in layoffs or had to change/downgrade jobs because of the changes in the economy; people who were/are raised to be leery of the stock market; people who weren't raised with the same "you're on your own" expectations that I was raised with.  So given the timing of this constellation of events, it does not surprise me that a higher percentage of Boomers managed to save too little, too late, and take on too much debt, than the generations before or after them.  Which, in turn, means it is not surprising at all that more Boomers would be on the edge and would drop off into bankruptcy.

MrsPete

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Re: Worthy of sympathy or complainypants?
« Reply #20 on: October 01, 2018, 04:39:30 PM »
I have a lot of sympathy for people whose medical expenses skyrocketed ... I have a lot less sympathy for people who cosigned big student loans for their kids.
I share your thoughts completely. 

It's hard to swim upstream against the current and actually be informed and responsible.
Look at how much push back Mustachians get just for wanting to be voluntarily frugal and not be obligated to work into their senior years, as if that concept is somehow crazy.
Totally disagree.  I can't say anyone's ever really given me a hard time about being frugal -- and I've been at it all my life.

I doubt we ever see another generation get retirement handed to them on a platter like the boomers
Eh, I don't think putting in 30+ years with one company is exactly having it "handed to them on a platter".  That generation has worked hard for what they have; however, yes, those with pensions were somewhat excused from the financial planning that is now mandatory for anyone who wants a comfortable retirement. 

Keep in mind, too, that not all Boomers have pensions.  Yes, fewer people have them today, but it's false to say that "back in the day" everyone had a pension as a standard job benefit. 



BDWW

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Re: Worthy of sympathy or complainypants?
« Reply #21 on: October 01, 2018, 05:13:14 PM »
I'm confused, I swear I just read an article yesterday where Boomer's good paying jobs, and life plans (college+job+pension?) didn't exist anymore, and that was why millenials were getting screwed over.

Now this article come along and tells me Boomers are in dire straights because their jobs/benefits/plans weren't all that great.

...

It's almost as if every generation has different challenges and opportunities due to perpetual change in the world we live in.

Oh well, apologies that I really have nothing pertinent to add. Just thought that it was interesting that the narrative seems to shift in every article to promote the sky falling.


swampwiz

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Re: Worthy of sympathy or complainypants?
« Reply #22 on: October 19, 2018, 10:22:46 PM »
For so many people who never really increase their income over their lifetimes, a house is too damn expensive. Then you have those who use it as an ATM and run up the credit line as if that doesn't have to be paid off.

The key is to live somewhere cheap.  I have an old but renovated 2-BR home in a depressed old mill town (about 70 miles from a major city) that cost me $40K.  Don't buy that $200K home in Arizona!

Just Joe

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Re: Worthy of sympathy or complainypants?
« Reply #23 on: November 09, 2018, 08:22:49 AM »
For so many people who never really increase their income over their lifetimes, a house is too damn expensive. Then you have those who use it as an ATM and run up the credit line as if that doesn't have to be paid off.

The key is to live somewhere cheap.  I have an old but renovated 2-BR home in a depressed old mill town (about 70 miles from a major city) that cost me $40K.  Don't buy that $200K home in Arizona!

But then you have to live in an old depressed mill town... ;)

I agree. I like college towns but nowhere near the campus so you don't have to put up with college student shenanigans but there is the benefit of events to attend, a good library, classes to take if wanted, some infrastructure, a sense of community, etc. That cheapish house is still available and the economy's behavior is moderated by the campus/hospital/a few large employers. 

Cassie

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Re: Worthy of sympathy or complainypants?
« Reply #24 on: November 19, 2018, 12:38:00 PM »
Mag, have you ever lived in a RV?  You have to follow the weather because they are too cold to stay in a winter climate.  Plus they are small, you lack privacy and can’t entertain. I am 64 and it’s not how we want to spend our golden years.   We have a 1993 motor home that we take for a month at the most and then we are sick of it. Plus it is hard to live like that with pets.