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February 7, 2017 | Baby Boomers: The Most Destructive Generation

Danielle Park

Portfolio Manager and President of Venable Park Investment Counsel ( Ms Park is a financial analyst, attorney, finance author and regular guest on North American media. She is also the author of the best-selling myth-busting book "Juggling Dynamite: An insider's wisdom on money management, markets and wealth that lasts," and a popular daily financial blog:

For many years now, I have been pointing out that generally, Baby Boomers have been inept, short-sighted, undisciplined and irresponsible planners and financial managers.  This article, while a little tongue in check, pulls no punches on the subject:  The one group we can teach our children to loathe.  Why Baby Boomers are the most destructive generation in history:

This is the generation that cut its teeth protesting civil rights and Vietnam, who never stops talking about the Summer of Love, then gave us Iraq, Afghanistan and Donald Trump. They know all of Jimi Hendrix’s guitar solos, but are twice as likely to oppose a mixed marriage. These are the people who built massive, bankrupting pensions and social safety nets to coddle their own aging butts, and then are the first to roll their eyes when millennials complain a bachelor’s degree now requires $50,000 of debt.

Also watch the video here: “Why Millennials are worse off than their Boomer parents”.

Millennials have half the net worth that boomers had at their age. Their home ownership rate is lower, while their student debt is drastically higher.

Re the video report, a few observations are important though I think:  first, education is something we do for ourselves, not for others.  We can’t educate ourselves and expect the world to fall at our feet, but yes, one does need to find gainful employment to make a living, and starting out with a big debt burden is a huge disadvantage.  We should also realize that government underwritten student debt and outrageous education costs are two halves of the same whole.  They have both enabled each other to the detriment of students, our economy and our social stability as a whole.  We all need to focus on creative ways to reduce costs and minimize our use of debt from now on.

Second, figuring out how many children we can support given our finite time and financial resources, is part of being an adult.  Again, we can’t blame our choices in this on others. Third, deciding to live with extended family so we can build up savings for a house is not a bad thing or undue suffering, it is what immigrants and other smart workers have done for decades as a way to help new families get established.  Lastly, finding our own personal solution to a happy life is our individual responsibility and calling.  It is a wise goal, not a booby prize!

Boomers have led their children poorly.  And yet, as inverse mentors they are still valuable.  Adversity is often the making of us when we use it as fuel and there is no doubt that today’s Millennials, that are struggling, committed, self-disciplined and tenacious, will be tomorrow’s stable foundation and leaders.

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February 7th, 2017

Posted In: Juggling Dynamite

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