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Are / Were Your Parents Typical Boomers


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The UK generation that corresponds to the USA's baby boom goes from 1946 to the very early 1960s,

1964 to be precise. That's 18 years, a generation in itself.

As with any bubble it pays to get in early. In this case the boomer's parents and the first lot of boomers, the 46-54 group, would have benefitted most from the demographics. The fact that the US had a shorter baby boom is probably why things have stagnated for longer for working and middle class people over there.

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My dad is 80 this year so pre boomer bought the house they are still living in for £120( no I haven't missed out any naught’s.)

He is living a very comfortable retirement (a few Caribbean cruses a year)

I was born late 1963 bought my first house in the last boom (1989) and to be honest haven't made much money out of housing.

But this credit crunch has done well for me.

with a mortgage taken out in 2007 ( very low life time tracker) plus taking out a company share save scheme when share were at there lowest I reckon I've made more money out of the credit crunch than I've made in property.

edit ex with took £30,000 she has made more money out of my property than I have.

Edited by gf3
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My dad is 80 this year so pre boomer bought the house they are still living in for £120( no I haven't missed out any naught’s.)

But this credit crunch has done well for me.

with a mortgage taken out in 2007 ( very low life time tracker) plus taking out a company share save scheme when share were at there lowest I reckon I've made more money out of the credit crunch than I've made in property..

Maybe this will end up being the case for quite a few of us. If houses drop far enough even if I end up out of work for a number of years would probably still end up better off. If a house drops £100k with interest your'e paying back £200k less compared to peak price.

Edited by FLASH_2007
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Since it is assumed that everyone over 50 is a boomer by many on here thought a poll would be useful.

Assuming your parents are over 50 and still alive do they fit into the boomer category? A boomer being someone who bought a large house cheap as a first purchase, is mortgage free and retired well before 60 on a large pension.

I never thought my parents were typical boomers based on a lot of things written on this site, however on the poll criteria they are I suppose. Their first house was a small 3 bed semi in Lancashire but I suppose even that would be out of reach as a first house for most people these days. Second house was a large 4 bed detached which was bought when my Dad was about 34. I am 38 and have a job paying 3 times what a teacher his level earned and I could not afford it. Dad (Teacher) retired around 55 I seem to remember and my Mum about the same time. They didn't take lots of foreign holidays until they were retired - camping holidays in France was about the most exotic, but now they are retired they go on tons of holidays all over the world for months each year. I think their position now is a result of some financial prudence and saving rather than spending and of course a very privileged situation compared to younger people today.

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I think their position now is a result of some financial prudence and saving rather than spending and of course a very privileged situation compared to younger people today.

I suspect more of the latter than the former - a fantastic pension (55!) like that and a large property owned outright at the age of 55 is worth in excess of £1million - that cannot be saved/invested from a 'normal' job in that time-frame of life, simply impossible unless you're Warren Buffett

Edited by Si1
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1964 to be precise. That's 18 years, a generation in itself.

As with any bubble it pays to get in early. In this case the boomer's parents and the first lot of boomers, the 46-54 group, would have benefitted most from the demographics. The fact that the US had a shorter baby boom is probably why things have stagnated for longer for working and middle class people over there.

Things moved veryquickly in that period. Someone born in the late 40's/early 50's had very little in common socially or economically with someone born in the early 60's. Born in the late 40's/early 50's and your early aldulthood would have been dominated by Harold Wilson, the swinging sixties, and the Beatles. Born in the early 60's and those would have been replaced by Thatcher, mass unemployment and punk rock. To put everyone born between 1946 and 1964 in the same group is not representative of two distinct groups with very different experiences.

Edited by campervanman
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as a counterpoint to all this moaning and nashing, I suspect part time jobs for the over 60s will be more in supply in the future as we move to a more knowledge based society, which itself is worth a lot of wonga

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Things moved veryquickly in that period. Someone born in the late 40's/early 50's had very little in common socially or economically with someone born in the early 60's. Born in the late 40's/early 50's and your early aldulthood would have been dominated by Harold Wilson, the swinging sixties, and the Beatles. Born in the early 60's and those would have been replaced by Thatcher, mass unemployment and punk rock. To put everyone born between 1946 and 1964 in the same group is not representative of two distinct groups with very different experiences.

Agreed. This point needs repeating, I find these two generations very different too - much prefer the older of the two.

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My parents bought a new 4 bed detached in 1980 when they we in their early 30's for about £30k. Paid it off in 25 years - my Dad's a tradesman and my mum worked for about 10 of those years as a teacher. My dad still works in his late 60's, his pension's not fantastic and they still spend quite a bit.

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I think their position now is a result of some financial prudence and saving rather than spending and of course a very privileged situation compared to younger people today.

I am sure it is, but the problem is that most people of that age do not seem to realise just how privileged that situation was, hence the generally held view that younger people should be able to do exactly the same today.

There is no doubt that a lot of that generation were quite prudent and did save a lot of money, but that is just a tiny drop in the ocean compared to the extra benefits that would not be available to people starting out at the age of 20 today. The differences go all through life:

1. Student debt of £30k+ for today's students would have been no problem in those days as grants covered most of it and not many people went to University anyway as a degree was not required to get even the most basic of jobs as it is today.

2. Jobs paying a reasonable amount of money were relatively freely available.

3. Houses cost 3-4x that reasonable income.

4. Massive wage inflation to erode that 3-4x mortgage debt quickly to enable moving up the housing ladder.

5. Second or third move being a 4 bed detached with large garden not uncommon for average earners.

6. Pensions that were worth saving for (sub 10% in for 2/3 final salary at the end).

7. Massive property price inflation allowing downsizing for another nice lump sum on retirement.

I think that lot would have made it relatively easy for an average earner to plot their way comfortably through life, even if they were not at all prudent with their money.

Now, even the most diligent average earner who graduates with no debt and goes straight into a £25k job has got no chance. Even saving as much as they could out of that salary, it would take many years to generate a house deposit.

I'd say that people in their 20s today would need to graduate into £100k jobs to have a hope of replicating what their parents average wage bought them, and even then there would be some disadvantages. Just imagine the liefstyle of someone earning the equivalent of £100k in the 1970s!

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I am sure it is, but the problem is that most people of that age do not seem to realise just how privileged that situation was, hence the generally held view that younger people should be able to do exactly the same today.

There is no doubt that a lot of that generation were quite prudent and did save a lot of money, but that is just a tiny drop in the ocean compared to the extra benefits that would not be available to people starting out at the age of 20 today. The differences go all through life:

1. Student debt of £30k+ for today's students would have been no problem in those days as grants covered most of it and not many people went to University anyway as a degree was not required to get even the most basic of jobs as it is today.

2. Jobs paying a reasonable amount of money were relatively freely available.

3. Houses cost 3-4x that reasonable income.

4. Massive wage inflation to erode that 3-4x mortgage debt quickly to enable moving up the housing ladder.

5. Second or third move being a 4 bed detached with large garden not uncommon for average earners.

6. Pensions that were worth saving for (sub 10% in for 2/3 final salary at the end).

7. Massive property price inflation allowing downsizing for another nice lump sum on retirement.

I think that lot would have made it relatively easy for an average earner to plot their way comfortably through life, even if they were not at all prudent with their money.

Now, even the most diligent average earner who graduates with no debt and goes straight into a £25k job has got no chance. Even saving as much as they could out of that salary, it would take many years to generate a house deposit.

I'd say that people in their 20s today would need to graduate into £100k jobs to have a hope of replicating what their parents average wage bought them, and even then there would be some disadvantages. Just imagine the liefstyle of someone earning the equivalent of £100k in the 1970s!

Yes I agree totally. Someone else said in reply that their house would be worth around $1 million though but its actually worth about 260K - I said Lancashire remember! I think they paid about 5-6K for it in 1978. My Dad was a teacher and not a fancy one, I think he was 'head of year' once - a bit like being a 'team leader'. My mum didn't work a lot of the time. I earn about 45K (about 65K atm because working abroad so get lots of bonuses) and I would still need some very dodgy mortgage to buy that house. Actually I am lying because I have about 50K savings so I could probably get it but I never would because its a complete rip-off and I can't count on earning 2.5x national average wage the rest of my working life. I could be back to 25K very very easily. I suspect the purchase for them was very comfortable.

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Yes I agree totally. Someone else said in reply that their house would be worth around $1 million though but its actually worth about 260K - I said Lancashire remember!

well I did not say that - i said the combined worth of house plus pension (taken at 55!?!) would be in the million £ bracket

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My parents are still in the small house with garden, they purchased in the early 60s change from £5k.....seven of us lived in it, I seem to remember the walls were make of elastic at the time, I recall half the neighbourhood kids also came round to play, always around our house, utter chaos, mum didn't mind, bless her....now the place is far more suitable for their needs can't see them moving now. ;)

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well I did not say that - i said the combined worth of house plus pension (taken at 55!?!) would be in the million £ bracket

If so then yes definitely. Why does an annuity cost 20-30K though? Is it because people can live past 95 (retirement age + 30K @ 1K per year assuming the investment makes nothing). Surely some scam going on because the average age of death for a man is about 78. If you retire at 65 (now 67) an annuity can't possibly be more than about 12K even assuming the investment makes 0 profit.

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If so then yes definitely. Why does an annuity cost 20-30K though? Is it because people can live past 95 (retirement age + 30K @ 1K per year assuming the investment makes nothing). Surely some scam going on because the average age of death for a man is about 78. If you retire at 65 (now 67) an annuity can't possibly be more than about 12K even assuming the investment makes 0 profit.

it is a bit dodgy - annuities, by law (AFAIK) - have to be based on govt bonds - which are showing record historical low yields currently

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How about an option for "lived within their means and paid off their house which was extraordinarily small but functional enough to raise 2 kids, didn't have a car or foreign holidays but also didn't blame their lack of possessions on anyone else but thanked whatever God they prayed to that they were so damn lucky to be born into a country which guaranteed them a living and lifestyle better than 90% of humanity even if they decided to sit on their backsides all day and do sod all "

But that wouldn't fit with the self pity on here would it ?

This would be close to the most common experience though, wouldnt it? not the imagined life of extravigance and riches that predominates this forum.

The massive transfer of wealth from the young to the old which happened over the last decade shows up in various statistics - feel free to Google since I don't have time, but they've been posted here before.

It is simply a fact that the 'older generation' has gained whilst the 'younger generation' has lost. It is also pretty difficult to argue that the 'older generation' were not in power when this happened.

So whilst there may be differing interpretations of this fact, it is still a fact. Facts are not self-pity.

My parents are typical, they own a massive house they couldn't hope to afford, and retired fairly early (don't remember exactly how old). My parents are atypical in that they understand this transfer of wealth, and are appalled by it. They are not fooled by the existence of mobile phones.

Actually, I'm not even sure this is really an unusual POV amongst the older generation, I think most of them get it. I have had several of my friends parents say this to me unprompted and independently.

''The massive transfer of wealth from the young to the old ''

This also is a bunch of monkey sh*&t. Its been a transfer of wealth from poor to rich, end of. Chasing boomers is just distracting you from the real culprits, perhaps your parents were lucky, just as many genx y and z will be too. However they are not typical of the age group, not by any small margin.

read up on changes to society in the UK between 1960 and 1979 and you will understand that life without those decades would be pretty grim. You see we didn't wear T shirts with 'am I bovvered' or 'whatever' to advertise the fact that we were just going to sit back and let stuff happen. If you think boomers have something to answer for then wait another 20 or 30 years and see how you get on answering for what you allowed to happen.

Bingo, we dont have to wait 20+ years, its happening now. many people applying selective hindsight to prove an issue, neglecting to see where they are heading. To quote an expample which would be appropriate in this forum. A few years ago it was assumed in no uncertain terms that a Tory government fix everything for the younger generations, re housing and fairness etc, they have proved to be no better than what went before and to top it off they are by and large a GenX government porking you gen x and y's and us boomers from behind with something big and hard while at the same time looking after the bankers and the mega rich that is their prime constituent. So to keep going on about how so-called boomers are doing you wrong while ignoring the tribe of elephants rodgering you from behind is just gross stupidity, which means that many of you are just playing your roll as usefull idiots. Until you take on the bankers, oligharchs and the goverment that cowtows to them you will get nowhere with the repetitive meme re old vs young.

The anecdotes in this column have proved that there is no such thing as a 'typical' boomer, just as there is no real one size fits all any generation.

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