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What's The Attitude Of The Baby Boomers You Work With Or For?

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What are the hpc massive's experience of the baby boomer middle class management set that we still seem to suffer? Still pro hpi? Any empathy?

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Only 1 boomer working in my dept. and he's ok.

I used to work with a bunch of don;t give a shite about anyone except them selves i'm alright born again Cristian types. Not the best experience.

In my experience most boomers are miserable and whinge about everything. I guess it's because it's because they've been spoilt their whole life and the slightest thing upsets them.

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Most of the boomers I work with think that time makes house prices go up in real terms in the much the same way that gravity makes things go down. To them house prices rising is an immutable law of nature. If I talk about house prices falling (I use the term 'correcting') they look at me as though I've suggested levitation as a means of commuting to work.

I've tried every economic argument I can think of, including references to the crash in the 90s when most of them bought their current houses, but nothing works.

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Most of the boomers I work with think that time makes house prices go up in real terms in the much the same way that gravity makes things go down. To them house prices rising is an immutable law of nature. If I talk about house prices falling (I use the term 'correcting') they look at me as though I've suggested levitation as a means of commuting to work.

I've tried every economic argument I can think of, including references to the crash in the 90s when most of them bought their current houses, but nothing works.

This is one of the great costs of moral hazard. The promotion of the foolish. For me it is equally as damaging as the economic costs, having lucky twerps staring down their noses at me claiming intellectual high ground

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Most of the boomers I work with think that time makes house prices go up in real terms in the much the same way that gravity makes things go down. To them house prices rising is an immutable law of nature. If I talk about house prices falling (I use the term 'correcting') they look at me as though I've suggested levitation as a means of commuting to work.

I've tried every economic argument I can think of, including references to the crash in the 90s when most of them bought their current houses, but nothing works.

Last time one of my colleagues gave me some advice to buy (owns their home, plus has a BTL). I was told about the unwritten rule that property doubles in price every 10 years.....

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Last time one of my colleagues gave me some advice to buy (owns their home, plus has a BTL). I was told about the unwritten rule that property doubles in price every 10 years.....

Based on that unwritten rule, the flat I completed on in Autumn 2004 for £64k (overpaid for it!) should be 'worth' £128k now. It recently sold for £80k. :lol: (see my latest thread on Anecdotals subforum).

I work with a semi retired lady in her late 60s. She owns outright with her hubby and I would describe her as moderately Tory. However, she is sympathetic that the majority of us in our office aged between 51 and 28 who rent privately at quite an expense (including our Manager).

The minority of my colleagues own a house with/without a mortgage and the remaining 61 year old rents a council house.

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Most boomers I've found project a false "I'm not really interested in money attitude", despite a huge pension (compared to what future generations will get, it is huge) which they then moan about not being as big as they were expected to anyone that'll listen.

Many have multiple properties (almost always paid for via HPI / inheritance / shares from sold-off former public bodies, rather than the results of their own brilliance). Many, despite working class origins, then seem intent on replicating the old-money aristo approach too of having 'bolt-holes' (as they often call them) in desirable places, so that they can have their "things" with them. All this, whilst being adamant that they are somehow anti-establishment and anti-capitalist, and anti "the man".

They also enjoy comparing themselves hugely favourably with subsequent generations who they see as materialistic and money-grabbing (with a snobbery that they would profess to despise that reminds me of how "new money" is sometimes seen by "old money") but who haven't had a fraction of the "success" that they themselves experienced. "Look they are in their 30's, and still only renting a flat in a converted house...we had our own detached house before we 28"...type approach and "....and we weren't even interested in money back then..." etc. That type of thing. They also seem to greatly resent any transfer of wealth down the line "my parents had nothing and gave me nothing...", whilst ignoring free educations, signing on in the university holidays, house price relative to average wages etc. etc. etc.

I absolutely agree that they have been spoilt, and complain bitterly about any blip on how they perceive things should work out for them. Their sense of entitlement is quite staggering, and matched only by their sense of denial. They seem genuinely annoyed and bemused as why they are not seen as heroes in some way.

There are absolutely exceptions to this, there are many people who are nothing like the above and quite a number of fantastic people in this age-group there really are. Unfortunately though, there is a significant critical mass of people in this influential demographic who match some, if not all of the above. That has been my experience anyway.

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Most boomers I've found project a false "I'm not really interested in money attitude", despite a huge pension (compared to what future generations will get, it is huge) which they then moan about not being as big as they were expected to anyone that'll listen.

Many have multiple properties (almost always paid for via HPI / inheritance / shares from sold-off former public bodies, rather than the results of their own brilliance). Many, despite working class origins, then seem intent on replicating the old-money aristo approach too of having 'bolt-holes' (as they often call them) in desirable places, so that they can have their "things" with them. All this, whilst being adamant that they are somehow anti-establishment and anti-capitalist, and anti "the man".

They also enjoy comparing themselves hugely favourably with subsequent generations who they see as materialistic and money-grabbing (with a snobbery that they would profess to despise that reminds me of how "new money" is sometimes seen by "old money") but who haven't had a fraction of the "success" that they themselves experienced. "Look they are in their 30's, and still only renting a flat in a converted house...we had our own detached house before we 28"...type approach and "....and we weren't even interested in money back then..." etc. That type of thing. They also seem to greatly resent any transfer of wealth down the line "my parents had nothing and gave me nothing...", whilst ignoring free educations, signing on in the university holidays, house price relative to average wages etc. etc. etc.

I absolutely agree that they have been spoilt, and complain bitterly about any blip on how they perceive things should work out for them. Their sense of entitlement is quite staggering, and matched only by their sense of denial. They seem genuinely annoyed and bemused as why they are not seen as heroes in some way.

There are absolutely exceptions to this, there are many people who are nothing like the above and quite a number of fantastic people in this age-group there really are. Unfortunately though, there is a significant critical mass of people in this influential demographic who match some, if not all of the above. That has been my experience anyway.

boomer bashing par excellence - do you really mean/believe what you have just written :o

based on how many boomers you work with/personally know ? - just to give some balance

the majority of over 65s are not working you do understand this (or maybe you don't)

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the majority of over 65s are not working you do understand this (or maybe you don't)

Only the older 1940s-born Boomers are over 65, the 1950s-born Boomers are mostly still in work.

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They also enjoy comparing themselves hugely favourably with subsequent generations who they see as materialistic

It is quite staggering to see older people who own 2 cars and a 150 tonne building full of furniture and consumer tat accusing younger people who own a bicycle, a laptop, a phone and some cotton clothing of being materialistic but it absolutely does happen.

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Oh yes the anger at the retirement age going above 60 is a good one. Considering that baby boomers go between about birth dates of 1947 amd 1965, that makes the vast majority under 65

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It is quite staggering to see older people who own 2 cars and a 150 tonne building full of furniture and consumer tat accusing younger people who own a bicycle, a laptop, a phone and some cotton clothing of being materialistic but it absolutely does happen.

Well said! :)

I got this book out of the library earlier this year: Francis Beckett - What Did the Baby Boomers ever do for us?

Highly recommended. I found it such an engaging read that I finished with it after a few days. B)

Edited by MattW

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It seems to me that a lot of the above applies to middle class boomers rather than those who are/were working class. Even well into the 70s and early 80s - it was fairly uncommon for the average person to be buying their own house. The vast majority will not have gone to university and enjoyed the free education either. Further, if you were unlucky you might well have had a long period of unemployment (often coinciding with what should have been peak earnings), and I knew very few of were able to take advantage of the various privatisations in the 80s.

I also wonder sometimes if the ire is misdirected. Inside of resenting middle class boomers for having so much, perhaps we should be wondering why the same rewards are not available to all - given the massive increases in productivity over the last 40 years.

Appreciate that Si's original query related to middle management boomers - which, of course, are much more likely to be middle class.

Edited by StainlessSteelCat

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Their sense of entitlement is quite staggering, and matched only by their sense of denial. They seem genuinely annoyed and bemused as why they are not seen as heroes in some way.

My Mother was born in 1946. When her telephone land line recently stopped working, she exploded with rage at the "ridiculous" situation. She asked me to call up the phone company and tell them as an old age pensioner she "needs" a phone. Similar out bursts begin when the fuse for the shower blows, and a pipe in the loft starts leaking at a rate of about one drop of water per hour. Apparently basic maintenance is "ridiculous" and council/government/me/someone needs to be at her beck and call 24/7. Did I mention she lives in a three story, six bedroom house? Just her and a teenage foster child live there. Mortgage paid off years ago.

She recently was telling me about how she can't afford a maid to do the house work, apparently and attempt to guilt me into coming round and doing the house work for her. She is still happy to blow thousands and thousands (literally) at a time on expensive furniture, grandfather clocks, carpets etc. I've suggested that selling up and downsizing to a bungalow would solve all her "housing problems". During one hysterical wobbly over a 4am power cut, I tried to calm her down by pointing out that she lives in six bedroom house, and occasionally power cuts happen, especially in big old houses. She apparently couldn't see the happy side of her situation, after all, she is a pensioner, and the lack of a magic 100% reliable, uninterruptable power supply is "ridiculous".

The funny thing is, her parents lived in died in relative poverty compared to her. Her social circle consists of pensioners who live far far more basic than she does. It doesn't seem to have made any difference.

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The ones I have spoken to are actually quite concerned about the future for their kids, both from the perspective of housing costs and the job prospects. 20 years ago the kids would have gone to university and have had a somewhat clear career progression if they chose to do that, but now it's not so definite. The company I work for sometimes takes on the offspring of current employees in low level admin roles, but it tends to be women as young lads are not favoured for those roles.

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Most boomers I've found project a false "I'm not really interested in money attitude", despite a huge pension (compared to what future generations will get, it is huge) which they then moan about not being as big as they were expected to anyone that'll listen.

Many have multiple properties (almost always paid for via HPI / inheritance / shares from sold-off former public bodies, rather than the results of their own brilliance). Many, despite working class origins, then seem intent on replicating the old-money aristo approach too of having 'bolt-holes' (as they often call them) in desirable places, so that they can have their "things" with them. All this, whilst being adamant that they are somehow anti-establishment and anti-capitalist, and anti "the man".

They also enjoy comparing themselves hugely favourably with subsequent generations who they see as materialistic and money-grabbing (with a snobbery that they would profess to despise that reminds me of how "new money" is sometimes seen by "old money") but who haven't had a fraction of the "success" that they themselves experienced. "Look they are in their 30's, and still only renting a flat in a converted house...we had our own detached house before we 28"...type approach and "....and we weren't even interested in money back then..." etc. That type of thing. They also seem to greatly resent any transfer of wealth down the line "my parents had nothing and gave me nothing...", whilst ignoring free educations, signing on in the university holidays, house price relative to average wages etc. etc. etc.

I absolutely agree that they have been spoilt, and complain bitterly about any blip on how they perceive things should work out for them. Their sense of entitlement is quite staggering, and matched only by their sense of denial. They seem genuinely annoyed and bemused as why they are not seen as heroes in some way.

There are absolutely exceptions to this, there are many people who are nothing like the above and quite a number of fantastic people in this age-group there really are. Unfortunately though, there is a significant critical mass of people in this influential demographic who match some, if not all of the above. That has been my experience anyway.

You've described the vast majority (not all) of my parents friends, it takes a certain type of zen-like calm not to totally lose it when listening to yet another (boomer) whining about their private pension whilst living in a house with the mortgage paid off and collecting a state pension too and they're looking at me for sympathy, i'm forty and cant afford a pension and meet all my bills at present: un-******ing believable. Its not uncommon for me to hear the: "why haven't you bought a place and settled down?" Me: "Uh......because i can't afford one"

Also funny how a good few in my circle at least were alternative-types in the '60's who seemed to have amassed a small fortune since then and yet all claim to hate the 'other' side as they're "all about money" together with the almost complete ignorance in some i know of the struggles the vast majority of us born from the late 70's/early '80's onwards now face is bewildering, i wonder about one or two i know as to whether they live in some alternate universe to the one i'm in, truly baffles me.

Until they all die there will be no change, every march that appears on the local news where i live in Hampshire; its always the same well-attired grey-hairs with placards and frightfully frightful cut glass accents all flaring their nostrels over things like building windfarms and housing etc, stuff that would genuinely improve the prospects of many alot younger than them but no, ****** the young eh? This is the UK.

Shouldn't be called 'boomers' more like Generation i'm-alright-Jack.

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"whining about their private pension "

Jeez. They dont get the link between low annuity rates and high house prices. Morons.

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Shouldn't be called 'boomers' more like Generation i'm-alright-Jack.

"I'm alright Jack": I was thinking of that phrase as I was reading Uncle Kenny's post about his mum in her big old house.

I used to have part time retail jobs in the late 1990s. Upon reflection, the Baby Boomer generation customers - then aged 40s - 50s - tended to be more obnoxious than the other demographic groups of customers. It tended to be relatively minor things (imo like an item out of stock that a rival company also sells) that would set them off too.

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It seems to me that a lot of the above applies to middle class boomers rather than those who are/were working class. Even well into the 70s and early 80s - it was fairly uncommon for the average person to be buying their own house. The vast majority will not have gone to university and enjoyed the free education either. Further, if you were unlucky you might well have had a long period of unemployment (often coinciding with what should have been peak earnings), and I knew very few of were able to take advantage of the various privatisations in the 80s.

I also wonder sometimes if the ire is misdirected. Inside of resenting middle class boomers for having so much, perhaps we should be wondering why the same rewards are not available to all - given the massive increases in productivity over the last 40 years.

Appreciate that Si's original query related to middle management boomers - which, of course, are much more likely to be middle class.

I hate to say this because I'm not a fan of unions but society was a lot less unequal when more of the workforce was unionised. Society has been getting more and more unequal since the 1989s and itsthe neo-liberal element of Thatcherism which has made this the case, or at least been the most significant factor in my opinion.

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I used to have part time retail jobs in the late 1990s. Upon reflection, the Baby Boomer generation customers - then aged 40s - 50s - tended to be more obnoxious than the other demographic groups of customers. It tended to be relatively minor things (imo like an item out of stock that a rival company also sells) that would set them off too.

A 30something friend of mine works in retail in an affluent town and regularly has to deal with (generally male) customers in their 60s who decide to make a big scene about trivial things. Some of them will turn purple and scream and shout in public because the shop won't let them return an item costing ten or twenty quid when they come back after a few days having changed their mind about the purchase (or found they could have bought it cheaper from Amazon?)

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This whole thing is too much of a generalisation in my opinion. My mother is a boomer and she's lived quite a hard life. Growing HP in time rooved shack when her father walked out on them, her mother living on the breadline with little to no state support. Then buying a big hotel in the early 80s only for the economy to tank and her having to give it up and get a mortgage on a much smaller property.

Then having her marriage break down over my father having an affair and being left with very little state support (only child benefit) as a single mother trying to work. Her only being guaranteed about 19 hours a week in her home help job. Divorces were very messy in those days, the rules were different and it was hard to buy my father out of the house and hence stop him living with us during divorce proceedings.

Anyway my mother had to sell this house for 67k in mid 90s as there was some botched building work. The house is worth over 250k now. She bought a small three bed terrace house for 43k which she sold to her daughter early 2000s and used the money to retire and abroad with her boyfriend.

So anyway, IMO I'd anyone has it easy it's my generation, those who were able to buy property mid to late 90s. Whilst some state benefits have been curtailed, people of today have far better access to state help than my mother has, especially if you're a single mother.

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This whole thing is too much of a generalisation in my opinion. My mother is a boomer and she's lived quite a hard life. Growing HP in time rooved shack when her father walked out on them, her mother living on the breadline with little to no state support. Then buying a big hotel in the early 80s only for the economy to tank and her having to give it up and get a mortgage on a much smaller property.

Then having her marriage break down over my father having an affair and being left with very little state support (only child benefit) as a single mother trying to work. Her only being guaranteed about 19 hours a week in her home help job. Divorces were very messy in those days, the rules were different and it was hard to buy my father out of the house and hence stop him living with us during divorce proceedings.

Anyway my mother had to sell this house for 67k in mid 90s as there was some botched building work. The house is worth over 250k now. She bought a small three bed terrace house for 43k which she sold to her daughter early 2000s and used the money to retire and abroad with her boyfriend.

So anyway, IMO I'd anyone has it easy it's my generation, those who were able to buy property mid to late 90s. Whilst some state benefits have been curtailed, people of today have far better access to state help than my mother has, especially if you're a single mother.

So despite screw ups she still managed to retire abroad in her late 50s by selling her house to her daughter?

And that's tough how?

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I have the worst boomer in the history of boomers at work. She talks non stop about either her husband, you know, the usual mind numbing oh I asked him to get a green pepper and he came home with a red pepper, why can't he just blah blah blah - cue fake laughter from her subordinates; or her various houses.

Her mother just died and left her a house in Morden. They have been trying to sell it for the last few months, and she goes on and on about how people are offering cheeky offers and she won't give it away. On and on and on about how well they have done with their house they brought in the 70's which sold for 400k or something stupid. The Morden house is no SSTC for some stupid amount of money - I have seen pictures as with everyone in our office. It really is a hole - needs loads of work doing, typical granny died in the front room rest of the house is a tip sort of property - in need of modernisation I think is the phrase...

She is more than happy to impart her wisdom on her younger charges - one is saving at the moment for a house. It's quite easy she thinks to save a deposit. Just got to cut down on spending, going out etc. Fake concern about the plight of the younger generation. I have to bite my lip. She doesn't get how bad things are for those trying to buy. I have given up with the idea, as have many I know. Long as she gets what is due for her three houses who cares though.

I hate what has happened to this country. Keep housing high at all costs to fund the mess we are in. I hope she gets her new million pound house in wherever it is the day before prices drop off a cliff. Then of course she will want a bail out. Thinking about her has just ruined my Sunday.

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So despite screw ups she still managed to retire abroad in her late 50s by selling her house to her daughter?

And that's tough how?

Well, I agree it's good that she retired at 56 but I think that's what she deserved because she is very careful with money. And we're not talking about the life of riley here, she and her boyfriend bought a small house in rural central Portugal for about 25,000 euros then did it up for another 10,000 they then lived off the money from the sale of the terrace house (which I think sold for 75 thousand pounds until she was sixty and could claim her state pension. She's still technically poor.

I think its unfortunate that people of my generation have to wait longer to retire (and I'd rather it wasn't like that) but there's plenty of time to prepare for this eventuality. Even though wages are low people can still save, it just means they can't go out as often, they can't be as materialistic. Whilst it's true that wages have remained quite flat (in some cases gone down in real terms) there were no tax credits back then, there was no minimum wage. Things have got worse lately and admittedly they're going to get worse but people who bought in the mid 90s have had around 14 years to save and many if them have benefitted hugely from very low interest rates. My sister for example bought in the mid 90s a two bed and now owns a 6 bedroom house and her mortgage payments are lower than they were on the two bed!

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sorry I think that house was 40,000 euros. I neglected to mention that they first retired to a third world country (not a good idea) and they had to leave. They lost a bit of money in the process and were quite lucky to sell the house they built to be honest. I'm relieved though that they left safely as things got out of hand.

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