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The Forgotten Generation X - Overlooked?

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On 30/07/2019 at 17:27, Orb said:

Since getting my HGV licence in 2004 I've managed to save £72k from unspent wages, and currently saving on average £700 pcm. It's all currently in savings, premium bonds, and 1 year growth bonds. I was one day hoping to perhaps buy a small freehold property in my hometown, then squirrel away a modest pension once the house was bought. I'm a stubbornly independent free-spirited mo-fo, and highly resented the notion of being mortgaged, so tried to do it by saving. I'm dead against mortgages - I once mused it, and began looking into it, and the experience literally brought on depression. By now £72k should, if things had been normal, have been enough for a decent 2 bed semi or terraced in my hometown. As it stands, that will just about buy the cheapest, grottiest, 1 bed leasehold bedsit above a kebab shop in a bad area, on a busy road. I could go anywhere north of say, Stoke, and get a terraced, but, jobs and crime innit. 

Just out of curiosity, and I apologise if I've temporarily hijacked the thread (though it's at least on topic), but if anybody fancies offering their thoughts, what would people here do if aged 40 with nobody and nothing to maintain, but £72k in the bank and the freedom to do as one pleases with all of it?

You're doing very well saving £700pm. Like, really well, compared to many people. So congrats.

Careful with self drive in the future. May not arrive for a long time, but if you're aware of it there might be opportunities to transition to something inside the industry sooner than others. Look at specialised licenses. Look at contracts in the middle east for a few years if you're determined to build up a pot (good pay, no tax). 

Here's another crazy idea for you and will not be popular on a housepricecrash website, but in these times we have to look out for our interests in any way possible. If it is just you and you're probably going to stay that way, look to finding an affordable property with a separate living area, like self annex or something that you can rent to a lodger for additional tax free income (check out lodgers allowance). I bet with the right property you may very well be able to get a lodger paying off the interest of your mortgage, so that each month your own payment will be purely "saving" (paying down the capital). If you plan to live there for quite some time, forget about the value in 2 years or even 5 years. You'll notice that the amount you accrue at the end of each month really takes off. I did this for quite a while with my own house. 

 

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5 minutes ago, PeanutButter said:

For the sake of many people’s jobs, I hope you are right. But I’m a pessimist.

Well I do know that a lot of the big motor manufacturers are starting to reduce AI spending by coalescing projects with rival firms. I think they still see potential, but it is expensive work and they really can't cover all eventualities that am AI system may encounter. 

AI itself is very fragile, and certain things, like even a single bright pixel placed in an image (eg from an Led lamp) can really muck up image processing systems. 

 

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24 minutes ago, Mikhail Liebenstein said:

Indeed. I am involved with Machine Learning and AI. It works well for many back office and process automation tasks but fails miserably when used in complex and changing environments. 

I'd go as far as saying that true autonomous vehicles that could handle London driving may be 50 years away. We will see things like usable Quantum Computers and perhaps even nuclear fusion reactors well before then. 

 

Latest on Quantum computing:

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/aug/02/quantum-supremacy-computers

It may not be totally useful, but should put Bitcoin to zero in the next 10 years. 

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2 hours ago, Mikhail Liebenstein said:

Well I do know that a lot of the big motor manufacturers are starting to reduce AI spending by coalescing projects with rival firms. I think they still see potential, but it is expensive work and they really can't cover all eventualities that am AI system may encounter. 

AI itself is very fragile, and certain things, like even a single bright pixel placed in an image (eg from an Led lamp) can really muck up image processing systems. 

 

Interesting to see the ways people are coming up with defeats for facial recognition as well.

But I’m not talking about full automation here, only partial, enough to change the power dynamic in the industry.

Apols for sidelining thread. 

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On 30/07/2019 at 16:00, Orb said:

It's refreshing to read perspectives like this. I'm a gen x'er, born in '79, and have been a lorry driver all my working life. No kids, no wife, no divorces, no mortgage, no house, no pension, good health. 

I've worked my way into a driving job where I'm relatively comfortable and happy, with average of 40-ish hours per week, for what I consider to be a good salary for what I do (significantly above UK average). Yet I've always felt an angst over not 'progressing', mainly into management, training, or running my own vehicles. But when I've considered those roles, they've always looked too boring, pressured, and insecure, whereas driving a lorry is as stressful, or not, as you want it to be, and generally more secure (ten-a-penny job). And as crap as many aspects of the job are, as much as it lacks social status, and as much as transport's always a cut-throat race to the bottom, fundamentally, I'm always on the move, always with an audio-book playing, always on my own - job's a winner in that regard as it suits my character. It's as if I'm being paid to read books, thus freeing up my spare time to do things other than reading. 

BUT... the angst that my boomer parents never had is always there. My thoughts rattle my mind often: "Forty now, now other skills (apart from a degree in psychology), no house, no pension, no desire to 'progress' or change career. You should be developing" etc... But life isn't too bad at the moment, and moving up the ladder would depress me, I'm sure. But the should I/shouldn't I? question is there constantly, especially as I watch my gen x IT friends do really well with houses, kids, marriages, pensions etc. My peers are at the buying 4 and 5 bedroom detached house stage now. I'm in a rented granny annex. BUT, I'm happy. It's true that comparison is the thief of all joy. 

If I were an HGV driver (and I really envy people who can do that) I'd look for all towns where there is a decent flow of work at decent pay rates and check the best deals for property. Ideally somewhere with public transport - if anything happens and you can't drive you don't want to be imprisoned.

Then try to research cheapish areas - find out why they are cheap and look for one where they downsides (for example poor schools) don't bother you. South Leeds/ Ponte area - you might get something good for £100k. Other places are out there. Do your research then buy when you have the cash or can face a low mortgage.

 

Anyway, I'll bet that if you met with a proper sample of fellow students on your course and compared your life and income to theirs you would feel pretty positive about it. IT/ whatever skill is required can do great - but shortages don't generally last forever.

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On 30/07/2019 at 17:27, Orb said:

Just out of curiosity, and I apologise if I've temporarily hijacked the thread (though it's at least on topic), but if anybody fancies offering their thoughts, what would people here do if aged 40 with nobody and nothing to maintain, but £72k in the bank and the freedom to do as one pleases with all of it?

Invest your £72k plus future savings tax efficiently. If you have not yet (quite) turned 40 then consider a LISA.

You put in £4,000 p.a. and the government (i.e. taxpayer) puts in another £1,000 p.a. This continues until you are 50.

You can access the lot, tax free, either when you buy your first home or after you turn 60.

Whether yet 40 or not consider also a SIPP,  putting in £2,880 p.a. which is topped up to £3,600.

One day you will be old.

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20 hours ago, Mikhail Liebenstein said:

Indeed. I am involved with Machine Learning and AI. It works well for many back office and process automation tasks but fails miserably when used in complex and changing environments. 

I'd go as far as saying that true autonomous vehicles that could handle London driving may be 50 years away. We will see things like usable Quantum Computers and perhaps even nuclear fusion reactors well before then. 

 

Unless they start segregating the roads, keeping the easy main routes for AI and removing those pesky, unpredictable humans. 

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2 minutes ago, RentingForever said:

Unless they start segregating the roads, keeping the easy main routes for AI and removing those pesky, unpredictable humans. 

Ha!.....soon there will be little reason to travel anywhere anyway......most of us will stay living and working  within a 10 mile circumference......😉

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2 hours ago, winkie said:

Ha!.....soon there will be little reason to travel anywhere anyway......most of us will stay living and working  within a 10 mile circumference......😉

This like the Indian Reservation Model or the way China treats the Uighar Muslims. 

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On 02/08/2019 at 23:58, doomed said:

Buy some Bitcoin with half of the money. The other half should be used to go on a long holiday until about November 2020 when you can come back sell your bitcoin and buy a house.

This!

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On 03/08/2019 at 12:55, Mikhail Liebenstein said:

Latest on Quantum computing:

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/aug/02/quantum-supremacy-computers

It may not be totally useful, but should put Bitcoin to zero in the next 10 years. 

Yawn, we’ve been over this millions of times, by the time quantum computing is a threat to SHA256 , Bitcoin will hard fork to a quantum resistant POW algorithm, one that can be cracked by quantum computers as SHA256 can be cracked with today’s most powerful computers, but it will take quantum most powerful computers 1000+ years to crack running 24/7/365 as it does now, rendering trying pointless in a 70 year human lifespan. 

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19 hours ago, Dorkins said:

I have no idea whether this is true or not but I like the way you said it.

It’s hogwash. Bitcoin can hardfork to defeat quantum computers. 

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22 minutes ago, markyh said:

It’s hogwash. Bitcoin can hardfork to defeat quantum computers. 

Only if it's fast enough. Somebody else could set up a quantum-proof crypto first and occupy the niche before BTC hardforks.

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23 minutes ago, Dorkins said:

Only if it's fast enough. Somebody else could set up a quantum-proof crypto first and occupy the niche before BTC hardforks.

Indeed, why would BTC holders carry any grandparent rights if a new Quantum proof crypto was developed. 

 

 

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58 minutes ago, markyh said:

Yawn, we’ve been over this millions of times, by the time quantum computing is a threat to SHA256 , Bitcoin will hard fork to a quantum resistant POW algorithm, one that can be cracked by quantum computers as SHA256 can be cracked with today’s most powerful computers, but it will take quantum most powerful computers 1000+ years to crack running 24/7/365 as it does now, rendering trying pointless in a 70 year human lifespan. 

+1 with bitcoin having by far the biggest developers and teams behind it. the whole nature of crypto is that it has to have a main value store, if bitcoin ever was over taken the whole space would die. why would anyone buy into a new crypto with their hard earned fiat knowing its possible for the value store to be lost and overtaken. 

Just buy bitcoin for God’s sake, before you get left behind and your fiat (or shitecoins) buys less and less. 

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2 hours ago, jiltedjen said:

+1 with bitcoin having by far the biggest developers and teams behind it. the whole nature of crypto is that it has to have a main value store, if bitcoin ever was over taken the whole space would die. why would anyone buy into a new crypto with their hard earned fiat knowing its possible for the value store to be lost and overtaken. 

Just buy bitcoin for God’s sake, before you get left behind and your fiat (or shitecoins) buys less and less. 

Bitcoin will die eventually, I'd say in4 years. Definitely not a good investment for GenXers looking to retire (to acknowledge the thread)!

 

 

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On 8/3/2019 at 12:55 PM, Mikhail Liebenstein said:

Latest on Quantum computing:

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/aug/02/quantum-supremacy-computers

It may not be totally useful, but should put Bitcoin to zero in the next 10 years. 

Quantum computing would put every single system to zero. Difference with Bitcoin is that it can hard fork to a resistant POW algo.

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Buy bitcoin yes, but also buy some gold/silver. I view Bitcoin and gold as being in different categories. However, the future may well involve a crypto-gold based system, or at least a system where crypto is involved with gold being behind the scenes as a stabiliser or ultimate form of wealth.

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1 hour ago, Errol said:

Buy bitcoin yes, but also buy some gold/silver. I view Bitcoin and gold as being in different categories. However, the future may well involve a crypto-gold based system, or at least a system where crypto is involved with gold being behind the scenes as a stabiliser or ultimate form of wealth.

Bitcoin and gold for me, (and some long dated gilts, some shares, some cash)

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1 hour ago, Errol said:

Buy bitcoin yes, but also buy some gold/silver. I view Bitcoin and gold as being in different categories. However, the future may well involve a crypto-gold based system, or at least a system where crypto is involved with gold being behind the scenes as a stabiliser or ultimate form of wealth.

I'm a Gold Money customer. 

A Crypto based Gold Trading system would make far more sense than BTC. 

Something with the speed of XRP, but gold backed would work. 

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On 30/07/2019 at 13:41, excon said:

Can't say this fits with the experience in my industry (software development).  There were a lot of entrants to the industry around about the millennium then very few after the crash.  Most folks I've met have been around about my age with one or two younger trickling in.

Outsourcing and offshoring have had there effect no doubt and only now I think it is starting again to look like an attractive career to graduates.

 

 

Definitely agree with this, got into I.T. in 1999 on a graduate trainee scheme for people not from a computer science background.

 

I have hung in there for 20 years, unfortunately people a few years younger than me were screwed due to all those entry level positions, which are a crucial first step being offshored.

 

It is definitely true that in many I.T. roles there aren't actually that many young people.

 

RE: being generation X, I think it depends exactly when in generation X you were born.  For example, if I was born 5 or 6 years earlier, I probably would have took the plunge and bought a relatively cheap house, and maybe got a few years of really juicy I.T. contract rates. The later I was born in the generation X time frame the more screwed I would be.

 

Overall though generation X probably isn't too bad a generation (I was one of the last year's to get free university tuition and a grant).

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13 hours ago, reddog said:

Definitely agree with this, got into I.T. in 1999 on a graduate trainee scheme for people not from a computer science background.

RE: being generation X, I think it depends exactly when in generation X you were born.  For example, if I was born 5 or 6 years earlier, I probably would have took the plunge and bought a relatively cheap house, and maybe got a few years of really juicy I.T. contract rates. The later I was born in the generation X time frame the more screwed I would be.

Overall though generation X probably isn't too bad a generation (I was one of the last year's to get free university tuition and a grant).

I totally agree with this. 

I believe sometime around the time mid to late GenXers started work was when it starting turning sour. 

I'm right bang in the middle of GenX. I started work in late 1996, within 3 years I was earning over £50k which put me in a good place and I bought a £135k house in 2000. 

What I did notice at that time was that whilst I was still able to buy, and that people I knew a few years older than me bought comfortably even if not in such good jobs, it was those on more average wages who were starting to struggle. Then about 2002-4 everything went mental and prices started rising faster than wages, so even those in OK jobs could not afford to buy as the value of the property rose faster than they could save and even borrow despite rising multiples.

That first house I bought last sold for £350k, so whilst my £50k was good at the time, a new buyer would probably need to be on at least £85k to buy in traditionally safe limits. 

How many FTBers are on that sort of money? 

If I now reflect on the present, I do know some people who even if they bought in the late 1990s are still struggling... largely this is down to lower wages and equity withdrawal, which seem to go hand in hand. 

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3 hours ago, Mikhail Liebenstein said:

I totally agree with this. 

I believe sometime around the time mid to late GenXers started work was when it starting turning sour. 

I'm right bang in the middle of GenX. I started work in late 1996, within 3 years I was earning over £50k which put me in a good place and I bought a £135k house in 2000. 

What I did notice at that time was that whilst I was still able to buy, and that people I knew a few years older than me bought comfortably even if not in such good jobs, it was those on more average wages who were starting to struggle. Then about 2002-4 everything went mental and prices started rising faster than wages, so even those in OK jobs could not afford to buy as the value of the property rose faster than they could save and even borrow despite rising multiples.

That first house I bought last sold for £350k, so whilst my £50k was good at the time, a new buyer would probably need to be on at least £85k to buy in traditionally safe limits. 

How many FTBers are on that sort of money? 

If I now reflect on the present, I do know some people who even if they bought in the late 1990s are still struggling... largely this is down to lower wages and equity withdrawal, which seem to go hand in hand. 

Agreed, 2003 seems to be the cut-off point. Bought before then, and managed to hold on to it, then you're probably pretty comfortable. Bought or tried to buy after then, you're probably struggling a bit.

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1 hour ago, RentingForever said:

Agreed, 2003 seems to be the cut-off point. Bought before then, and managed to hold on to it, then you're probably pretty comfortable. Bought or tried to buy after then, you're probably struggling a bit.

Gen-X here. Received terrible advice from a few people in the years after I finished uni. I was making decent money and had enough to buy a house but several people told me not to because it was such a commitment and there was no harm in waiting since prices should be stable with incomes.

FFS.

Then once prices were shooting up around 2003/04 I was panicking and didn't want to buy into an over-hyped market. Should have crashed in 2008/09 but we know what happened (interest rates, QE, other props). I finally realised the game was rigged after 2009 and bought in the next few years. So I'm an older gen-x who will forever be playing catch-up to those who bought before 2003. The transfer of my future earnings to the existing asset holders has taken place. 

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