Saturday, November 17, 2007

Sounds familiar to today…

Yuppie dreams lie in tatters

"We remember Yuppies for their power suits, lavish lunches and a live for today spirit, and many may well have thought the champagne lifestyle would never go flat. But at least the original Yuppie generation tended to have their parents to fall back on when financial difficulty struck. The next generation of young professionals no longer have the same level of family safety net, as their parents are likely to be equally financially stretched - but the older generation can at least play a vital role in encouraging their children to save more for the future."

Posted by converted lurker @ 02:25 PM (980 views)
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5 thoughts on “Sounds familiar to today…

  • My heart bleeds. Will give em 5K for the shiny new Boxster / Kompressor LOL.

    A good book is Tom Hodgkinson’s “How to be free”. It may seem relevant to those that see the light.

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  • It needs to be said that only a couple of generations ago, the middle class baby boomers didn’t really have to worry, or even think that much about money until well into their thirties.

    A friend of mine mentioned that at the time, his now wife was considering whether to buy a car or a house, both costing in the region of around £2k. The age at which this taxing dilemma was posed to them? The tender age of 21 years. Going to University on a full grant, and staying on to get a higher degree then retiring at 55 from public sector work, if he lives another 15 years he will have spent more time not working than working, and is now retired on a very reasonable (but not overly generous) final salary pension.

    He was never made redundant in his life, and often, the pension scheme was doing so well that they had what were called “pension holidays” where they didn’t need to contribute to their pension in some months. Their house is now worth in the region of £700k.

    I only post this because looking back only a few years, it is amazing how easy previous generations have had it compared to today.

    If you ever hear baby boomers telling you you’ve had an easy time of it, it is your duty to mug them.

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  • japanese uncle says:

    Changing (downsizing) lifestyle is the only choice. No more Club Meds, Harrods and PS3, but Butlins, BHS and conkers. (Incidentally the only card I have other than a direct debit card is the BHS Gold Card, which does not involve any interest if paid in lumpsum, but offer 20% discount. The only downside is I am vexed with the idea that my spending a few pounds at BHS will make that cigar-stinking rich even richer.) People will eventually realize that physical luxury is ephemeral, and that there is not too much difference between these two categories.

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  • Paul – from the details given, I’m guessing your friend is now about 65 years old. There is no doubt that many of that generation joined generous final salary schemes (had he not dallied at university, he would no doubt have achieved enough years for a ‘generous’ final salary pension), but I know many of that age who missed out on the company pension scheme and find themselves still working past retirement age to make ends meet.

    But more to the point, your friend was not a Yuppie. As the article says, Yuppies are now 45-55 years old – and many more of them are in trouble. (I say ‘them’ but I’m in the middle of that age range, and a professional, though I didn’t live in the city – I believe I did get called a Yuppie once or twice, but I never owned a Filofax and my first mobile phone was in 1994, so I don’t really think I was one.) Some did get into good final salary schemes, but many will have been made redundant as companies have streamlined, outsourced and generally cut back on older, more costly employees.

    I’m an accountant, specialising in small businesses – mainly self-employed individuals – and many, perhaps most, of our clients are self-employed through necessity, not through choice – they have been kicked out at a time of life when it is almost impossible to get back in at a similar level and they have to do whatever they can. The lucky / smarter ones set up as consultants, but even that can wain quickly as technology moves on and companies want youngsters not ‘old fogeys’. Many end up driving taxis or courier vans as a way of making ends meet. As for pensions – forget it – most of my clients in that age range have totally inadequate pension funds – tens of thousands if they are lucky – few have the hundreds of thousands needed for a reasonably comfortable retirement. And, of course, it tends to be those with the least in pension funds who have gone down the BTL route and now face even more misery in old age.

    Maybe it’s the fact that I was so close to being a ‘Yuppie’ that makes me suddenly feel some sympathy for these people. They thought that they would enjoy the same security that your friend enjoyed, but they overlooked the fact that the trend that they set, ie to employ young upwardly-mobile people (that was always my understanding of the acronym) was bound to back-fire on them as they got older and found themselves replaced by the next intake of youngsters.

    So did they have it better than today’s youngsters? Maybe, but at least today’s youngsters are young enough to sort their finances out between now and retirement.

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  • I bought a Phillips headphone at a local Comet store this evening. When I brought the goods to the casher. She was all simles greeting me with ‘Yes ‘Sir’,. but once she realized the headphone was the cheapest @9.99 pounds (I intended to buy one priced around 30 pounds, which however was not available there), not the luxirious 60-70 range, her face suddenly turned sulky, and she stopped calling me Sir. A metamorphosis from a Christian nation to a Mammonist in no more than a decade. Another credit to ToniBoy. Remarkable!

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