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Superboomers - never had it so good!

(56 Posts)
papaoscar Mon 04-Aug-14 09:02:47

The Mail says that most over-50's are wealthy, trouble-free and generally enjoying life far more than previous generations did and future generations will be able to. What do we think?

Terrafirma1 Mon 04-Aug-14 09:16:27

Who, what, where? Granted there are some people whose house purchases were before before prices turned eye watering, whose children have not needed funding through university, who retired with an inflation proof final salary pension and whose health permits trekking in the Himalayas! I even know people like thst. I slso see many msny more "over 50's60's 70's " waiting at the Health Centre , struggling with sticks and walking frames, shopping in charity shops or queuing for the bus. I hate these generalisations especially when uttered by younger people who think nothing of 2 or 3 foreign holidays a year or £50 for a football match ticket/night at a pub.

ninathenana Mon 04-Aug-14 09:20:49

A very sweeping statement in my opinion.
There will always be the wealthy, the comfortably off, those getting by and unfortunately those struggling in any generation.
I consider DH and I to be very fortunate to be comfortable financially. However, as we know things can change quiet swiftly.

sunseeker Mon 04-Aug-14 09:25:22

I also dislike these generalisations. Those who have "made good" have worked hard for what they have, very few inherited money. There are also a great many who live from one day to the next, having to work when they should be enjoying retirement just to keep body and soul together.

I heard a young man on local radio once say that those of us over 60 should sell our houses and use the money to finance students rather than their having to take out student loans!!

Most of us were raised with a strong work ethic and only claimed benefits when it was absolutely necessary, yet we are being demonised because we tried to make provision for our old age.

Yes house prices were much lower when we bought our homes, but salaries were also low, interest rates were around 15% so mortgage repayments took a large chunk of our salaries.

dorsetpennt Mon 04-Aug-14 09:25:35

It was the Daily Mail that said this after all. Never believe a thing that awful rag prints.

whenim64 Mon 04-Aug-14 09:36:20

I heard yesterday that my 67 year old ex, who owns a few properties and inherited well, feels he needs a part-time job to supplement his income from properties, two private pensions and state pension, and villa in Spain. He's worried about the inheritance tax bill! Poor man sounds like he's on his uppers!

It's very subjective, this idea of being poor or comfortably off. I take Mr Micawber's view - as long as I have sixpence spare, I'm ok.

Aka Mon 04-Aug-14 09:47:13

Even with a 'grant' (remember those?) our children needed funding through university, just at the same time mortgage rates went though the roof thanks to Thatcher. I never remember having money to spare. Certainly never had two cars, mutliple TVs, eating out, expensive holiday and the lifestyle that some of today's youngsters seem to take as their right.

Yes, I'm now on a final salary pension from teaching, but I worked damned hard for that, only taking a couple of years out when the children were babies.

Now, like any grandparents, we are still supporting our 'children' by providing a free childminding service so they can go out to work and contributing towards the cost of shoes, activities, holidays, etc.

I don't know why I let the likes of the DM get to me, but it's surprising how many people believe the crap rubbish it prints.

rosequartz Mon 04-Aug-14 09:53:02

Here we go again! Poorly researched sloppy journalism by the sound of it.

Generalisations are always going to cause controversy. There are wealthy, poor and all those in between in every generation and some of the activities I hear about which are undertaken by some of the younger generations seem like sheer indulgence to me. However they see them as a normal part of life.

Perhaps the bus queues you see, Terra, are more due to our bus passes than due to the fact that we can't afford a car.

Asking us 'not to believe a word that rag prints' about the DM is also another generalisation! They have run some very worthwhile campaigns, one at the moment against rogue parking firms I believe, and how they are targetting the vulnerable. Anyway I have asked DH to buy a copy today, but he will probably forget grin

henetha Mon 04-Aug-14 09:57:44

It's a load of old balderdash, isn't it. Generalisations are always unwise , and in this instance, complete rubbish. I know comfortably off over 50's and some who are really struggling, and some in-between. Just like every other age group in life.

Ana Mon 04-Aug-14 10:11:09

It's an article about the findings of a report funded by tech firm Huawei.
There's a similar article in the Times. Of course it's a generalisation, but not necessarily 'sloppy journalism'.

MiniMouse Mon 04-Aug-14 10:14:10

Yes Aka the fact that there are people who will read the article and believe it is the worrying part!

I think many of our generation were prepared to do without in order to attain what we now have. Keeping the roof over our heads was the main priority.

Our first foreign holiday was one week camping in France - after almost twenty years of marriage and two children! Before that, it was camping in the UK - always a very damp experience (I could write a book about those wink).

Secondhand furniture and charity shop bargains were the order of the day. Our car was ancient and only kept going by weekly visits to the scrapyard for parts cannibalised from other wrecks!

Very few 'convenience' foods as they were too expensive and I could count on one hand the number of times we ate out/went to the cinema etc. in twenty five years of marriage.

TBH I never minded that, it's just the way it was. It was the same for most of the people we knew as well.

When our daughter went to uni we gave her a tiny allowance, which she topped up with various part-time jobs. If nothing else, both of our children have learned the value of money and how hard it can be to earn it!!

We both worked, just about kept our heads above water with the 15% mortgage rate, which kicked in a few months after we bought our house. That was a shock, but we considered ourselves lucky that we could do overtime to pay it - we knew people who lost their homes, so we really were lucky.

Apologies for rambling on - got a bit carried away there! Too much caffeine has quite a profound effect on me . . .

Well done DM for getting me all hot and bothered grin

Terrafirma1 Mon 04-Aug-14 10:18:34

Just remembered- knew there was a reason I despise the DM.And I defy anyone who lives in the country where buses are few and far between to be sure that bus queues are about bus passes rather than not being able to run a car either on account of living on a state pension or age-related health issues rosequartz.

rosequartz Mon 04-Aug-14 10:30:33

Just had a quick glance at the article and actually it sounds quite positive.

Just one problem, though, it mentions 82 year olds and sporting achievements and 50 year olds living the good life - since when is an 82 year old or a 50 year old a baby boomer?

Baby boomers are those born post WW2 in the baby boom from late 1945 until about 1950 surely, so aged approximately 63-68?

Now as far as I am concerned the assumption that anyone over 50 is a baby boomer is a sloppy generalisation.

whenim64 Mon 04-Aug-14 10:32:02

Well, if we had it better, I can't imagine what the babies being born now will be saying. So many contradictions. In the 70s and 80s we had a fortnight's holiday and a few days out or family visits during the summer holidays. My grandsons are setting off on their second holiday in 3 weeks, to Scotland with dad and partner, whilst daughter is going to the Canaries with her partner, then they'll all come home to pack again for Windsor Legoland for three days. Other grandchildren are having a fortnight in Ireland, having just shared 10 days in Wales with their cousins. Twin grandsons turned up in new football kits and trainers, which cost as much as my outfit for son's forthcoming wedding! I think they just have different priorities, spend a lot then recoup money by selling on Ebay. I guess we'd have done that, too, if it had existed back then. They're good at haggling for bargains and finding good discounts, as well. I've learned quite a lot from them.

Mishap Mon 04-Aug-14 10:40:12

I have no idea what the statistics are. How do they decide that "most" over-50s are comfortably off?

We have, I feel, been very lucky. Even though my OH had to retire for health reasons at 42 (and stopped paying in to NHS pension at the point) he does have a small pension. My pension from work is minute as I had to opt out of paying in to keep us afloat. And we both have the state retirement pension. We are very lucky that we have not had a mortgage for many years, as we down-sized 20 odd years ago when OH left work and paid it off.

So - we tick along fine. We are not rich by anyone's standards but we have plenty for our needs and live comfortably, in spite of the fact that our income is well below the national average.

But we do not have huge demands - here is another generalisation coming up! - I think younger people expect more in the way of holidays and goods than we do. We are content with what we have and rate love and companionship of family and friends above all else.

However I do feel sorry for the next generation who will have to work for many years more than us to qualify for their pensions.

rosequartz Mon 04-Aug-14 10:44:12

Perhaps if everyone who runs a car did not use their the bus pass the queues would not be so long?

But why should they use the car if it costs to park, costs to pay a toll and they can get to the nearest shopping centre miles away free on the bus with their pass.

Elegran Mon 04-Aug-14 10:58:52

It always seems to younger people that the older generation have it made - they have reached a higher point in their career, they have their house, their furniture, their children are off their hands, they can please themselves. They compare this with their own struggles.

If they had done this survey in the fifties, sixties or seventies, I am sure that asking those under fifty would have elicited the same impressions as this one has - except that a lot of their parents had been through the setbacks of war years. Asking it of their parents would also get a contrast to war years - they would have felt better-off than in the past.

Who did this survey ask for an opinion? Those they call "baby-boomers" or younger generations? The older ones would see their lives through the rose-tinted spectacles of time, the younger ones through comparing the more comfortable financial state of those who had won past earlier struggles with their own position still in the midst of them.

papaoscar Mon 04-Aug-14 11:14:44

Anything produced by the Mail I usually flush straight down the nearest grating but this subject is an interesting one. My point of reference is the year of my birth, 1943. Looking back to those times from the vantage point of 70 years later what do I find in terms of ordinary people and their prospects?

Well, I have read about the awful wartime suffering of previous generations and the truly terrible social conditions in which they often lived, relieved only in my lifetime by those enlightened minds who reorganised he country after WW2 and started the NHS, made proper pension arrangements and established many other social improvements. I benefitted from these and enjoyed continuous employment as did most other ordinary people.

I thought, foolishly as it turns out, that such improvements would continue for the benefit of future generations, including my own grandchildren-to-come. That has changed and the fabric of an ordered and fair society that took so long to achieve has started to unravel at a time when the country is still very, very wealthy. What has been responsible for the dismantling of so much of our good and decent way of life? Simple - its the greed and selfishness exercised by our ruling classes who still want to keep so much of the national treasure for themselves. Shame on them!

So 'baby boomers' - you have nothing to be ashamed about - the world you created was, in the main, a far better and humane one!

whenim64 Mon 04-Aug-14 11:35:47

Well said papaoscar

Granny23 Mon 04-Aug-14 11:39:44

Papaoscar Great Post smile I agree with you 100% but would add the fight for equality rights (tho' still on-going) to the achievements of baby boomers.

Terrafirma1 Mon 04-Aug-14 11:41:08

What is it with you and bus passes rosequartz? Do you have a problem with elderly people living on a state pension paying £ 2 each way to get to their doctor? To get to the shops? I know quite a few people who can no longer drive , or may be widows/ women on their own who have never driven. And if a person who does drive chooses to help help reduce the traffic on our roads or the pressure on parking by using the bus ( when there is one) what is so bad about that? What exactly is your point?

Elegran Mon 04-Aug-14 11:46:34

Perhaps if everyone who qualified for a bus pass did get one and used it on every possible occasion the pressure would be on local authorities to make sure that there were enough bus seats to eliminate queues. That would also cut down the number of cars on the roads and the amount of pollution in the atmosphere.

rosequartz Mon 04-Aug-14 12:11:44

I think you are being unnecessarily antagonistic, terrafirma1.

The only point I was trying to make is that bus queues are probably long because so may people use the buses now with their free bus pass. Some may have cars, some may not. Some may need to use public transport because they have no alternative means of transport, some may only use it because of the free pass but that is their right too. No issue with bus passes at all, brilliant idea, though it does seem odd that the very wealthy senior citizens get them too (eg Lord Sugar). However all are entitled to use it. And yes, they should put on more buses - the buses do not run here at peak times when people need to get to the nearest city to work because (apparently) the traffic is too bad! Chicken and egg.

I am not making an issue out of buses, Terrafirma but you appear to be making out that I do!

sunseeker Mon 04-Aug-14 13:37:07

Sorry rosequartz do you really believe that Lord Sugar uses the bus shock. I have a car and have to drive because there is no bus service through my village, however, if I am going to the city centre I use the park and ride and use my bus pass (this has more to do with the anti-car stance taken by the city's mayor than my getting a free ride.)

Mishap Mon 04-Aug-14 14:00:27

I would be happy to see a bus, let alone a bus queue!

It's the car or nothing round here!