Gransnet forums

Are pensioners perceived differently now?

(186 Posts)
Namsnanny Thu 03-Jan-19 15:43:53

I was just reading the thread about looking after gc and the fact that a lot of people seemed to be not only bearing the physical cost of the gc but increasingly the financial cost too.
Do you find this is a new phenomenon or is it something that always went ondo you think?
From my perspective I never thought of my parents let alone my gp’s as a cash cow and only ever received money towards my wedding (which I was very grateful for but budgeted the day on mine and h’s financial abilities).
When the children were born we only had them when we could afford to and considered our health (I was ill after all three) and capability (h has a long term disability) before we went ahead.
Whilst we were only too happy for the gp’s to babysit we were well aware one set worked full time and the others were quite old. So we wouldn’t have dreamed of imposing.
As for them paying out for day to day things-No that was down to us!
Does anyone think the relationship between the generations has deteriorated in recent times? How do and why do you think?
Could it be linked to a better financial standard for pensioners today? My mum always gave me a bag of coal or a cake to take to my gran, so I grew up with an awareness of her situation. Nowadays it’s the reverse. I’m more likely to hand cash to my kids and gc saying ‘you can always make use of it”

The press seems to revel in anti pensioner stories...(stagnating housing market, drain on nhs, too politically powerful as a group, now over feeding gc to cause obesity!!)
All of this negativity feeds into our relationships I think.
I’ve even heard one of my nearest and dearest commenting that a pensioner looks incongruous driving a new car! As if somehow they don’t deserve it.
Sorry to waffle on, but Have you felt the.effects of the generational divide?

Nonnie Thu 03-Jan-19 15:56:38

We never had any help from parents, not even a wedding gift let alone help to pay for it. We didn't live near family so had no help with the children.

I am willing to look after my gc but don't live near enough so can't. The other grandma does live near and is a great help to them but I don't think she pays for anything. When they come hear I supply everything, including nappies, as that means they don't have to carry so much.

I'm not sure how I would feel about paying for every day things if they were near. I would prefer them to stand on their own feet. For Christmas and birthdays I buy them things they wouldn't buy for themselves as special treats.

I don't like it when our generation is lambasted. Life is different, some things were much harder for us but we were content with less. It is unfair on both generations to make comparisons.

Namsnanny Thu 03-Jan-19 17:00:29

Nonnie I agree things are different now. I just feel the ‘atmosphere ‘ in general is less kindly towards pensioners than it used to be.....would you agree?

Washerwoman Thu 03-Jan-19 17:14:58

I'm not a pensioner yet -due to the change in start date it will be a few more years.But we are grandparents.I still work partime,and DH runs his own business but on a much smaller scale than previously due to health issues.We provide wraparound care for DGD at least 2 days a week -she goes to nursery but DD and partner set off very early and are late home.It's not easy for them as they have demanding jobs, and commuting adding to expense and hours away from little one.However they earn considerably more than DH and I ,but to us also waste money -SIL in particular-which quietly frustrates us. SIL has a very flashy car,that's expensive to run.And not the most practical. And he sometimes spends on designer labels and gadgets, and we know it causes some tension between them.Especially as DD has cut her hours to make it better for them as a family.
For years we have been very generous with all our adult DCs ,helping out when they went to university,and bought their own homes.And DH still tends to wants to pay if we all go out for a meal.But I am less inclined now,especially our DD with the useless with money partner.And I've said it's time to stop being so generous..So when we agreed to some childcare I asked if they could provide nappies,a car seat and a travel cot and they did.We wouldn't be doing them ,or us any favours bearing the financisl burden of their decision to have a family.I support DD instead by inviting them for meals,walking her dog when she has a long day.
Our other DCs are actually more generous -taking us out for meals or offering to pay.Which we really appreciate.

paddyann Thu 03-Jan-19 17:40:36

Washerwoman do you think its any of your business what your SIL spends HIS hard earned cash on? If my parents had told us what to spend money on I'd have been livid.He works for it so its up to him how he spends it.If your daughter has a problem with that its up to her to say or to point out that there are cheaper alternatives.

Telly Thu 03-Jan-19 17:54:32

Never had any financial help from parents although I think a few of our friends may have had some. Certainly there was no childcare apart from the odd evening out. Although thinking of it my mother used to give us boxes of food. My then husband was quite offended and used to call them food parcels, but I was always very grateful. I do think that some children wait until they are in their 30s before they feel at all grown up, and act accordingly.

sodapop Thu 03-Jan-19 18:19:06

I think there is some resentment Namsnanny because some older people were able to retire at 60 and were fortunate enough to own their own houses. Of course we worked hard for this and went without a lot of luxury items to pay for it.
However hard our children work now and they do, they will not achieve this. My daughter is a nurse and will be lucky to retire at 68, she is buying her own house but can only do this because she opted not to have children. I agree younger people have more of a sense of entitlement than we had.

Washerwoman Thu 03-Jan-19 18:30:01

Paddyann.What a harsh response !Reread my post and you will see I said DH and I are 'quietly frustrated' ie its between US two.Where did I ever say we had said anything to either of them about their finances?.I've expressed on another forum how frustrating the last year or so has been because we know they have had big rows,and money and how he spends it is part of it. DD has told us and been generally grumpy and stressed times.We wish we hadn't been told things ,umprompted.
So we offer practical support,but when I request some nappies and baby equipment as we have DD a lot overnight it doesn't come with a criticism.Just a fact we are having to be a lot more careful now approaching a delayed retirement and with my DHs severe degenerative arthritis.

Washerwoman Thu 03-Jan-19 18:31:20

Perhaps I didn't explain very well.So I will retire from this discussion.

52bright Thu 03-Jan-19 22:00:05

I do think each generation is very different. We were different from our parents and our adult children are different to us. I think one of the issues is the availability of easy credit, When we were starting out, apart from the mortgage, at most we had one item on credit at a time. Thus the fridge had to wait until the washer was paid for ...and always on interest free credit. We were very grateful for second hand furniture and had several second hand before we ever managed a new one.

It always amazes me that no-one wants second hand furniture, even in excellent condition as a starting point. Many in this generation seem different in wanting, and managing to get, everything new right from the start.

Of course, if this is due to credit it places a massive burden on finances.

My daughter is the sole provider for her family...a full time teacher while her husband is a sahd ...something else which would be very unusual back in the day.

Like the op I sometimes feel frustrated about what seems to be a heavy and somewhat one sided financial responsibility for my daughter but try to keep quiet knowing that back in the day many of our husbands carried this responsibility single handed, though I always worked as well as my husband.

We do give what financial help we can. Have paid for the whole family to go abroad with us several times, have helped with a car and buy most of the children's clothes. None of this is entirely unselfish on our part and what we do gives us pleasure and I know is very much appreciated by our daughter.

I do think things are harder now, maybe especially for working mothers. It often seems to me that the dream of work/life/family ...the idea of having it all has turned out to be doing it all for many young women.

52bright Thu 03-Jan-19 22:12:41

Just to add ...in answer to the op's original question ...yes I do think pensioners are perceived differently these days. Far more of us seem to help with childcare/financially or both than was ever the case when I was young. Although we were broke we always paid for my pil if went out to eat and would never have dreamed of having either regular childcare or financial help.

Day6 Thu 03-Jan-19 22:45:31

Does anyone think the relationship between the generations has deteriorated in recent times? How do and why do you think?

It's an interesting theory I think.

We tended to revere older people. Their longevity, wisdom, maybe, life experiences and perhaps frailty gave them a sort of senior status that was respected.

I was brought up to respect my elders - whether they deserved respect or not/ Those manners have long since gone I think.

I was appalled and sickened by the new wave of young people who described older people - people who may have taught them, fought in wars for their freedoms, worked to pay their taxes to keep British institutions functioning and who generally had a code of decent conduct and respect for others - described as "coffin dodgers" by young people who had no time for them at all.

In an online newspaper comments column I received the most dreadful abuse from young people once they realised I as in my 60s. They had no knowledge of my background, education level, degrees or career or the hardships I'd faced in my life, but I was written off as a nonentity who would soon be dead ("thank goodness - bring it on" was one comment) by young keyboard warriors who disagreed with me and hurled the most foul insults once they realised I was in my 60s.

I was shoc]ked and hurt. I count in this world until I am dead, and I hope I have left a legacy that will live on after me in the hearts and minds of those I affected and maybe helped in my time on earth.

To young people I was just 'past it' and that is extremely insulting given I probably have an intellect which far out does theirs and a history, resolve and fighting spirit which they might only dream of when they reach their 60s.

Does that sort of ignorance come under the 'lack of respect' banner? I firmly believe we earn respect but that seems to be a foreign notion to so many young people.

trisher Thu 03-Jan-19 22:46:09

Well my family must be different. I remember staying with my gran when I was little because mum was working. She took us to see "Singing in the Rain" one day during the school holidays. And they were always giving us pocket money. In fact my gran also saved change in a pottery pig for my children. I lived away but mum and dad visited and we went to stay with them. They took my DSs out for days and we went on holiday with them. They also took them shopping and bought them shoes and clothes. I look after my GCs a couple of days a week although it's picking up from school now. They also visited my mum when she was still alive and she also gave them pocket money. I don't think there is that much difference between how I grew up, except perhaps that I am more active than my grandparents were.
As for how pensioners are perceived how can you possibly have one idea about us? My mum was 95 and a pensioner like me but she was much more frail. There are pensioners who are just 60 and more active and some are still working. This idea that because you've collected your pension you are somehow the same as everyone who has a pension is just silly. We are not just one generation but many.

Anja Thu 03-Jan-19 22:50:48

My MiL did childmind full time for our first child. She had just lost her own mother and almost begged us to let her. I paid her but it was a token payment as she didn’t want any money. My own mother wouldn’t lift a finger to help. She was of the opinion that she’d done her share of child rearing.

Fair enough. But it was MiL and FiL who came on holiday with us, were invited to Christmas dinners and school plays, etc. and who our children turned to when they fell out with us (think teenagers). And it was MiL who came to live with us when she was widowed and could no longer cope by herself.

Divawithattitude Thu 03-Jan-19 22:54:05

I think that about the Keyboard Warriors on Twitter that I see daily, its easy to hide behind a screen and an alias isn't it.

Have you read articles by famous women such as Diane Abbot and other MPs about the abusive tweets and comments they get every single day.

I think the press have stirred this up too, talking about Brexit and the older generation being responsible for the leave vote and not caring about the future, older people hanging on to jobs that younger people should have, how we had it easy, our pensions are all amazing and we all have money coming out of our ears etc etc. They really have no idea how some older folk struggle financially.

Day6 Thu 03-Jan-19 22:54:55

It often seems to me that the dream of work/life/family ...the idea of having it all has turned out to be doing it all for many young women.

However, you must remeber tht the tide turned in the 60s and 70s and many grandparents, females, worked and had careers. I worked while my children were growing up, as a divorced woman, single parent. I paid all the bills and kept a roof over our heads.

This generation of mothers may be working but there are many women in their 50s, 60s and 70s who did exactly the same without the parental perks and laws that now exist. I had no help whatsoever from my parents - because they couldn't afford to help. In their old age, I was there for them.

We should not make excuses for working parents. It is hard while the children are young, but it does get easier. Many grandparents who had no help or handouts can vouch for that.

I look after my grandchildren far more than my parents looked after mine. We had to cope.

It was hard but we just got on with it. Now many working parents seem to want martyr status for for doing what generations before them have done.

Jomarie Thu 03-Jan-19 23:04:02

Well said Trisher - couldn't agree more !!

Floradora9 Fri 04-Jan-19 09:40:04

My grandmother had 7 children and was left to bring them up alone so had no time at all for me . I only had one grandparents so lost out completely. On the other hand my children adored their one grandparent and she was blessed to have them as she was a widow . My mother was always willing to pay for things for DH and myself in the early days of marriage and I have followed her example. I am still happy to pay for anything like treats .
As an aside when I think of my grandmother all she did was sit: at 70 she looked like Queen Victoria. She lived with her two daughters who did all the work and she just grumbled. This Christmas ( me 4 years older ) I ran around and fed 8 of us for a week plus played countless games with the GC . Changed days indeed .

harrigran Fri 04-Jan-19 09:41:13

Namsnanny, I agree with what you say. We are financing the next generation but I am not sure they respect us.
I have been told that we f****d up the world, caused brexit and we would be dead soon and not have to suffer the consequences. Social media is an evil place at times. To some age equals ignorance.

Jaycee5 Fri 04-Jan-19 09:55:37

harrigan The ageism on social media is appalling and I have never seen anything like it before.
The Guardian is one of the worst places for it. Any other ism is removed from their BTL comments but ageism seems to be almost encouraged.
People are seriously saying that we shouldn't be allowed to vote.

oldgimmer1 Fri 04-Jan-19 09:59:19

I also had a Grandmother who "sat" for pretty much her entire life after 70.

One of the differences I have observed in terms of how grandparents are perceived is that gps these days are expected to be supportive and available to their DCs.

I think I loved my GPs but in no way did I expect them to be other than distant emotionally.

There was also a sense that people weren't expected to be perfect but that they expected their children to be dutiful and respectful towards them nonetheless.

My GDad was an abusive bully and a wife beater, for example. It was acknowledged within the family but he was treated with kindness and respect even so.

I was brought up in the same vein - to be dutiful and selfless towards my family elders regardless.

PECS Fri 04-Jan-19 10:05:02

I think as long as you have good health you are ok. I have recently developed a problem that means I cannot walk or stand for more than a few minutes without pain. This has changed all sorts of things. I am almost 68 & still work p/t, look after dgc twice a week after school and have a busy social life. However not being as mobile has created huge changes to how pther people view me..including DH! He is treating me as if I am almost senile! grrr!,

Razzy Fri 04-Jan-19 10:16:31

I think as basic living standards have improved and social media tries to sell a perfect life, younger people are trying to have it all. By using grandparents money and time, they can be richer and closer to the perceived perfect life. I think as use of social media matures people are starting to realise that life is not perfect! For example today I read abot recycling water bottles. Someone came on to say tap water is basically filthy. And I thought, how much do they spend buying water? How much damage to the environment making and discarding bottles? How much taxes on recycling or removing the waste bottles? And yet they have a go at older people having money!

Parklife1 Fri 04-Jan-19 10:31:47

If you ever look at Mumsnet, It is easy to see how older people are perceived, in my opinion. And it isn’t a positive perception.

Pensioners have it easy, bought houses when they were cheap, have good pensions, and so on. Yes, houses were cheaper obviously, but it’s relative to income. I worked two jobs so we could afford our first house and we did without lots of things to keep going.

Expectations are different now and I do think some people feel entitled to have financial and practical support from their parents. My parents and in laws very very rarely babysat our children. When we lived near to our children, we did babysit and I paid for outings, food etc. That isn’t practical now, due to distance, but we do have the grandchildren to stay and pay for them then.

I do think that there is resentment amongst the younger generation, particularly over housing. And I appreciate that things move on, but I think there is a different attitude to possessions these days and expectations that we probably didn’t have, about having gadgets, holidays and so on.

I think too, that many younger people’s lifestyle completely depends on their parents capacity for childcare and without it, they wouldn’t manage. I can observe a friend wearing herself out, looking after grandchildren overnight several times a week, whilst parents work. It seems to be expected in away it want years ago.

Nonnie Fri 04-Jan-19 10:32:34

namsnanny I agree, I used to respect older people and would always give them preference whrn passing in the street. However, these days young people seem to think I will move out of the way for them and I have now decided I won't! A few days ago a child of about 8 bumped into me and didn't apologise, the woman with him gave me a nasty look! Same on public transport, children and young people occupy seats and leave older people to stand. I still give way to people who look older or less able than me.

It is hard to compare because life is so different and it is irritating when the media pick on one area of life rather than looking at the bigger picture. For example housing. Most of us who have bought our own homes had to pay huge interest rates but these days mortgages are cheaper. Yes, houses are more expensive but that is surely because now they take both incomes into account. After all it is supply and demand. We lived very frugally to save for our first house, not sure so many do now. We only ate out on special occasions.

I heard recently how hard it is to get social housing, wasn't it always? Maybe it was different in other places but in the city we lived in we were told there was no point putting our names down for a council house until we had been married 5 years and had 3 children.

So many things are cheaper now, school uniforms; food; furniture (think Ikea). Women now earn the same as their male counterparts and are no longer the property of their husbands for tax purposes.

On the other hand we all tend to want what our peer group has: foreign holidays; meal out; expensive cars; designer clothes etc. I know not all but there is a lot of pressure on young people to conform.

Perhaps respect for others, whatever their age, should be encouraged and some empathy would go down well too. Less of the entitlement on all sides as well as giving up the expectation that 'they should ......' and instead thinking what 'I should....'.

I just wrote some examples of the above then deleted it because I didn't want to face the accusations of being unfeeling. I really am not but I think things have gone too far. Now we are told that insurance and fuel companies are going to have to stop penalising those who renew without checking whether they can get it cheaper. On the face of it that seems like a good idea but isn't it encouraging us all not to think? Isn't it going to encourage us to rely on the 'Nanny State'. Where will it end? Are we teaching young people that it will all be done for them?