Gransnet forums


Are pensioners perceived differently now?

(187 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?

Toto309 Fri 04-Jan-19 10:38:13

I remember my Mum saying that her SIL used to drop the 2 children off with their nan while she went to work. Never gave her any money, both children were fussy eaters so might take 1 bite out of their food then refuse to eat it.

Barmeyoldbat Fri 04-Jan-19 11:05:39

This generation is all about wanting They want a family but still want me time, they want a home but still want to carryon their lifestyle of holidays and going out whilst trying to save. The everything in the home has to be new. They expect family to fall in with their needs and don't really consider the needs of others. They then have the cheek to blame the older generation who have struggled and saved. We have a very selfish lot of people around.

harrigran Fri 04-Jan-19 11:06:54

Yes houses were cheaper when we got married but wages were lower and the mortgage interest rate was high. Our first mortgage interest was 15% and when I stopped work to have a baby DH had to do a second job to cover the payments.

trisher Fri 04-Jan-19 11:19:35

It always amazes me that the people who raised the generation they are moaning about take absolutely no responsibility for the way they turned out. And actually none of my DSs are like that, they know what is valuable and what isn't and that it's nothing to do with money or cost.

annep Fri 04-Jan-19 11:24:02

I totally agree with barmyoldbat. I'm so glad to hear others think like me. We are blamed for so much. My very young sister actually said its our generations fault that the sewage system in Belfast is so bad because we didn't pay enough rates! Most young folk I know wont consider buying a house without 2 bathrooms which is nice but really we started with much less and did without a lot to pay our mortgage. We didnt think it was our right to have a mortgage, foriegn holidays, expensive gadgets; designer handbags, stag holidays, beauty treatments, regular meals out, bought lunches (homemade sandwich)
The press do stir it up. Its not our fault everything is so bad in the country. We paid our taxes and saved and didn't squander and we only have what we are entitled to. (actually we are not get getting the nhs we paid for). We aren't spending their inheritance. So maddening.
No one gives you a seat now or any of the courtesies we gave our elders. And I know I am generalising.
Paddyann I too think you were a bit harsh. If children accept help and waste money I would be annoyed too especially if it was causing my child problems.

notanan2 Fri 04-Jan-19 11:27:24

When I was a child plenty of my friends went to grandparents houses after school for their dinners while their parents worked on. Maybe because my school had some poorer areas in its catchment so even back then both parents had to work?

I had offers of financial support when DH and I were starting out but they came with HUGE caveats so we mostly declined (e.g. money to do things they thought we should do, rather than money towards things WE thought we needed). We struggled a lot despite them being quite well off (without EXPECTING anything from them) and the things they did offer money towards were not things that in our opinion would have helped us, and in some cases the things they wanted us to do would have made us worse off (e.g. offering to buy us a second car when we could barely afford the finance and running of our 1 car. Had the money been offered without the caveat of it being for a second car (because they didnt like us not being able to drive everyone when they visited because our 1 car was full with the 4 of us) we would have chosen to clear the finance on the car we had to make our day to day expenses more manageable. But that wasn't on the table. And their money their choice, but we could not afford to run ANOTHER car whilst still paying off the first so it was a gracious no thank you. Which didn't go down well.

My parents wedding was paid in full by her family. (Middle class not "rich" just average)

Both my parents had support from family when starting their careers.

Both my parents inherited but have decided to leave their money in trust to the GCs skipping us. They think we're bad with money because they never had to be frugal and don't understand why we cant afford the luxuries that they see as normal. We are actually very good with money, we just started with less than they did and earn less than they did so of course there are things we cant have - they interpret that as us failing as adults and apparently don't trust us to inherit. The irony being that they could only afford those things BECAUSE they had lots of support and inheritance. Had they had to be self sufficient like us I doubt they would have managed half as well.
Fine. Their money their choice..

Saggi Fri 04-Jan-19 11:29:44

No I don’t believe we’re seen as different. We are ( generally) better off financially. I’m texting this while sitting in Debenhams bistro having a second breakfast and people watching (and listening)!! All least 15 people all chattering, eating, having been shopping. They are of course moaning about hubbies...their kids...grandchildren . But also talking about cars... and what they’ve just bought!! I know there are poor pensioners out there( I border on it myself sometimes) but we are a luckier bunch than our mothers or indeed grandmothers. My daughter is grateful for any help I can give her with kids... she works a full time job AND a consultancy job which takes her away from home. We do have more disposable income than previous generations and I for one am not unwilling to help....but I won’t ‘carry’ either of my kids. They both stand on own two feet and know my situation....just state pension + v. Small works pension and a little of my hubbies pension. I’m not rich but I’m not poor. After all I’m in Debenhams eating so I can’t be!

notanan2 Fri 04-Jan-19 11:32:32

They are your typical "if you didn't spend your money on smart phones you could buy a bigger house" types that give their generation a bad name.

I couldnt do my job without a smartphone and it certainly did not cost as much as a house ?

notanan2 Fri 04-Jan-19 11:38:28

and I for one am not unwilling to help....but I won’t ‘carry’ either of my kids

This is SO so so important.
I have peers who are certainly "carried" and they never grow up!
E.g. taking out bigger mortgages than they can manage and then parents step in...
Getting into debt over and over because parents step in...
Applying for jobs BEFORE working out childcare because parents step in...

I honestly dont know how they will manage/cope when their parents get too old to cope or have to spend their savings on care. They have never learnt to make responsible decisions.

However I also have peers who were given a SINGLE leg up (eg their first deposit) and then left to either make the most of it or waste it and learn from it. And they are doing very well and are "proper" grown ups

Riverwalk Fri 04-Jan-19 11:50:58

In answer to the thread title, yes I think pensioners are perceived differently now, certainly compared to just a couple of decades ago.

In the past pensioners were seen as in need of extra money for fuel (can't afford the second bar on the electric fire, etc), eating meagre rations and lonely, in need of lunch clubs; woe betide any politician who neglected pensioners.

The past perception was probably well deserved. I remember seeing shabbily-dressed older people with inadequate winter clothing and 'looking poor', but not for the past 20 years or so.

Now it's the lowly-paid of the younger generations who are perceived as being in need of help.

Framilode Fri 04-Jan-19 11:55:06

I can remember my mum saying exactly the same thing about our generation Barmeyoldbat. Nothing changes.

GrandmaMoira Fri 04-Jan-19 11:58:46

I think there may be more GP looking after GC nowadays as there are more young mothers working but it is not a new thing as many people here have said.
I believe the state pension is slightly higher than it used to be so pensioners do not live in such poverty as they did.
The problem is that social media and the press seems to be stirring up anti pensioner feeling/baby boomer bashing saying we are all rich and have what they should have. I don't find this is reflected in my family and friends. I was told recently (by someone young) that the younger generation feel they can be rude in writing (email/social media etc) in a way they would never be face to face and this does seem to be true for a lot of people.

SqueezedMiddleG Fri 04-Jan-19 12:10:58

My parents and their two children lived with my maternal grandmother until I was 12 years old. Then she lived next door for a further ten years. She was very involved with looking after my brother and me throughout our childhood while my mother worked. We in our turn looked after her when she was living alone in her 90s. My parents looked after my children by providing wrap-round care between the ages of 6 and 12 so that I could retrain and get established in a new career when I was divorced. I now look after my mother as she is in her 90s. I try to help my DD, a single mother, with my DGCs as much as possible. I feel privileged to be able to continue a maternal line of help and support. However, I am much older than my mother was when she was helping me. As women have children later, the grandparents get older and many are unfortunately less physically active. Being a 'Squeezed Middle' is very tiring.

westerlywind Fri 04-Jan-19 12:20:18

I find today's mums to be very demanding. They expect parents (or in my case just me) to give money on demand or even sooner. They expect babysitting/childminding as and when they want. I could not even get to attend a Dr appointment without taking DGC. Dr said I could not cope with looking after DGC (ASD) with my health conditions. I told my DC who said that was rubbish. My DC is not a Dr! Even when I had an appointment for MRI when not even the staff hang around I was expected to take DGC. When I said I could not take DGC there was a great rant and rave and I am now in the bad books!
I just want to be a grandmother not a childminder.
I then realised that the only time I ever saw DC was when they dropped off DGC. They never just sat and chatted.

Lancslass1 Fri 04-Jan-19 13:06:26

I am a pensioner and I think we are treated very well on the whole by younger folk.
They are not ageist.
I like the way I am called by my Christian name by youngsters.
Perhaps I have been fortunate but so far have never had the abuse mentioned.
Mind you,I wouldn't give Facebook house room.

annep Fri 04-Jan-19 13:22:58

Westerlywind that is truly awful. You need to be assertive. Lancslassyou haven't experienced it thankfully. But many of us are treated badly and are money trees. My children take great delight in laughing at me as I get older. Its not funny.

Nonnie Fri 04-Jan-19 13:30:17

Laqncslass Why wouldn't you 'give Facebook house room'? There is nothing wrong with it, you choose who you want to be friends with and can keep your posts private. Coming on GN is public so you are far more likely to come across unpleasant things than you would on Fb!

Nonnie Fri 04-Jan-19 13:36:54

harrigran DH did a pools round when DS1 was born and the mortgage rate was so high. We had no central heating. I couldn't go to work as we had no one to look after DS. I do think there are more options today.

trisher I think most of the comments are about young people in general not specifics. We are fortunate that our children have carried on being frugal as we always were. One of them gets a subsidised lunch at work the others all take home made food with them. They all learnt to cook fresh food and only rarely buy anything processed. They have no need of a new car or an expensive one. The result is that they have their own homes and enough money to live on. They are not competing with anyone and, although still climbing the work ladder, seem quite content with their lives. Many of their friends still rent because they are not frugal.

newgran2019 Fri 04-Jan-19 13:42:46

Anja's comment 'My own mother wouldn’t lift a finger to help. She was of the opinion that she’d done her share of child-rearing' sounds quite harsh to me, as I am not prepared to offer regular childcare to any grandchildren for various reasons. She also seems to be suggesting that her own mother deserved to be punished for this; I can't believe that some people actually think, 'Don't expect any help from me when you get old and needy because you wouldn't care for my children'. Having children is a choice; getting old is not.

Nanna58 Fri 04-Jan-19 14:13:08

Washerwoman , please don’t leave the thread just because of paddyann, if everyone left a thread whenever shape was ridiculously harsh, nothing would ever get posted!

Nanna58 Fri 04-Jan-19 14:13:42

Sorry, meant ‘ whenever she’ ‘ !

trisher Fri 04-Jan-19 14:38:54

Nonnie I think most of the comments are about young people in general not specifics.
But then where do these young people who are being so criticised come from?. Young people are someone's children. If they are so demanding and acquisitive where did they learn to be? I think it's a product of Thatcher and post Thatcher when people began to grab as much as they could, and that the young people who are so minded are simply taking the values they were taught then a bit further. So perhaps those complaining are simply reaping what they sowed.

Washerwoman Fri 04-Jan-19 15:03:11

Ok and thanks Nonnie.Retreated yesterday as probably too tired for logical posting and I'm not the most succinct.Plus wanted to watch Luther .Not that that's relaxing just before bedtime either !
Westerlywind -oh dear,you sound really taken for granted.I will tell my DD when I feel they are expecting too much,and she will respect that.Another baby is on the way in spring,which is probably why I've been evaluating expectations of us,and also the balance between helping and interferring.
A good friend said when you become a grandma best advice is keep your mouth shut and your wallet open!
And I absoluely love to buy DGD the odd nice outfit or book as a treat,or a coffee or lunch for my DD if she is frazzled.But I won't fund their lifestyle.There again is a balance to be struck.Not easy !

Nanny41 Fri 04-Jan-19 15:15:17

I agree things are different these days as we are a band of "ageing population" as the media point out frequently.I have never had to be a permanent child minder ie, having to collect or mind on regular days each week, but have helped out when needed.
I occasionally help out my Son who is a single parent and has two teenage boys, when its his turn to have them, the money doesnt always run to the amount of food they need, I say as long as I have money, they will never go without.
I was disturbed the other day hearing a person who works in a care home say " he is eighty years old and will die soon anyway" what a cheek I have three years to go before I am there, but how can younger people think like that these days, dont they realise we are all living longer and eighty is still quite young, I am fit and healthy thank goodness, how can people assume you have had it at a certain age? ignorant people I would say.

Nonnie Fri 04-Jan-19 15:50:00

trisher I think they come from people who are not on this forum. Simple. The entitled people on the bus this morning who seemed to think they should over occupy seats while the elderly stood are not people I know and probably my children don't either. Obviously none of us know all types of people, mostly we know the people we associate with. Before anyone castigates me for saying that I don't know the people who are privileged either!