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Why can’t they get the numbers right.

Barcelona, Spain from Park Gruell via David Gillaspie

Barcelona, Spain from Park Gruell
via David Gillaspie

UPDATE: Baby Boomer Birth Years run from 1946-1964.

It’s more a reminder than an update, which is important when a Yahoo writer fits boomers age into the 65-74 age bracket.

I’ll do the math. The youngest boomers turn fifty this year. Their life span runs from 1964-2014. So far.

The oldest boomers turn 68. Their era runs from 1946-2014. Give or take.

No need to push the age to 74.

In ‘First Person: Dealing with Baby Boomer Parents in Debt‘, writer Laura Quinn hit the 74 year old button twice. Laura, no boomer is 74.

Maybe it’s a technical point, but 74 is up there beyond boomer years. The age confusion happens when a writer cites a USA Today article that hit the 65-74 age range often. Except USA Today’s article is ‘Seniors overspend on mortgage, credit cards.’

Seniors, as in people over age 68. Even 68 still sounds old. What’s the rush?

Laura Quinn sounds like a nice kid. She helps pay her grandparents’ bills. Boomers and seniors she knows pay for everything with credit cards to save cash for Bingo Night. People her age deal with money issues by helping out the cash flow.

When’s the last time any of my readers went to Bingo Night?

I want my kids to read Laura Quinn. Maybe she’ll start online classes on ‘What to expect when you see your parent’s financial statement.’

Laura and her cohort seem to take the parenting burden to heart. Now that they’re old enough, parents of their own children, they feel qualified to parent their parents. She’s even had the money talk with her grandparents.

Before you buy into Laura’s line of reasoning, take a moment to reflect on boomer-hood.

Do boomers represent 44% of the American population and hold 70% of the wealth?

Will boomers inherit trillions?

No wonder Laura and her pals feel alarmed at the out of control boomer spending. Maybe a nice present from filthy rich boomers will help calm them down.

In the meantime, she could inventory some of her relatives’ spending habits.

If mom or grandma has a tooth problem that ends up with an extraction should they,

  • A. Leave a tooth gap so their other teeth can drift?
  • B. Have a tooth implant, also called a one tooth solution to a one tooth problem?
  • C. Have a bridge, which is a three tooth solution to a one tooth problem?
  • D. Get a one tooth denture?
  • E. Throw a piece of wood in there and hope for the best?

So many choices, but only one works best. Is it the most expensive choice? Of course.

Once you track spending for those later in life, a pattern shows up. Prolonged illness and care is expensive.

Older people represent the last group with outstanding insurance. They’ve got primary and secondary coverage, extended care and every other coverage available. What doctor and what hospital would turn away the cash cow?

Once the end of life frenzy hits full speed, the bills rack up. Saving grandpa or grandma from death is a losing game with the insurance industry laying odds. Those on the sidelines, the loved ones, want results and damn the cost.

Go through this a few times, as boomers have done, or will do with their parents, and you can’t blame them for living it up. The end is closer than the beginning and they’ve seen it up close and personal.

That’s why they buy luxury cars and take luxury trips. Now is the time because they might not be able to later, as in next month when the medical tests come in.

Boomers don’t over-spend to annoy their children, or one-up their friends. It’s all about the experience at the end of the day, and that day grows closer every minute.

Maybe the kids can think of the trade-off their parents made and calm down. Boomers didn’t raise kids as if they were little WWII soldiers. They didn’t force them into pre-determined roles, or assign them their lives in pre-school.

How many times did junior wait in the parking lot as the last kid picked up from soccer practice? How many times did mom and dad miss a parent/teacher meeting, a play, or forget to pay their school lunch bill?

If the youngsters sound a little entitled, like ‘Where’s mine’, remind them of the hardships their grandparents grew up with.

Boomers can’t use their own life experience because we’ve had it so easy. We still complain about things worth complaining about, like kids, but now it’s their turn to feel sorry for themselves.

Just don’t over do it, the grandparents might hear and straighten them out.






About David Gillaspie


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