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Baby Boomer Bust?: How A Generation of Promise Became The Generation of Panic

1 rating: 4.0
2010 nonfiction book by Roger Chiocchi

Baby Boomer Bust? examines and analyzes the meltdown of 2008/2009 from economic, political and social perspectives and illuminates how the meltdown has directly impacted Baby Boomers -- once known as the generation of promise, but now the generation … see full wiki

Author: Roger Chiocchi
Genre: Economics
Publisher: Morgan James Publishing
Date Published: April 15, 2010
1 review about Baby Boomer Bust?: How A Generation of Promise...

What shall become of the "rock and roll" retirees???

  • Apr 27, 2010
Rating:
+4
Every time I see actor Dennis Hopper in those highly annoying Ameriprise ads I just want to vomit.  "Hey man, you gotta have a plan!" he tells us while urging his fellow Baby Boomers to hook up with an Ameriprise financial advisor.  I am a Baby Boomer myself and as I look around at the sorry state of our country these days I place the blame squarely where it belongs....on my generation.  From where I sit Boomers turned out to be far more materialistic and greedy than the parents lots of these folks rebelled against in the 1960's.  Lots of Boomers had everything handed to them from a very young age and essentially did whatever they wanted for their entire lives.  That is until the financial meltdown in 2008.  Many Boomers lost nearly everything and now one must ponder just what will become of my generation.  In "Baby Boomer Bust?:  How the Generation of Promise Became the Generation of Panic" author Roger Chiocchi considers the plight of the Baby Boomers through extensive interviews with 8 members of my generation as well as from responses from an online survey he conducted.  Frankly, I came away with very little sympathy for most of these people.  

When I compare the way my parents lived to the lifestyles of those who were portrayed in "Baby Boomer Bust?" I just shake my head.  My parents saved for a rainy day, demanded value for their hard earned money and exhibited an incredible amount of self-discipline throughout their lives.  They grew up during the Great Depression so they understood that hard times were inevitable and they made sure that they were prepared for them.  By contrast, many of the individuals portrayed in this book exhibited little or no self-restraint in their personal lives.  Most were making lots of money and simply blew it on big houses, luxury automobiles, exotic vacations and other big ticket items.  And let's not forget that for the most part these are highly educated people who definitely should have known better.  As far as I am concerned those of us who have lived responsibly should not have to bail out these folks in any way, shape or form.  This may sound cruel but it seems to me that if people were made to suffer the consequences of their actions perhaps they would be a bit more thoughtful about how they conduct their affairs.  Also, what struck me about so many of the people portrayed in this book and other members of my generation is the incredible amount of pain in their personal lives and so much of it self-imposed!  Time and again people made the conscious decision to pursue wealth and a career at the expense of their marriage and family life. It is a very sad state of affairs.  Meanwhile,  Chiocchi also devotes a good deal of time explaining how we got into this mess in the first place.  He cites the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act back in 1999 as the major reason that things got so out of hand in the financial world.  I completely concur with his analysis. This law was passed during the Great Depression and essentially seperated commercial and investment banking activities.  Repeal of this law, which was supported by both the Clinton administration and the Republicans in Congress unleashed the forces that would result in the rampant financial speculation that ended so abruptly on that September day back in 2008. 

So what will become of the aging Boomers?   According to Roger Chiocchi the idea of that retirement home is Florida is rapidly becoming a thing of the past.  Most members of my generation are going to have to deal with some sobering new realities.  They are going to have to work much longer than they anticipated and scale back their retirement plans dramatically.   Many will be forced to  consider creative ways new ways to make ends meet in their golden years.   It seems likely that most of us will outlive our money.  Chiocchi believes that the return of the multi-generational household is also inevitable and in many ways this may not be such a bad thing.  Perhaps many Boomers will experience an epiphany and finally realize that they don't really need all that "stuff" after all.  "Baby Boomer Bust?:  How the Generation of Promise Became The Generation of Panic" considers these issues in a very thoughtful and engaging way.   Highly recommended!
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