Or put another way – Saving is the new spending in the United States After several decades of Americans being the world’s consummate and most profligate spenders, we appear to have developed (all of a sudden in just the last few months) a serious fancy for saving. This phenomenon is most evident in the Baby Boomer generation, those of us who were reared by frugal parents who themselves were reared during the Great Depression by parents, many of whom themselves were truly struggling to survive.
But when no Second Great Depression ever materialized, Baby Boomers forgot the stories they had heard from their grandparents. It’s a different world now, they thought – more secure, more global, more controlled, more protected. And then just in the sunset of their working lives, as Baby Boomers were on the verge of creating the greatest wave of retirement in this country’s history, when they were all supposed to retire and live merrily on for another thirty years on the fruits of a booming stock market that would never end, they were hit with financial Armageddon.
The generation that boldly took on the world and gave it Woodstock, and ‘free’ love, and feminism suddenly found itself facing the very future its grandparents had described. Savings annihilated in some cases and severely damaged in the best of circumstances. With so little time left before the new young tigers graduating from college oust them from their jobs, Boomers are scared and frantic. Some can and will be able to postpone retirement. But others, like the many autoworkers at bankrupt automobile companies, will not have that option. And it is difficult to compete with the up and coming youth when it comes to job training.
So what’s a Boomer to do?