I didn’t know I was a baby boomer. Amazing the things you learn in your fifties.
To me baby boomers were 60s babies, maybe something to do with the whole idea of sex and hippies.
But a bit of research as ever, shows differing timescales for baby booms. While it may well be a post world war two boom, ie from 1946 onwards, the end point varies hugely.
So, as America rules the world, it’s commonly taken to be the American model of 1946-1964. And because this is all-American, those born after 1954 apparently are different, Generation Jones. Huh? I’m so not up on these generation Jones, X, Y and Z….
While Canada (end of boom 1965) and Aus and NZ (end of boom 1961) may have followed a similar pattern, those of us in Europe did not.
For once the UK had something in common with France, we ended our boom in 1974 together. Ah, that must be why I thought boomers were post 60s. The Netherlands were close behind us, finishing in 1972. And for some reason Iceland ended in 1969.
On the other hand, the reserved Scandinavian nations of Finland, Sweden and Denmark had an extremely short boom. Too cold maybe? But Denmark and Finland only managed 1945/6 – 1950, and Sweden struggled on a bit longer from 1946 – 52.
So, baby booms mean different times to different countries. I’m explaining this because I have readers from different countries.
Having finished the statistical preamble, let’s get on to the nitty gritty.
The reason I discovered I was a baby boomer (my partner didn’t know he was either, also thinking it was a post 60s thing) was because I read an article somewhere on the tinties that said everything in the world that was wrong was my fault. Whooooooa!!!
Maybe it was this one by Jeremy Paxman. (What is it with Jeremys – as bad as obnoxious Jeremy Clarkson..)
The Luckiest Generation will be around for a long while yet, strumming their guitars and enjoying their concessionary fares, ensuring young people keep working to pay their pensions, outraged at demands they cash in their property wealth to fund their future in care homes, consuming the vast — and increasing — quantities of National Health Service funds necessary for geriatric medication (half the NHS budget is spent caring for old people).
They have already persuaded the Government to make it impossible for employers to get rid of them just because they reach the age of 65, while also ensuring that many Boomers will be able to claim their pension two or three years earlier than anyone entering the workforce now.
Getting on for a million of this generation have taken themselves off to live in parts of continental Europe where they think the weather is kinder and the fags and booze are cheaper.
In southern Spain or rural France they watch Sky television, demand the assistance of British consuls paid for by their hard-working offspring and are begged by the big parties to register for postal votes.
Thousands more enjoy a healthier old age than they had any right to expect jetting around the world on holidays of one sort or another.
I have read some shit on the internet but this beats it all.
1) I’ve never had a guitar
2) I’m a later babe so I’m nowhere near concessionary fares, and quite frankly what is wrong with that for pensioners? Apart from anything else if people are using public transport it saves clogging up the roads, and is better for the environment.
3) My dad (born 1925) was saying I was paying for his pension thirty years ago. Nothing new there. Of course younger working people pay for pensions of an earlier generation.
4) Care homes are nasty money pits. It’s a shame people don’t want to look after their families.
5) Why shouldn’t the NHS fund older people as their bodies break down? It funds people who are ill through smoking, drinking, obesity, drugs, snuffles, coughs, sore throats, etc etc etc – why not age?
6) Dear Jeremy, have you even tried getting a job in journalism at age 50+ let alone 60+? Oh, not a problem for you is it? A job would be nice. A pension would have been nicer at 60 rather than having to wait until 65, which I now have to do, so claiming pension earlier is pie in the total sky. Thanks to funding all these people who can’t fund themselves with their flat screen TVs and the obligatory foreign holidays (see next linky article).
7) I don’t smoke, but I’ll admit to being an economic migrant. If there was a choice between Blythe and Andalucía what would you choose? In fact the property in Costa del Sea Fret is expensive but the lifestyle is cheaper. To suggest that everyone drinks and smokes themselves to death is patronising classist garbage. Otherwise why say fags and booze? How about cigarettes and alcohol?
8) I live in southern Spain, don’t watch Sky television, don’t want or need the assistance of the British consul, I have no offspring, and no-one would beg me for a postal vote because I don’t live in the UK. Wherein lies the flaw in Mr P’s argument, he is talking about people with two homes. One in the UK and one elsewhere.
9) Jetting around the world? The last time I got on a ‘plane was in 199? when I flew to Madrid. I was still working and it was a week’s holiday.
10) Fortunately a few other people thought he was talking rubbish too. (see comments on the site if you can be bothered to click on the link)
Here is a totally different perspective. Interesting they are both written in British papers that come from the same right of centre perspective. The Torygraph article.
Baby boomers shouldn’t feel guilty about being better-off than younger generations, because people aged over 50 today saved harder and spent less when they were young than is the case today.
That’s the conclusion of analysis of more than 2,000 people by the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII).
But the CII claims that ‘generation rent’ are partly to blame for their own misfortune because many fail to follow their elders’ example by starting to save early. They have come to expect regular foreign holidays, among other treats once regarded as luxuries, often funded by credit cards taken out earlier than their parents did.
A third of the people surveyed who are now in their thirties spent more than half their net income on leisure and entertainment when they were in their twenties, compared to a fifth of those who are now in their fifties and sixties. Most of the younger generation now expect to holiday abroad an average of 2.5 times a year, whereas a quarter of baby boomers never travelled overseas in their twenties.
David Thomson, a director of the CII, said: “Despite the current financial climate, the younger generation is more likely to spend money on a meal out rather than put it in their pension pot, as their older counterparts might have done.
“Holidays abroad are now an accustomed treat for 20-year-olds rather than a luxury for baby boomers, many of whom never took overseas holidays at that age and where a vacation might have meant a week in Norfolk rather than a beach in foreign climes.
“While some of this can be baby boomers received undeniable financial advantages during their working lives, there’s no doubt that their financial security today is also due to a more frugal mentality in their youth. Today’s generation spends more and saves less when compared to the baby boomers, and while people should enjoy their youth and live for today they should not do so at the expense of planning for their tomorrow.”
Ah, that would be me. In nearly two years, two meals out. A cheap meal at an Indian restaurant for our silver wedding and one last month – a shared pizza.
Holidays abroad? That would be grapepicking wouldn’t it? Working holiday. Or, a cultural one funded by the National Trust and a grant from my old school. When we first got married, our holidays were backpacking in the UK.
I can do the paper bag on the side of the road as well as anyone.
I’m where I am because I bust my arse in my 30s and worked as many hours as it took (and no overtime because I was salaried) – if it was after midnight I did it. Nobody tells me I am guilty of damaging someone else’s future.
Right now, my partner is the oldest person on the construction site where he is working. Because we won’t have a fucking pension. We look after ourselves and that’s what we have always done.
Yes, I got a partly state-funded university grant. Yes, I got a free place at a private school – courtesy of the school trustees, not the taxpayer. What else? I try and avoid using the health service (remember, I worked in it), I buy nothing inessential, I throw nothing out that can be re-used, and we pick up from skips.
Yes, I have an extremely small finca on the Costa del Sol. And yes, I have an even smaller flat in Gibraltar. That’s what I (we) decided to do with my (our) money.
No-one will take care of me or take responsibility for me. That’s up to me.
What would happen if I went back to the UK? I’d be treated worse than an eastern European immigrant.
Baby boomers – or at least my age group – look after themselves because they have to.
And actually, it’s my life, and as the Land Rover saying goes, ‘One life, live it.’
But hey, blame people born between 1946 and 1974 because shit happens. It ain’t my fault.
I may write more about this…. I may not… gotta go and do
the washing up rich idle stuff in the sun.