Boomer Challenges Are Many Indeed......

Baby Boomers....A Full Plate Indeed

A quick peek at what boomers are dealing with today was enough to make me reach for my asthma inhaler. Over the past few years, the housing market implosion, falling wages and high unemployment have driven many American families closer together, both financially and literally. Many boomers now find themselves caught between financially strapped elderly parents who no longer work, and adult children who can't find work. Ameriprise Financial (NYSE:AMP) www.ameriprise.com just completed a study on baby boomers doling out cash and support to family members despite uncertainty about their own financial future. It is clear that boomers continue to prioritize their families' needs over their own. Approximately 93% of all boomers surveyed say they have provided some kind of support for their adult children....(college, car, rent etc etc). Approximately 58% of surveyed boomers claim to have financially helped their elderly parents.   By diverting funds from their retirement savings, many boomers are now falling short of their own goals. Cash strapped, thanks to their generosity, they will find themselves forced to continue working and delaying retirement.  To further complicate matters (boomers love challenges), we have a student debt crisis that is hardly news. Look at the interest rates on some Federal student loans. Interest rates are scheduled to move back up to 6.8% in July, but even at 3.4%, where they are now, they are a horrible financial deal. The current interest rate on a 90-day Treasury bill is just 9 one hundredths of one percent (0.09%)..If the Federal student loan repayment rates were calculated like this, it would be practically an interest free loan - and a very good deal. Instead, Congress is arguing over 3.4% vs. 6.8%.  Washington should be ashamed of burdening students with 6.8% or even 3.4% as they graduate into a slow growth economy. ***Remember there is no way to get out from under student loans. They are not discharged in bankruptcy. If you default, boomers could find a deduction from their social security checks to repay the long forgotten student loans. The President and Congress are dividing Americans and turning them against each other. Listen to the rhetoric,,old vs young...students vs seniors...savers vs. borrowers. It is unconscionable to manipulate interest rates to nearly zero percent, penalizing savers (typically older people) to subsidize banks, while piling debt upon today's young workers - whether student loans at above market rates or by adding to our national debt. Go to www.Contractingthecongress.org to write directly to your representatives. Give them an earful. Incidently, I turn 65 this July and go on medicare myself. If any of you folks nearing (or on medicare) are confused about the transition to medicare, the changes, or the quality medicare supplements available please don't hesitate to contact me for help. I am a licensed broker and have been serving the senior market for over two decades (my second succesful career). It would be my pleasure to help you. I can be reached at 312-375-6121.


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Pam DeFiglio May 03, 2012 at 03:41 PM
Charging 6.8 percent interest for student loans?!!!
Glenn Posner May 04, 2012 at 03:47 AM
Yes, these are the vast majority who borrow at unsubsidized Federal student loan rates scheduled to move back to 6.8% (from 3.4%...the subsidized "Stafford loans") in July. There are also "Parental PLUS loans that carry a fixed rate of 7.9%. Private student loans may carry even higher rates. What rate do we charge our lawmakers for "borrowing" ss trust fund money and moving it to the general revenue fund? **The Federal Reserve openly manipulates the interest rate market with savers getting next to zero interest on their deposits, while student loan borrowers are paying exorbitant rates. Who wins? Banks of course.
grandpa May 04, 2012 at 05:00 PM
The ROI on a college education may not be there, (see http://sd-dickens.hubpages.com/hub/Is-College-Worth-the-Investment ). Many of today's grads cannot find employment in their chosen field and "flippin' burgers" at the golden arches ain't gonna repay that student loan. Perhaps the answer isn't found in the cloistered ivy-covered walls of academia. Maybe we should reinstitute trade schools training in secondary schools, (machine shop, wood shop, auto shop, industrial arts). There is no shame in working with your hands... and plumbers don't find themselves RIF'ed.
Glenn Posner May 04, 2012 at 05:42 PM
I couldn't agree more grandpa. Some of these "kids" have been promised aprenticeships and/or help with job placements which have turned out to be considerably less than advertised. Many of my clients were in the tool & dye trade and their lament was that their sons did not want to follow in their footsteps. Hope all is well with you.


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