TAKING THE LONG VIEW OF FINANCES

#millennials #BabyBoomers #economy
Home prices in Seattle are soaring.
So, Kathryn Jacoby, 30, and Jeff Whitehill, 32 came to a sobering conclusion: buy now, before prices went up further, or they may never afford to own a home. They bought a 72-year-old house for $550,000. It may be more than they can afford on their combined $110,000 annual income, but they felt time was not on their side.
George Erb wrote of the couple’s plight, and that of other millennials, in the Seattle Times.
Meanwhile, Rodney Brooks writes of how baby boomers are bridging the Generation Gap. His article for The Washington Post was based on Lori Bitter’s book, “The Grandparent Economy: How Baby Boomers Are Bridging the Generation Gap.” The book focuses how baby boomers may be taking care of several generations of their family, be they their parents or their children who may not have recovered financially from the Great Recession of 2008.
“The real story is they (boomers) may have two or three generation of people living in their homes that they were working their butts off to support,” Brooks quotes Bitter. That puts their retirement plans in some peril.
Both Erb’s and Brooks’ articles were published in the March 6, 2017, issue of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Meanwhile, Ron Lieber wrote in the New York Times of financial trade-offs people make, whether they know it or not. Some take two or three jobs just so they can raise their kids in a certain neighborhood. Others experience life now, perhaps after the sudden death of a relative, lest they not get to do it again, etc.
Lieber’s article was published April 24, 2017, in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Let’s break this down a bit further. If you are young, you need to be actively engaged in financial planning, including not only what you earn, but what you spend and what you save. The young couple in Erb’s article believed that housing appreciation was going to continue for the foreseeable future, so they extended themselves a bit to buy a house.
If that holds true, they’ll appreciate that decision later. However, there is much peril in the meantime. They borrowed $30,000 from Jacoby’s parents, and Whitehill has a $60,000 student loan to pay off.
Hopefully, they can pay down those debts and they will earn more income over time. The latter is far from guaranteed, making the former more difficult.
Rather than borrow money from parents to help buy a house, some young people are still living with their parents, as Brooks’ article discusses.
The point here is that all generations alive today face financial challenges. The trick is doing what you need to do to overcome them.
With technology and globalization throwing a monkey wrench into job security, people in all generations might want to think about ways to earn extra income, preferably without taking a pound of flesh from themselves, or having no time to really live.
There are many options available to accomplish this. To hear about one of the best, message me.
With job security far from assured, no matter in what field one is employed, financial risks become that much riskier. Still, taking no risk at all generally doesn’t get one very far. As long as the risks are calculated, and one plans accommodations to alleviate some of the peril, there’s no telling what the payoff can be.
Here’s wishing the millennials great financial planning skill, and baby boomers great coping skills as they deal with their issues.
Peter

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