Presidential Politics and Baby Boomer Animosity

 

shutterstock_119598559I get into a fair amount of political discussion with my kids these days (to set the stage, the “kids” are around 40). Being a Baby Boomer in denial, I’m often amazed by the understated animosity directed at my generation by its successors. Painting with a broad brush, we get blamed for grabbing the goodies and leaving the dregs, whether it’s housing, social security, or senior discounts at retail. Much of this is deserved. The “Greatest Generation” may have been followed by the “Greedy Generation.” We grew up with fast cars, cheap gas, and no nanny state; our kids grew up with bike helmets and recycle or die.

I am curious as to what Ricochet folks think about presidential electability based on age, generational resentment and image. To me, it accounts for much about Hillary versus Obama — indeed, Obama versus anyone over 65 — and sheds some light on who could run against Hillary. Some random data follows:

  • Mitt Romney: March 12, 1947 (67)
  • Hillary Clinton: October 26, 1947 (67)
  • Elizabeth Warren: June 22, 1949 (65)
  • Rick Perry: March 4, 1950 (64)
  • Jeb Bush: February 11, 1953 (61)
  • Chris Christie: September 6, 1962 (52)
  • Rand Paul: January 7, 1963 (52)
  • Scott Walker: November 2, 1967 (47)
  • Ted Cruz: December 22, 1970 (44)
  • Bobby Jindal: June 10, 1971 (43)

Your thoughts?

There are 64 comments.

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  1. Ricochet Inactive
    Ricochet
    @PleatedPantsForever

    TKC1101 – please don’t take it personally. We’re just generationally frustrated that those generationally before us setup all these ponzi schemes and we’re getting left holding the bag. Plus, we are getting a little sick of all the ED and reverse mortgage ads

    I never thought of it that way, but I do very much (in general) prefer the names you list in there 40s and 50s to those in their 60s. Maybe it is partly psychological

    • #1
  2. Songwriter Inactive
    Songwriter
    @user_19450

    Pleated Pants Forever:TKC1101 – please don’t take it personally. We’re just generationally frustrated that those generationally before us setup all these ponzi schemes and we’re getting left holding the bag. Plus, we are getting a little sick of all the ED and reverse mortgage ads

    I never thought of it that way, but I do very much (in general) prefer the names you list in there 40s and 50s to those in their 60s. Maybe it is partly psychological

    Hey – I’m a Boomer and I like all the names in the 40s & 50s better than the names in the 60s, too.  And believe me, I’m just as sick as you are of the ED & reverse mortgage ads.

    • #2
  3. Ricochet Inactive
    Ricochet
    @PleatedPantsForever

    TKC1101 and Songwriter – don’t get me wrong, I like hearing from boomers who get they generationally inherited a better gig than we have now. I see them as being like Soviet defectors who could get beyond the brainwashing

    • #3
  4. lesserson Member
    lesserson
    @LesserSonofBarsham

    Pleated Pants Forever:TKC1101 – please don’t take it personally. We’re just generationally frustrated that those generationally before us setup all these ponzi schemes and we’re getting left holding the bag. Plus, we are getting a little sick of all the ED and reverse mortgage ads

    I never thought of it that way, but I do very much (in general) prefer the names you list in there 40s and 50s to those in their 60s. Maybe it is partly psychological

    I second Pleated Pants. I have a lot of respect for some of the Boomer’s in my life but at the same time I fear that I’m going to have a hard time of it in a few years when it all hits the fan, and the majority of it will be things that I had no say in whatsoever.  And yeah, the ED ads are always on at dinner.

    As for the names, the ages don’t seem to bother me, just my opinions on the people. Though I’d like a younger nominee, preferably one with experience as a governor.

    • #4
  5. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    Pleated Pants Forever:TKC1101 – please don’t take it personally. We’re just generationally frustrated that those generationally before us setup all these ponzi schemes and we’re getting left holding the bag. Plus, we are getting a little sick of all the ED and reverse mortgage ads

    I never thought of it that way, but I do very much (in general) prefer the names you list in there 40s and 50s to those in their 60s. Maybe it is partly psychological

    Just curious: In Europe, France most spectacularly, found themselves in an entitlement problem about ten years ago, and the government cut benefits to the elderly and pensioners dramatically.

    If the government did that, would you forgive the boomers?

    If it ended up not taking as money as it appears it will right now?

    • #5
  6. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    I think a lot of boomers will find themselves very poor and looking at the sleeping pills to end the problem.

    The savings rate among boomers is pretty pitiful as a whole. Retirement isn’t going to go well. And they are used to having a relatively decent salary-based life.

    I’ve been predicting this for a long time.

    It may not cost the next generation as much as they think.  All I’m saying is that the whole picture is going to change. The boomers have been programmed to hurry up and go and don’t cost anybody anything on your way out the door.

    But if you guys are smart, you’d keep your eye on that money to make sure it didn’t just go into some politician’s pocket.

    • #6
  7. Vectorman Inactive
    Vectorman
    @Vectorman

    TKC1101: The “Greatest Generation” may have been followed by the “Greedy Generation”.

    If you include the growth of credit after 1955, whose fault is it really?  Until 2000 or so, the Greatest Generation ran the Government, Federal Reserve, Banks, and the Credit Card companies that pushed all the credit.  When confronted with various problems back in 1980, the Government “kicked-the-can” down the road on Social Security and balancing the Budget.  Clinton did nothing to help until Newt Gingrich came in, but the “powers-to-be” did not want a balanced budget. GW Bush tried to change Social Security but was stopped.

    Yes, many Baby Boomers got sucked into the debt track, but that was what society pushed. As a Baby Boomer, I’ve done my part, being “debt free” (i.e., before Dave Ramsey) for 30+ years while paying close to the maximum Social Security tax.

    Pleated Pants Forever:I never thought of it that way, but I do very much (in general) prefer the names you list in there 40s and 50s to those in their 60s. Maybe it is partly psychological

    I agree that the younger politicians are better.  I also think Millennial’s are going to wake up once they see reality.

    • #7
  8. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    The millennials are set to outnumber the boomers in 2015 due to immigration.

    If I were a conspiracy nut, I might remember that President George W. Bush said for eight years that the way to cure the entitlement problem was to increase immigration. Funny how that has happened (and I’m a big fan GW!).

    • #8
  9. user_352043 Moderator
    user_352043
    @AmySchley

    Vectorman: Until 2000 or so, the Greatest Generation ran the Government, Federal Reserve, Banks, and the Credit Card companies that pushed all the credit.  When confronted with various problems back in 1980, the Government “kicked-the-can” down the road on Social Security and balancing the Budget.

    I’ve often thought the Greatest Generation was oddly named.  Yes, they won WWII and survived the Depression. They put a man on the moon. Go America!

    They also introduced Medicare, Medicaid, welfare programs that encouraged bastardy, civil rights legislation that destroyed the last remnants of freedom of contract. They got far more out of Social Security than they put in and raised a generation of spoiled brats.

    MarciN:Just curious: In Europe, France most spectacularly, found themselves in an entitlement problem about ten years ago, and the government cut benefits to the elderly and pensioners dramatically.

    If the government did that, would you forgive the boomers?

    The government isn’t and won’t do that, and I blame the Boomers.  You hear it even here on Ricochet. “I paid into Social Security all my life and I just want my money back!” The Boomers didn’t deposit their entitlement money into an account where they can get it back — the money went to the Greedy Greatest Generation.  It’s gone, and even though the inevitable end game of a pay-as-you-go system in a population that isn’t grown exponentially has been known since before I was born, Boomers have been hiding their heads in the sand about what that means.

    One of the reasons why Democrats push for two-income households is that two incomes pay twice as much employment tax.  And since the average woman only has two children anymore (after all, a life full of Prada is more enjoyable than a life full of Playskul) this means that if the mom stays at home, you end up with one worker pay the employment taxes for every two retirees. Now, since most women work and the Baby Boomers haven’t all retired yet, the current number is 2.9 workers for retiree. But that ratio is going to keep getting more and more retiree heavy.

    As I’ve mentioned on Ricochet elsewhere, there are only four options for solving our old age welfare for Boomers problem: cut benefits (bad for Boomers), raise taxes (bad for Gen X/Millennials), borrow heavily (worse for Gen X/ Millennials than Boomers), or inflate our currency (bad for everyone). The generational sniping going on now is just the beginning.

    TKC1101: Being a baby boomer in denial, I often get amazed by the understated animosity directed at my generation by the succeeding ones.

    Hey, y’all said “don’t trust anyone over 30;” did y’all think you wouldn’t get old yourselves? :)

    • #9
  10. Raw Prawn Inactive
    Raw Prawn
    @RawPrawn

    As a late boomer I believe we are the first generation to not envy our successors. Most have still not realized the reason for this is our (and our predecessors) attempts to legislate our way into paradise.  I also believe no generation has ever had it’s head further up its own posterior orifice

    • #10
  11. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    Amy Schley: The government isn’t and won’t do that,

    I think they will.

    • #11
  12. Guruforhire Member
    Guruforhire
    @Guruforhire

    I have called my dad a crack addicted welfare queen, a deadbeat, and a thief to his face.

    He periodically sends me gift cards to take my wife somewhere nice with my own money.

    he he he.

    • #12
  13. Vectorman Inactive
    Vectorman
    @Vectorman

    MarciN:If I were a conspiracy nut, I might remember that President George W. Bush said for eight years that the way to cure the entitlement problem was to increase immigration. Funny how that has happened (and I’m a big fan GW!).

    If we forced 50% of the Welfare recipients to work, we might not “need” so many low skilled immigrants, which would be a twofer. This is very doable by not paying for new unwed mother babies and eliminating the vast fraud of Disability.   And GW Bush is correct that younger (<30 years old) immigrants would help, but we should not allow family (especially their older parents) reunification to keep them off the Welfare roles.

    • #13
  14. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    Vectorman: If we forced 50% of the Welfare recipients to work, we might not “need” so many low skilled immigrants, which would be a twofer. This is very doable by not paying for new unwed mother babies and eliminating the vast fraud of Disability.   And GW Bush is correct that younger (<30 years old) immigrants would help, but we should not allow family (especially their older parents) reunification to keep them off the Welfare roles.

    I’m not in favor of the kind of immigration this demographic change represents.

    When I saw the NYT article last week, I said, Hmmm.  Interesting.

    I get the animosity toward us boomers. I’m not sure what to say. Except: be open to some surprises and perhaps be forgiving when you see boomers trying not to be burdens and rejecting health care and help because of it. I hope you guys will be saying thank you. Although I doubt anyone will. Most likely people will continue to rant against the boomers even when they try to not be the burden you expect them to be.

    The politicians will never tell you about the money that didn’t need to be spent because boomers took themselves off of dialysis.

    You guys have definitely made your feelings known.

    • #14
  15. blank generation member Inactive
    blank generation member
    @blankgenerationmember

    Amy Schley:

    The government isn’t and won’t do that, and I blame the Boomers. You hear it even here on Ricochet. “I paid into Social Security all my life and I just want my money back!” The Boomers didn’t deposit their entitlement money into an account where they can get it back — the money went to the Greedy Greatest Generation. It’s gone, and even though the inevitable end game of a pay-as-you-go system in a population that isn’t grown exponentially has been known since before I was born, Boomers have been hiding their heads in the sand about what that means.

    As a boomer at the younger end all I would like is to get the money from payroll taxes paid back.  Preferably a 7.75% interest like public unions.  Sorry, that last was a joke.  I expect the SS collection requirements to change; i.e. means testing and age.

         As I’ve mentioned on Ricochet elsewhere, there are only four options for solving our old age welfare for Boomers problem: cut benefits (bad for Boomers), raise taxes (bad for Gen X/Millennials), borrow heavily (worse for Gen X/ Millennials than Boomers), or inflate our currency (bad for everyone). The generational sniping going on now is just the beginning.

    There may be a 5th option implied by Rahm Emmanuel’s older brother.  People off themselves at 75.

    On that note ever read “Boomsday” by Christopher Buckley?

    • #15
  16. Ricochet Inactive
    Ricochet
    @PleatedPantsForever

    MarciN:

    Pleated Pants Forever:TKC1101 – please don’t take it personally. We’re just generationally frustrated that those generationally before us setup all these ponzi schemes and we’re getting left holding the bag. Plus, we are getting a little sick of all the ED and reverse mortgage ads

    I never thought of it that way, but I do very much (in general) prefer the names you list in there 40s and 50s to those in their 60s. Maybe it is partly psychological

    Just curious: In Europe, France most spectacularly, found themselves in an entitlement problem about ten years ago, and the government cut benefits to the elderly and pensioners dramatically.

    If the government did that, would you forgive the boomers?

    If it ended up not taking as money as it appears it will right now?

    MarciN – a good question. It would be a start economically. However, we still have the cultural damage of the sixties and seventies (seeping into today) and that is a tougher train to turn around.

    I don’t wish any ill will on boomers but, to some of the comments on this post, I do wonder if some (particularly later boomers) will be in for a surprise when the checks they expected do not cash. This is how ponzi schemes end, unfortunately

    • #16
  17. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    Pleated Pants Forever:MarciN – a good question. It would be a start economically. However, we still have the cultural damage of the sixties and seventies (seeping into today) and that is a tougher train to turn around.

    I don’t wish any ill will on boomers but, to some of the comments on this post, I do wonder if some (particularly later boomers) will be in for a surprise when the checks they expected do not cash. This is how ponzi schemes end, unfortunately

    This is too depressing for words.

    I have never felt this way toward people.

    • #17
  18. Ricochet Inactive
    Ricochet
    @PleatedPantsForever

    MarciN:

    Pleated Pants Forever:MarciN – a good question. It would be a start economically. However, we still have the cultural damage of the sixties and seventies (seeping into today) and that is a tougher train to turn around.

    I don’t wish any ill will on boomers but, to some of the comments on this post, I do wonder if some (particularly later boomers) will be in for a surprise when the checks they expected do not cash. This is how ponzi schemes end, unfortunately

    This is too depressing for words.

    I have never felt this way toward people.

    MarciN – Please do not misunderstand what I commented. As I said, again, I wish no ill will, I just look at the math (and believe me, the math will hit my generation worse than any other). I expect to receive zero even though I have “paid in.”

    Honestly, please do not take any “our generational situation stinks” and “your generation had a better hand” stuff personally. There are many fine boomers, including yourself. Also, I don’t want the social “promises” made to boomers to end, I just worry about the numbers. It’s like Bernie Madoff. Some people made money, others not so much.

    Having the conversation is the best way to start turning things around. The alternative is we hit a dollar and economic crises in 5 to 10 years.

    • #18
  19. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    Pleated Pants Forever: I just look at the math

    All I ask is that you continue to. And when you see boomers trying to not be burdens, that you acknowledge that. Because the numbers may not work out the way they look right now.

    When I was a kid, people were afraid of overpopulation, and it did not materialize. It stabilized.

    I worked on a book last year written by the AARP called something Having the Talk. How the kids should talk to their boomer parents. It was frankly all about our getting our affairs in order so we can move on quickly when the time came. I get it.

    We may move on more quickly than the economists predict. What is sad to me is that the boomers will be trying their best to not be burdens and no one will notice.

    We’re not bad people. We hate dependency as much as everyone else does. It is not the intention of the boomers to rob their kids. Believe me.

    • #19
  20. Ricochet Inactive
    Ricochet
    @PleatedPantsForever

    MarciN:

    Pleated Pants Forever: I just look at the math

    We’re not bad people. We hate dependency as much as everyone else does. It is not the intention of the boomers to rob their kids. Believe me.

    MarciN – if more people (not just boomers) had your wisdom and perspective we would not need to have any tough conversations about policy

    • #20
  21. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    Pleated Pants Forever: MarciN – if more people (not just boomers) had your wisdom and perspective we would not need to have any tough conversations about policy

    I’m going to find a funny television show to watch.  :)

    Just one more point about life:

    When the terrorists attack happened, the stock market closed, and it stayed closed for about a week. My husband is a stockbroker, so of course we were watching it too. It could very well have collapsed. Most people thought it would. But miracle of miracles, it did not. They interviewed investors who said, “I knew I should sell, but I didn’t think I should, so I didn’t.” So millions of individual investors, with no one telling them to do so, left their investments. And the market stabilized.

    That’s what I’m trying to say. Don’t be too certain of what will happen. There’s a lot of effort being made to keep the boomers out of dependency and well and with a good quality of life until that’s not possible anymore.

    • #21
  22. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor
    Midget Faded Rattlesnake
    @Midge

    MarciN:We’re not bad people. We hate dependency as much as everyone else does. It is not the intention of the boomers to rob their kids. Believe me.

    Well, that’s the hell of it. Of course you hate dependency. Of course you don’t want to rob your kids. But you also respond to the incentives you’re set. Not because you’re bad people, but because you’re people people.

    Surprise! People really do respond to the incentives they’re set, and conservatives would sound a bit less silly if we blamed people less for this totally natural behavior – whether the people being blamed are boomers or welfare moms.

    That said, just because blame is a less helpful reaction than we’d like to believe it is doesn’t make a messy, unsustainable situation any less messy or more sustainable.

    So yeah, boomers, I get it: When people are promised they’ll “get their own back” from a government program, it’s totally not a surprise when they end up doing whatever’s in their power to “get their own back”, even if the system-wide consequences aren’t good ones. Understandably, middle-class, law-abiding people who feel like they’ve been unfairly plundered by the government their entire lives end up with less compunction about plundering the government in return, even if the long-term consequences of trying “get their own back” are… well… rather unfortunate.

    I’ve seen this happen in my own family. Watched my own mother cry when she realized there were years of Social Security benefits the family could have collected had she only known about them when the kids were under 18. Seen family real-estate that could have been sold at a much greater profit before the crash languish unsold because at the time it seemed much less of a hassle to apply for a government program instead of liquidating something as illiquid as land. Seen government reward as “smart” what should have been stupid moves in a truly free market (or, equivalently, punish as “stupid” what would have been smart moves in a truly free market).

    We can’t much criticize people for engaging in the behavior they’re actually rewarded for, even when it’s not the behavior they should be rewarded for.

    • #22
  23. Vectorman Inactive
    Vectorman
    @Vectorman

    Pleated Pants Forever:

    MarciN:

    Pleated Pants Forever: I just look at the math

    We’re not bad people. We hate dependency as much as everyone else does. It is not the intention of the boomers to rob their kids. Believe me.

    MarciN – if more people (not just boomers) had your wisdom and perspective we would not need to have any tough conversations about policy

    Pleated Pants: You will have some form of Social Security when you retire – probably not as much as you would like.  It might be “means tested” and not pay what you’ve put in, let alone any interest. I expect that the present SS “take-back number” ($457,600 for married) will be reduced significantly during my retirement (probably less than $100,000 in today’s dollars) making it “means tested.”

    MarciN:  I’m with you in not robbing our kids through SS or Medicare.  But I would like complete freedom on any medical decisions without government interference.  For example, if it costs $50,000 per year for dialysis, which takes most of my income, I could sell my house, car, etc., and live with my children, as my mother lived with us. A bureaucrat saying no dialysis because it costs too much is unacceptable.  With true medical freedom, that $50,000 number might be $5,000 when I (might) need it.

    • #23
  24. user_352043 Moderator
    user_352043
    @AmySchley

    MarciN:

    I get the animosity toward us boomers. I’m not sure what to say. Except: be open to some surprises and perhaps be forgiving when you see boomers trying not to be burdens and rejecting health care and help because of it. I hope you guys will be saying thank you. Although I doubt anyone will. Most likely people will continue to rant against the boomers even when they try to not be the burden you expect them to be.

    The politicians will never tell you about the money that didn’t need to be spent because boomers took themselves off of dialysis.

    You guys have definitely made your feelings known.

    Marci, do you really think boomers will refuse care or even commit suicide in significant numbers to reduce end-of-life costs? Because frankly, I don’t really see it happening.  First, because the will to die is not something that is especially strong in humanity in general and American culture specifically. (Suicides, elderly abandonment, and seppuku aren’t exactly a celebrated part of the culture.)  It might eventually become so, but we are nowhere close to suicide being considered an acceptable or morally neutral choice.

    Second, as long as Medicare will cover everything with no caps, the financial incentives that might induce someone to refuse care to save money don’t really apply. Nursing homes run $5K a month without any other medical expenses. Given how few assets most elderly folks have, one would have to off oneself quite soon after learning one has a chronic or terminal illness to preserve any assets for one’s family.  And since Medicare keeps paying long after all one’s assets have been consumed, there’s no financial gain to refuse care after those assets are gone.  People might refuse care for other reasons — pain, depression, tired of living — but after the bank account is empty and the house has been sold, I just don’t see the financial justification. It’s basically free money at that point, and people don’t normally refuse free money.  Especially when they can tell themselves that it’s just “their” money coming back to them.

    MarciN:

    We’re not bad people. We hate dependency as much as everyone else does. It is not the intention of the boomers to rob their kids. Believe me.

    Intentions mean nothing.  My grandparents may hate dependency too, but that sure doesn’t stop them from cashing their Social Security checks every month.  And as SS is a pay-as-you-go system, that Social Security check money comes from my parents and me.  Somehow when the check comes from the government, it doesn’t count as robbery in their eyes.

    • #24
  25. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    Amy Schley: Marci, do you really think boomers will refuse care or even commit suicide in significant numbers to reduce end-of-life costs?

    I definitely see that coming. No question in my mind about this. I can’t predict the numbers. I have no idea. But it will be significant, I believe. It has already started. And every time another celebrity is heralded for committing suicide and not becoming a burden to his or her family, the pressure increases on the boomers generally.

    Mostly, what I predict is people refusing medical care. And medical personnel encouraging people to not pursue treatment.

    That will be a big savings. But you’ll never know about it. Money that was not spent is not money you’ll feel was returned to you.

    And for that I blame the politicians. My complaint with ObamaCare is that many of those 3,000 pages were passed on the idea of providing expensive healthcare to aging boomers. That’s the part I don’t think is going to happen. And since people will not be living as long as they are presently predicting, they won’t be taking Social Security either. Savings all around.

    What I’m seeing is the groups like the AARP talking out of both sides of their mouths: they were pressuring Congress to pass Obamacare because of the boomer bulge; meanwhile, they are telling the boomers to get their stuff together and move on quickly. That’s the reality.

    Every single person I’ve known, when this subject of retirement comes up, is happy about it as long as they are self-supporting and in good health. Beyond that, they are looking for a way out.

    I can’t see the future. It’s just what I think is going to happen given my own reading.

    All I ask if that you guys watch this ten years from now so you don’t get robbed–the politicians will be telling you they are spending money on the boomers when in fact they aren’t.

    Maybe try to enjoy your family while you have them. I don’t mean to be maudlin, but it’s a fact of life. I think it is very sad that you all feel the way you do. I enjoyed my parents and grandparents enormously and wish they were still here. I loved them all very much. But perhaps I was really blessed to a really nice family.

    • #25
  26. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor
    Midget Faded Rattlesnake
    @Midge

    MarciN:

    Amy Schley: Marci, do you really think boomers will refuse care or even commit suicide in significant numbers to reduce end-of-life costs?

    I definitely see that coming. No question in my mind about this.

    If end-of-life-care were solely paid for by the elderly’s remaining estate and family members, I can envision a few people who’d off themselves simply to avoid depleting the inheritance they hoped to pass on. But not many. And that is to benefit people they know, not to benefit a bunch of faceless strangers.

    Heck, even Jesus didn’t die to benefit a bunch of strangers. Jesus, also being God, presumably had Godly omniscience at his disposal when he died to save us all, so that none of us could strictly be said to be strangers to him.

    Though I don’t consider boomers evil by any stretch of the imagination, envisioning them as more self-sacrificing than Jesus is a bit much :-)

    • #26
  27. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    It’s not a religious thing. People love their children. When people give something to their own children, they don’t think of it as a sacrifice. They want to do it. They want their children to have something.

    I think we just know different people.

    And as I’ve been saying, these decisions are so private and individual that it’s not something that people will keep track of.

    I think the big number will be the people who refuse expensive medical care. And that’s not a number you’ll be likely to see as a savings in your paycheck.

    I don’t know what to say. I have grown kids. I would really not want them to feel toward me the way you guys feel toward the boomers. Ugh. I do hope avoid this somehow. :)

    • #27
  28. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor
    Midget Faded Rattlesnake
    @Midge

    MarciN:

    Amy Schley: Marci, do you really think boomers will refuse care or even commit suicide in significant numbers to reduce end-of-life costs?

    It has already started.

    The article addresses the suicides of middle-aged boomers, though. And middle age is typically a pretty comfortable stage of life, both health-wise and financially.

    People committing suicide in (what they hoped would be comfortable) middle age because of disappointed expectations or family stresses can’t be said to be doing it specifically to avoid passing on the medical costs of old age, either to family members or strangers.

    And whatever the suicide rate among a particular generation may be, how does that suicide rate compare to the estate-planning rate – specifically, the kind of estate planning that shelters assets in order to increase eligibility for government benefits?

    For every boomer offing himself and saving the taxpayer on end-of-life-costs, I bet I could find dozens if not hundreds of boomers who’ll figure out how to rearrange their assets in order to qualify for maximum benefits should they end up needing nursing care. Indeed, Medicaid planning (rearranging your assets to maximize your eligibility for Medicaid) is apparently real hot stuff.

    • #28
  29. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    I’m feeling too defensive a have good conversation. Sorry. :)

    I want to be really clear that I don’t think people should do this. I hope there are better answers. A stronger economy would be my best solution to all these problems, not people committing suicide. I need to distinguish between what I think will happen and what I want to happen. I don’t want that to happen. I think it will, particularly if there is pressure on the boomers to do so.

    • #29
  30. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor
    Midget Faded Rattlesnake
    @Midge

    MarciN:I’m feeling too defensive a have good conversation. Sorry. :)

    Understood. Any issue that includes suicide can be a really sensitive one for many people to discuss, making those (like me) who are personally desensitized to suicide rather tough to converse with.

    • #30

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