WRKO>Audio & Video on Demand>>Robert Gebeloff (NY Times, Unhappy Generation)

Robert Gebeloff (NY Times, Unhappy Generation)

Dec 5, 2017|

Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

You know when you first graduate college you trying to figure out how to like come up with a deposit to rent my first department Helmand and pay next month's rent and how much gonna make that car payment. By the time you're getting a little older you tend to be a little more at peace with your finances. Recently used to be. Survey research shows. That the current crop of middle aged Americans not feeling very good about their finances were joined by Robert gebel off from the New York Times Robert welcome to the show. Good morning. So why are all my peers so grumpy about their finances what's occurred in the last 2030 years. It's kind of several things going on simultaneously the person to back up what we found was there's a based survey that's been asked for the last. 45 years and the same questions to NASA's top of the National Opinion Research Center. Called the general social survey and they asked the question. Are you pretty well satisfied with your present financial situation. And for thirty years or so the answers when broken them age group were pretty much the same older workers where the most oral the respondents would most satisfied. Younger people would at least satisfied. And people in the middle age were somewhere in between. But in the last ten years or so much changed. Everyone is somewhat less satisfied than where before. But the biggest crop has been in this age group of 45 to 54 year old. And some of the reasons are. People in this age group were probably. More likely than other age groups to get caught up in the housing crisis. Cause and while Matt hit they were probably at the age of buying their first home. There are other long term trends such is if you have a job whether or not have a defined benefit pension plan that started to go away this generation. And this is some other. Trenton that. Is starting to be better understood by a lot of people looking at economy which is a role older people com. Older people are more likely to stay in the workforce longer. And to take the highest paying jobs. And you know other survey research recent round chose that they are increasingly likely to be among the wealthiest Americans as opposed to. You know a generation ago when this would be considered the peak earning years. Right so you're talking about the boomers the boomers are hanging around too long and they are hurting this younger generation. Well in a way and it and it's and it's been questioned because when I first noticed this was happening a few years ago. We were a lot of people were looking at what's going on with the middle class in this country and if you look at income trends over time you see generally in the United States the number of people or well he's going up. And then the number of people or poor is going up and the number of people sort of in the middle. Before actually represented by what is the average is going down but when I looked at that more closely what I saw is the shift. Who is still in the middle a lot of all the people who had previously. In income statistics ranked near the bottom. And a few years later when it looked at it again this time you'd see it's just it's really shifting dramatically. Number of people 65 or working full time. I used to be you know fifteen years ago was about one and twelve now about one in seven. And what we've first were looking at this we. Kind of got the impression that some of this where it was people who were. You know may be taking a job in retail or something to supplement to retirement savings and actually when we look at it more closely this time. That people over 65 or matching the trends in general economy there's going into computer science and staying longer. That helps jobs wrote a lot of those are older people respect and so. You have these two things happen simultaneously. You know being caught in the negative trends and happening in the economy and and having the older generation. That is that would normally be retiring and is not as likely to retire and that is sort of got. Bloom the people 4554. Kind of caught up and I. So what does the future hold for that group an and what is the future hold further. 35 to 45 general public is this a trend that's going to continue or is it isolated to this group that was you know. Not quite baby boomers general the next nickname isn't it for them but. It it sounds like they are kind of stuck in Iraq. Right and and you know that the belong good players like you know I I work is demographics and economic data and were always looking backwards yeah. So looking forward is always tricky and as I think you're talking nonetheless segment you know when you have like a major tax bill than. Change things like it's it's hard to predict. But if if all things hold the same. This could be the new normal which is. You know by the time you know ten years from now our generation could be enjoying the same things as future generations but it it raises. The question of like how much damage was done to our finances. By like losing our defined benefit pension and what's gonna happen until security is it going to be as good for us when we get to that page so calm it's possible that we could still be. Not satisfied as. Previous people as we move up through the age. Cohort. Very good very Robert thank you for your study a it was fascinating as I read it and I'm sure appreciate your coming on the show and explaining to thank you very much. At Robert double off from the New York Times and you know chuck the lit with struck me was you know you think about those people are born in the return of of people born between 1962. In 1971. And they lived through. To just horrific stock market crashes they lived through the crash of you know 2000 through 2002. And then they lived through another crash widget to your every thought that the dot com bubble was just terrible right it all allows the worst thing ever at the time. Right then you live through that date the crash of 2008 these poor people are shell shocked. There anymore shall sector should they be any more then the boomers. Or people in their eighties and like you know you look at it the boomers had happened rabies they were trying to retire yet so you know it's true rumors and you're saying look at a plan and all of a sudden I'm working the next ten years. Then you've got folks you know like my grandfather's 98 years old now who sit there in retirement saying. But what happened lately weird at all my retirement savings actually the technical back to work at age ninety you know we like it that this is not happening so. You sit there and you're you're going. OK lately it it was bad for all these groups why is this one more impact it and that's what what I find tough to kind of pick up there is. I think it's living through two really bad. Recessions. When you're in it you know you're you're supposed to be. Riding the scale so imagine you know you lose your job like a lot of people that fired 2008 in the middle on start their young careers. I think that has a lot to do it.