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"Choicchi provides a lucid and vivid account of the combined flawed social policies and ingrained corporate attitudes that have brought the US economy to its knees. His portraits of representative Americans dazed, staggering and angry at how the American dream has failed them offers us a set of compelling lessons concerning excessive optimism about the infallibility of the American economy and widespread indifference towards the vast inequalities between the very wealthy and everyone else. Their stories illustrate the collision of middle and upper middle class Boomer expectations about a comfortable, fulfilling, secure and relaxed retirement period for which many have worked so hard, and the harsh realities of the need to stay in the workforce, defer indefinitely luxury vacations, and require adult children to pay for their own college educations or that of the grandchildren. His book offers some guidance (in the areas of housing alternatives, job retraining for career change, filing for bankruptcy, and taping low cost and free community resources to enhance meaning and personal enrichment) for individuals seeking to cope with dramatic reduction in income, property value, investments and overall net worth. Beyond these helpful suggestions, "Baby Boomers Bust" is a wake up call for the need to challenge the assumptions on which the American economy is based and to move more in the direction of the social democracy models of European countries such as the Netherlands." --Dr. Ronald Manheimer, Former Executive Director, North Carolina Center for Creative Retirement
"... a revealing insight into the effects of the recent economic downturn on the very generation that helped to create one of the world’s most powerful and influential economies. Mr. Chiocchi’s examination brings into sharp relief some of the more salient, and subtle, social-consequences of one of the greatest economic disasters in the history of Western civilization." --Michael J. Formica, MS, MA, EdM, Psychotherapist, Social Scientist
"A sobering view of the underside of the economic meltdown." --Jerry Shereshewsky, CEO, Grandparents.com
Baby Boomer Bust? examines and analyzes the meltdown of 2008/2009 from economic, political and social perspectives and illuminates how the meltdown has directly impacted Baby Boomers -- once known as the generation of promise, but now the generation of panic. It examines the downturn’s impact on Boomers’ lifestyles, dreams, aspirations and future plans. Baby Boomer Bust? raises some provocative questions regarding the generation’s ability to survive the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.
Every time I see actor Dennis Hopper in those highly annoying Ameriprise ads I just want to vomit. "Hey man, you gotta have a plan!" he tells us while urging his fellow Baby Boomers to hook up with an Ameriprise financial advisor. I am a Baby Boomer myself and as I look around at the sorry state of our country these days I place the blame squarely where it belongs....on my generation. From where I sit Boomers turned out to be far more materialistic and greedy than the parents lots of these folks rebelled against in the 1960's. Lots of Boomers had everything handed to them from a very young age and essentially did whatever they wanted for their entire lives. That is until the financial meltdown in 2008. Many Boomers lost nearly everything and now one must ponder just what will become of my generation. In "Baby Boomer Bust?: How the Generation of Promise Became the Generation of Panic" author Roger Chiocchi considers the plight of the Baby Boomers through extensive interviews with 8 members of my generation as well as from responses from an online survey he conducted. Frankly, I came away with very little sympathy for most of these people.
When I compare the way my parents lived to the lifestyles of those who were portrayed in "Baby Boomer Bust?" I just shake my head. My parents saved for a rainy day, demanded value for their hard earned money and exhibited an incredible amount of self-discipline throughout their lives. They grew up during the Great Depression so they understood that hard times were inevitable and they made sure that they were prepared for them. By contrast, many of the individuals portrayed in this book exhibited little or no self-restraint in their personal lives.Read more ›
The baby boomer generation is the largest generation of individuals in the United States. It is a generation identified with many things, both good and bad, but one thing baby boomers seemed to have a good grip on was their own personal retirement and financial future. They worked hard, saved, and seemed to have everything set for a fairly secure retirement. However, this level of security became completely unraveled during the past few years, thanks to the financial crisis. Baby Boomer Bust takes a hard look at the changing financial conditions for boomers and what needs to be done for America's largest generation to return to financial health.
Most everyone has been affected by the financial crisis, but the crisis has certainly taken its toll on some more than others. Baby Boomer Bust examines some of the causes of this crisis, but it devotes most of its pages to individuals who have been affected by the economic downturn in a significant way. Individuals who once seemed to have everything going for them are suddenly scrounging for dollars and working in menial jobs. This book lets baby boomers tell their own story and many of them offer candid responses, indicating exactly who/what is to blame for the financial crisis and how they think they will cope in the future. Many blame the economic policies of George W. Bush for the financial crisis, but they spread their dissatisfaction far and wide. They also blame the U.S. Congress, the financial services industry, Wall Street, government institutions, and many others for the present financial and economic mess they and others have experienced.Read more ›
This is one of those books which should have been written five years ago. Although I have my doubts that those who could have benefited from the wisdom would have read it and taken the message to heart, since there are countless examples in the book where people assumed they were special and immune to poor planning, and any possibility of a recession, depression or big business bail outs that caused panic in the country. For me I had parents who lived thru the Great Depression, WW2 and adhered to the wisdom in The Millionaire Next Door book that I highly recommend. Which was and is all about living below ones means, not showing off, and having some serious humbleness.
Throughout the book I kept reading of one person after another who lived way beyond their means. Most had no problem NOT thinking outside the box and not encuriing debt. Most chose to buy McMansions and pretend that they were multi millionaires by buying expensive cars they didn't need but simply wanted. Taking expensive, in your face vacations, rather than learning that fun need not cost a lot of money. Instead of real communication they would buy the newest toy to entertain or in my view, kill some pain that they never dealt with.
And it was very troubling to read how many parents thought they had an obligation to pay for their child(rens) college or university, when its my view that if a student can get into a school of higher learning then they should be able to dig hard for scholarships, and even part time jobs to pay for the education. We did not pay for our sons college. He did. How many ivy league educated men/women are now out of a job or working less hours for less money? Lord knows it was these ivy league holier than thou types who brought the country to the brink of ruin after 2007.Read more ›