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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

on August 3, 2010
Baby Boomer Bust is an incisive account of the changing and difficult times in which we live. In the opening chapters, Mr. Chiocchi sets the stage and provides the basis for the difficulties which we have experienced in the last two years. Mr. Chiocchi excels in the middle portion of the book providing us with a wide variety of portraits of the baby boomers. In these chapters, we take a close look at the different circumstances the profiled individuals faced during the bust and how they are faring as the recovery begins. In the final chapters, the author again summarizes his findings and gives us an uncertain look into the future. Mr. Chiocchi has given us much food for thought and his book is a worthwhile premier for future discussions on the subject.
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on September 13, 2010
The author did not substantiate his point regarding "becoming the generation of panic. He appeared to document a generation of reluctant acceptance through stories of individuals who have been adversely effected by the Great Recession to others who have not. A rather shallow account of the impact of this economic downturn.
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on March 14, 2010
 This video by Author Roger Chiocchi summarizes his new book, "Baby Boomer Bust? How the generation of promise became the generation of panic." Please visit my website at [...]
One person found this helpful
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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. Most were making lots of money and simply blew it on big houses, luxury automobiles, exotic vacations and other big ticket items. And let's not forget that for the most part these are highly educated people who definitely should have known better. As far as I am concerned those of us who have lived responsibly should not have to bail out these folks in any way, shape or form. This may sound cruel but it seems to me that if people were made to suffer the consequences of their actions perhaps they would be a bit more thoughtful about how they conduct their affairs. Also, what strikes me about many of the people portrayed in this book and so many other members of my generation is the incredible amount of pain in their personal lives and so much of it self-imposed! Time and again people made a conscious decision to pursue wealth and a career at the expense of their marriage and family life. It is a sad state of affairs. Meanwhile, Chiocchi also devotes a good deal of time explaining how we got into this mess in the first place. He cites the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act back in 1999 as the major reason that things got so out of hand in the financial world. This law was passed during the Great Depression and essentially seperated commercial and investment banking activities. Repeal of this law, which was supported by both the Clinton administration and the Republicans in Congress unleashed the forces that would result in the rampant financial speculation that ended so abruptly on that September day back in 2008.

So what will become of the aging Boomers? According to Roger Chiocchi the idea of that retirement home is Florida is rapidly becoming a thing of the past. Most members of my generation are going to have to deal with some sobering new realities. They are going to have to work much longer than they anticipated and scale back their retirement plans dramatically. Many will be forced to consider creative ways new ways to make ends meet in their golden years. It seems likely that most of us will outlive our money. Chiocchi believes that the return of the multi-generational household is also inevitable and in many ways this may not be such a bad thing. Perhaps many Boomers will experience an epiphany and finally realize that they don't really need all that "stuff" after all. "Baby Boomer Bust?: How the Generation of Promise Became The Generation of Panic" considers these issues in a very thoughtful and engaging way. Highly recommended!
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VINE VOICEon June 9, 2010
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.

Most of the stories told by the Baby Boomers in this book are negative and a little depressing, and some readers will come away from the reading feeling a sense of empathy for the predicament faced by some of these individuals who once had everything and have now lost a sizable portion of their retirement funds and net worth. However, not all of those interviewed fit into this category. Some made poor economic decisions and are now suffering the consequences. One of the individuals in the book, for example, talks about his relocation to a new state and how he just couldn't bring himself to settle for a less expensive home worth only a few hundred thousand dollars. He wanted better, and ended up mortgaging away his future when he lost his job and his home as well. Had he purchased a less expensive home, he would have had no problem staying afloat. I like this balance within the book. The author doesn't criticize these decisions or support them. He lets the boomers speak for themselves and lets you, the reader, form your own opinion.

The stories of struggling baby boomers in Baby Boomer Bust are sometimes heart- wrenching, but they are not presented as depressing dramas and this is another aspect of the book that I like. Some of the people featured in this book certainly have reason to feel depressed, yet they manage to maintain a certain degree of optimism and they feel they will survive in the end. They know it will take time to get back on their feet, but they remain optimistic that this will happen. In addition to that, many of the individuals who offer their stories in this book admit that the financial crisis has given them a new perspective on what really matters in life. They now realize that material possessions aren't that important, that personal relationships deserve more attention, and that it's important to live below one's means. Many of these individuals never consider these things before the meltdown and they credit the financial crisis for opening their eyes to this and other concerns.

There is no doubt that the financial crisis has taken its toll on everyone, but those who are nearing retirement have a unique set of concerns. Their retirement funds have lost a great deal of their value and there is little time left to make up for the loss. Baby Boomer Bust lets some of these individuals share their stories, vent their frustrations, and offer their own recipe for future success, either directly or indirectly. The members of this generation still have a sense of optimism, but baby boomers agree that the economic meltdown has forever changed their lives and they will never take things for granted again.
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on April 15, 2010
An engaging and astute look at the baby boomer reality in the most serious downturn in memory. The personal stories bring to life how this downturn, like no other recent one, has changed the way Boomers look at their spending, their investments, their careers, and their lives. Brings home what many of us are sharing, and what the rest of us read about only as statistics.
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