We’ve just appeared on Weekend Sunrise to discuss this topic, and fight for the views you shared with us… Watch the segment here… It got very heated!
Stop for a conversation or two with younger generations who have not yet bought a home in Australia and you might feel affronted by how much hostility they have towards their parents’ generation, our over 60s. Many feel that their parent’s hard-earned affluence is something they are owed a part of, and sooner rather than later. But is this really fair? Most fortunate baby boomers that I know have worked very hard for their good fortune and the time of retirement, planned very carefully to be able to live with financial stability through the potentially decades ahead. Yes, they want to let their hair down, travel the world and spend the kids inheritance… because they’ve spent much of their life paying for the kids education, and fulfilling their childrens’ every whim, before setting them free at the mild age of nearly 30, well supported. They’ve done their hard yards, fighting their way through 17 per cent interest rates and juggling old and young family members for decades.
One article in News Limited’s Rendezview, written by Victoria Hannaford last year, captured it all. She was not only critical of the baby boomer, she reflected a rather widespread set of opinions that I hear with the monotonous regularity, aimed at their own parents and parents’ friends.
The article last year wrote in a mock-letter style:
“I need your help before I divorce my parents. Every time they return from an overseas holiday or buy a new car they joke about “spending the kids’ inheritance”.
“I gave up on getting an inheritance years ago, but their selfish, self-obsessed attitude makes me want to scream…”, the letter reads.
They go on to say “Please believe me, it is not about the money, I just want parents who stop to consider that complaining about Caribbean cruises while I grind out a living is wearing thin….”
Ms Hannaford’s mock letter makes some frightful statements towards Boomers, largely because of what seems to be a desire for inheritance.
“…they’ve turned into the whingiest, most entitled, condescending and argumentative generation to have ever ruined a planet. And that’s just when they’re asking for directions and then disputing your advice (yes, this actually happened to me a few weeks ago)”
Come again? I hope her parents aren’t reading!
“It’s not enough for them to have enjoyed free tertiary education, affordable housing and unparalleled acquisition of wealth. They want you to feel inferior while they swan about between their three properties, and pay attention as they deliver imperious lectures about fiscal responsibility and the younger generation’s obsession with flat-screen TVs”
Dare we ask how many flat screen TVs the journalist owns while complaining about not being able to spend her parents’ money?
I’m obligated to give you a link to the article to reference it as a source today, but don’t encourage you to give them the clicks. Instead let’s talk about your right to have worked hard all your life to build a nest egg that you can enjoy in retirement. Do you take offence to the accusation that you are “spending the kids inheritance”?