Terrorists

boomers1

Maybe you’re one of the Boomers. If not, maybe you should pay attention to them. Lest you go down in the flames the way they are.

Do you have a corporate pension plan? If you do, is it adequately funded? Have you looked? Do you have a personal registered retirement plan? Or do you just have a house?

Evidence grows that this recession is redefining middle class wealth. And not for the better. Overwhelmingly we’re taking on more debt, saving nothing, and gambling that real estate will come and rescue our sorry financial butts. New numbers show more wealth is tied up in residential properties than ever before.

For people already retired, almost 80% of their net worth is buried in their illiquid homes. For Boomers, it’s equal, or close. Meanwhile legislation announced today in Ottawa on pension reform (which will come too late to help anyone over 50, and everyone who doesn’t have a corporate plan) shows we’re inching steadily closer to a retirement crisis.

Of course, in rising real estate markets, people tend not only to pump more money into their homes, but to save less, invest little in diversified assets and take on more debt. It’s called the ‘wealth effect’ – the unrealized capital gains in your house increase, so you feel like you’re worth more. Suddenly you take an interest in every sale on your street, and use each new high closing as the basement price for your own house. Soon you can talk yourself into a big hunk of money you’ll never see, while taking no other steps to secure your future.

That’s exactly what happened for years in the US, as real estate values soared. Millions of people borrowed money against that rising equity to live higher quality lives – but ended up only with a mountain of debt when houses crashed. Bad strategy. It’s why I’ve never varied from my own personal rule of thumb, which is not to allow real estate as an asset class to rise above 40% of my  net worth.

But I’m not normal. Especially compared to the bulk of people in my generation. The Big Generation. Big disappointment, as it turns out.

Those people  have grown up in a time of almost constant inflation, endless economic growth, technological advance and wall-to-wall progress that seemed to obliterate the need for personal responsibility. Back when the public pension system was being set up, the Boomers were in grade school and the country was rocking. Growth was rampant, corporations expanding, private pension plans were being set up right and left, moms were streaming into the workforce as never before and workers were being given a cool new savings vehicle called the registered retirement savings plan. The future seemed obvious and the CPP was designed for just one function – to supplement other forms of retirement income, namely those corporate pensions and RRSP savings.

Never, ever, did policymakers dream fifty years ago the bulk of those kids teeming into the public schools would end up like this. Three-quarters without corporate pensions. Millions discovering they’d been cheated when pensions were underfunded. Two-thirds having missed most, of not all, of their available RRSP contributions. Only one kid per class proving to be serious about retirement savings. Most learning that at age 65 they couldn’t afford to retire in comfort, or retire at all.

How could they have envisioned in the Sixties that a generation born into such education, promise and prosperity would borrow so much, spend so carelessly, save so little, invest so reluctantly or fail so spectacularly that those tiny supplemental public pensions might become their only salvation?

Over the coming decade, the Big Generation will have absolutely no alternative but to try and turn real estate into cash. This money will be needed for immediate income, but also for growth, since life expectancy is catapulting higher. The average Boomer, at age 60 for example, has 25 years or more yet to finance – years often devoid of either earned income or meaningful pension payments. That means the money from a real estate needs to be turned into lifetime investment income. The consequences for equity markets are obvious – a 20-year infusion of capital which can’t help but propel assets higher.

But before that happens, those suburban houses have to hit the market and be turned liquid. One more big reason that smart money wants very little to do with real estate in the years ahead of us. After all, imagine what will happen to housing supply and demand as one, two, or three million more properties turn into listings over the next 60 months.

House values are significantly impacted by supply and demand, and the Boomer dump could well up being the mother of all real estate events, driving down not only the value of competing suburban properties, but the entire market. This will be especially so after the housing bubble conditions I’ve already described – the result of Mark Carney’s experiment in super-cheap interest rates. Boom, then bust. Hardly the time to be trying to unload your big house. And a time you want to avoid.

Clearly, there are no alternatives to a real estate fire sale. With Boomers now streaming into their sixth decade, it’s obvious time has run out to grow savings enough to finance the future. There’s no way stock market gains or secure fixed-income investments can make up for thirty years of new cars, Cuba, Nikes, flipping houses or affording your kids.

If you are a house-bound Boomer, I think you know what you have to do.

If you’re a GenXer or a GenYer lusting for revenge from the terrorizing generation,  just wait.

HOWE STREET BANNER

Garth`s latest podcast is here.

190 comments ↓

#1 Told you so on 10.26.09 at 6:18 pm

If you’re so good & so smart about economics and politics, maybe you should run for office.
Ooops, you did.
I guess you have a blog and 40 readers to feel good about yourself…

I’d guess that’s 39 more reasons than you have. — Garth

#2 dd on 10.26.09 at 6:33 pm

Garth,

“Over the coming decade, the Big Generation will have absolutely no alternative but to try and turn real estate into cash. The consequences for equity markets are obvious – a 20-year infusion of capital which can’t help but propel assets higher.”

Garth, on of your most insightful blogs yet.

#3 Brad on 10.26.09 at 6:34 pm

Let me just say for the record that I’m a Generation “X”er. To say that we got the shaft is an understatement. EVERYONE I know in my age group is in debt up to their eyeballs, have no real savings, and stuck in a rut of dead-end, part time McJobs. I know of 5 people in my circle of friends who have given up the search for a better career and settled for a mediocre job at Wal-Mart or Home Depot.

When it comes down to who’s to blame for this mess, throw a stone and you’ll hit someone’s who’s guilty. Sure there are many others in my age group who have gone on to successful careers, but more often than not, these individuals came from wealthy, influential backgrounds to begin with. In other words, they were born successful and had their entire careers mapped out for them…

The argument can be made that the “boomers” and those born before 1980 perhaps had it too good for too long. And don’t forget the ones coming out of college/university who are entering the worst job climate in over 50yrs. Too many people competing for too few jobs, combined with a workforce that is retiring much later than planned, and you can see what I mean. It’s a recipe for disaster. Of course that hasn’t stopped the contractors from building more $300k+ homes.

I think the next decade will determine how the “X’ers will fare. If they’re not successful by now, chances are they too will likely be working until they’re 75–or six feet under, whatever comes first. It truly is a tragedy, but such is life. There’s simply no guarantees about anything.

#4 gb on 10.26.09 at 6:45 pm

I’m 40 years old.

There is no question my parents generation has sold our generation down the river.

Almost without exception, whenever I pull up beside a luxury vehicle….it’s grey hair sitting in there.

Maybe instead of a luxury car, some of that cash could have gone towards funding an independant , self sufficient retirement?

The boomers have had it better than any other generation in history and will expect first class PAID FOR health care in retirement to boot.

The generations are about to clash.

For the boomers out there… my advice is sell that house now while you have a chance to cash in and secure your own healthcare etc…. because my generation will absolutely not pay ever increasing taxes for you to continue your lifelong life of opulence.

#5 Onemorething on 10.26.09 at 7:03 pm

Father Garth, Amen! Another compelling sermon delivered but will only fall onto the ears of the converted!

My guess is forced conversion is on the horizon however for the majority it will be too late and they wont be able to get into our church.

Why? They wont have the capacity nor wealth to take on where the church of Garth is going next. Those sermons will be filled with the gospel of growth.

20-45 years of it for a few of us, the adverse for the sheeple!

I believe we are getting very close to delivering our last warning!

#6 Boombust on 10.26.09 at 7:11 pm

Will I still be able to afford chino pants?

#7 Tony on 10.26.09 at 7:28 pm

Great post Garth!! I’m 30 and waiting on a home. while I’m waiting is there some financial instrument in which I can invest on the devaluing or crashing of the Canadian real estate market??

#8 DrC on 10.26.09 at 7:38 pm

“If you’re a GenXer or a GenYer lusting for revenge from the terrorizing generation, just wait.”
______________________________________________
What do you mean ‘revenge’ Garth? You know that Boomers hold the biggest voting block and that politicians will continue to pander to them for as long as they are hanging around? We’ll be continuing to subsidise and pay for the Boomer Bailout for the next 15 years at least.

No, no I want more! I got a free education, and then easy employment, and then I voted for successive governments who debased and devalued the purchasing power of the loonie, always postponing the day of reckoning and now it’s arrived I want you to bail me out and buy my house for a bazillion dollars!

#9 LS on 10.26.09 at 7:43 pm

While I’m sure there are a lot of boomers that will be selling their houses to try to finance their retirement, I don’t think it will be the majority.
Houses have huge emotional meaning for people, and many boomers will just keep working to avoid losing their house. The age where you could expect to retire at 55 or 60, or even 65 is over. There will be an entire generation that will have to work well into their 70s until they can “retire”.

#10 ottawa pete on 10.26.09 at 7:49 pm

Anecdotal, but it looks like real estate is now dead in Ottawa. It used to be that only inventory over $450K was slow to dead, but now it appears that nothing is moving at any price level. The Mattamy and Monarch Homes sales offices that I drive by on a regular basis seem to always be full though…

There’s a country subdivision I’m interested in. One house built in a year out of 48 lots. A couple more are now under construction for some police officers…Everyone I talk to is in wait and see mode…

#11 Watched Bubble Never Pops on 10.26.09 at 8:00 pm

#3 Brad

“Let me just say for the record that I’m a Generation “X”er. To say that we got the shaft is an understatement. EVERYONE I know in my age group is in debt up to their eyeballs, have no real savings, and stuck in a rut of dead-end, part time McJobs. I know of 5 people in my circle of friends who have given up the search for a better career and settled for a mediocre job at Wal-Mart or Home Depot.”

I’m not sure what your point is. I’m Gen X and all my friends are successful. I know at least 5 people in my circle of friends who have excellent careers and look forward to the future.

I guess the point is that a person will find something to blame if that is what they’re looking for. Personally I’ve found blaming outwards hasn’t been very productive.

#12 Bonnie N BC on 10.26.09 at 8:01 pm

Garth
It’s kinda sick isn’t it – Gen X wanting to hang us boomers high…

For what being gullible? Well, we would never walked into a 40 zero mortgage and when I tried to talk my nephew out of the transaction I was rebuked by his not so boomer parents.

It’s not fair not because we weren’t paying attention when they changed the rules – we still vote which in comparison to the You Tube generation who think voting isn’t cool – they should accept some responsibility.

#13 Watched Bubble Never Pops on 10.26.09 at 8:02 pm

#7 Tony

“Great post Garth!! I’m 30 and waiting on a home. while I’m waiting is there some financial instrument in which I can invest on the devaluing or crashing of the Canadian real estate market??”

Short a REIT or a RE ETF. You’ll likely go broke.

#14 mooncake on 10.26.09 at 8:02 pm

Great post Garth!- I see a fire sale coming shortly in the next year or 2!

#15 greyhound on 10.26.09 at 8:03 pm

“I’d guess that’s 39 more reasons than you have.” — Garth

I burst out laughing; does Garth have a future in comedy?

#16 T.O. Bubble Boy on 10.26.09 at 8:04 pm

So, if the 60+ crowd all start dumping their 3- and 4-bdrm homes, where are they all going to move to?

I agree that Boomers need to start getting their liquidity back, but for many, there doesn’t seem to be an obvious alternative.

For instance, will retirees move to small towns with far fewer services?

Or, will retirees move to condos, only to see their maintenance fees eat up their savings?

I can still see many boomers staying put, and simply taking out bigger and bigger reverse mortgages and other variations of HELOCs.

And – don’t forget all of the Boomers who still have Gen-Xers living in their basement… they can’t sell because they’d have to buy 2 condos: one for them, and one for the son/daughter that they haven’t kicked out or married off yet.

#17 kitchener1 on 10.26.09 at 8:06 pm

Baby Boomer bashing, nice hobby on this blog LOL

Did you hear about Jack Layton;s proposal? Doubling CPP to $1800 a year, LOVE IT. Im all for increasing it but doubling it? Guess who is going to pay for it.

The boomers are going to be suprised when they can;t sell their homes for what they thought. The only hope that I see for areas of the new rust belt in southern ontario ( KW-London-Barrie-Oshawa etc..) is that boomers sell their homes and move outside the GTA where they can still buy a reasonable home and have $ left over.

#18 Jeff Smith on 10.26.09 at 8:07 pm

Ok Garth, I want to hear the rest of that sentence. Not that I want to take revenge but i happen to be a GenX

>If you’re a GenXer or a GenYer lusting for revenge
>from the terrorizing generation, just wait.

#19 Steve on 10.26.09 at 8:13 pm

Brad (#3)

Give me a break. If you are in debt up to your eyeballs, then you have nothing but your own stupidity and shortsightedness to blame.

I am a Gen Xer too, and despite never having held a decent paying job for more than a few years, I have $$ in the bank and not a spot of debt.

People are in debt because they want things they can’t afford. Living below your means is the only way to save.

Anything else (blaming banks, the government, etc) is just excuses. There is enough information out there on the web now for anyone who can read to make informed financial decisions.

#20 Mark Carneys brotherinlaw on 10.26.09 at 8:14 pm

A firm, maybe yes maybe no,
maybe rain maybe snow:

The main upside risks to inflation relate to the possibility of a stronger-than-anticipated recovery in the global economy and more robust Canadian domestic demand.

On the downside, the global recovery could be even more protracted than projected. In addition, a stronger-than-assumed Canadian dollar, driven by global portfolio movements out of U.S.-dollar assets, could act as a significant further drag on growth and put additional downward pressure on inflation.

and then this lungful:

Direct support to the industry has been breathtaking, with some industrialized countries committing a remarkable 25 per cent of GDP to support their financial sectors. In effect, there was wartime spending on peacetime calamity.

Hurrah bro-in-law, the banking crooks are saved, now can I sleep on your lumpy couch till my UI comes?

http://www.bank-banque-canada.ca/en/speeches/2009/sp261009.html [quotations – Mark Carney
Governor of the Bank of Canada]

#21 Subversive on 10.26.09 at 8:16 pm

This is my favourite post yet since I’ve started reading this blog. Nicely put.

#22 Brad on 10.26.09 at 8:20 pm

#11, well you certainly are the exception. If you read my post carefully, you will notice that I said that many X’ers did indeed fare well, and many did not. I think it depends on your situation in life and your geographical location. I stand by what I said that from my perspective, we didn’t exactly get the golden parachute.

#23 Bruce on 10.26.09 at 8:24 pm

Hey number 11, good for you. Come to Southern Ontario and see if you and your friends do as well in finding a “career”. Perhaps you’ve got it made, but thousands of other Generation X’rs don’t. FYI, I’m 35, still live at home, and can’t even afford a used car. Am I asking for sympathy? NO, but I can say that I think your full of it.

#24 Mark on 10.26.09 at 8:55 pm

All the college-educated 20-30 year olds that I know are unemployed or severely underemployed. Mainly engineers (you know, the people who actually do the work so you can enjoy the sort of lifestyle you’re accustomed to!). Some haven’t been able to find jobs in years. Get my friends back into the workforce, creating stuff and creating jobs, and maybe the boomers will have a chance.

#25 artisuseless on 10.26.09 at 9:00 pm

@ Brad on 10.26.09 at 6:34 pm
Let me just say for the record that I’m a Generation “X”er.
The argument can be made that the “boomers” and those born before 1980 perhaps had it too good for too long.

Brad, I don’t think you’re a Gen-Xer. Gen-Xers, if you are going by the early 90s demographers, were born between 1964 and 1971, and was gradually expanded to include all the 1970s. How could you be both the ‘shafted’ generation, while those ‘born before 1980’ had it too good?

And please quit the hyperbole. I graduated into the last recession in the 1990s, in Ottawa while the Feds were in the midst of laying off 40,000 people. And I still managed to find a job. It isn’t the worst job climate in 50 years but the worst job climate since the early 80s, which followed a decade of pretty much solid stagnation.

Most baby-boomers actually dealt with a lousy economy for their entire twenties and early thirties. And they came from a generation where believe me, no one could fathom living with their parents once they hit 18. (And still, younger workers are favoured – I routinely see job postings requesting ppl be under 30) It’s Generation Whine with a booming job market the past 15 years along with indulgent parents who’ve actually never had it better.

It’s not about baby-boomers vs other generations but about the wealthy, connected elites (top 10%-top 1%) vs everybody else.

http://www.financialsense.com/editorials/quinn/2008/1103.html

#26 GregW., Oakville on 10.26.09 at 9:07 pm

Hi Garth, FYI, new video out, free link too;
(I’ll need to watch this when I get time in the next few days!)

Fall of the Republic. 144min
(regarding Alex Jones – NWO material )
http://www.joemarquis.com/videos.htm

#27 Downsized and Delighted on 10.26.09 at 9:16 pm

Well I hate to disappoint everyone but I’m a baby boomer with lots of money – have already downsized because I wanted to not because I needed the money to retire. I live with the knowledge that we don’t own houses – they own us. Made me realize that owning the smallest home that will accommodate your needs leaves more space for living. But the most important thing of all is family and children and having a safe home for them.

#28 JO on 10.26.09 at 9:22 pm

# 4 – well put. We are indeed facing a generational war. For the most part, anyone under 55 or so has had it good – artifically so. Most are caught up in the credit and spend lifestyle. The y have not saved anything..now how are they going to retire ? Instead, many of these same people, reckless with their money, have turned to politicians (or soon will) to pressure the gov’t to take actions to bail them out, which means screwing another large group of people that in most cases are people who have done the right thing (savers, discplined home buyers putting down more than 20 %, etc).

This will continue. The world is in a unique situation. We have never seen such a buildup of debt. Made possible for many important reasons, but none more so than the fact there were enough morons willing and “able” to take out huge amounts of artificially low priced debt against collateral which itself was artificially inflated (housing). This highly leveraged, fractional reserve, fiat money system has created an illusion of wealth and prosperity. It acts like mass hallucination. Unfortunately, all that is really happening is that the record mountain of debt was growing at an unprecedented rate (especially from 2001-2009) that our money dropped in value so tremendously so that our assets/incomes look high.

As with all such fiat money systems, the end relatively quickly..in tragedy and debacle..this is the stage we have begun in 2008…the worst is ahead…get ready for shocking gov’t action. At the end of the day, they will keep trying to bail themselves out at your expense…raising taxes, fees, and the like to the point where a gov’t will fail in massive protests…make no mistake, this is where she is heading. We will come to realize that the biggest threat to our prosperity and liberty is not a bunch of religious fanatics with a grade 2 education hiding in a cave in Pakistan or Afghanistan, but our bloated, fast growing gov’t.

JO

#29 Brad on 10.26.09 at 9:43 pm

#25, OK, don’t take my word for it. Hell, I’m only 33, so what the hell do I know anyway? For the most part, it’s just a big rat-race out there where everyone seems to shit on everyone else, right?

http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/October2009/06/c3036.html

#30 Onemorething on 10.26.09 at 9:47 pm

oh oh! The old Gen Y X Boomer debate! Give it a break kid’s, you all drank from the same Koolaid, and you know who you are even if you cant admit it, looking for someone else to blame but yourselves!

Grow a set and get ready for the GREAT GLOBAL RESET!

I’m not going to tell you what Gen I come from as it doesnt matter. It’s all coming home to roost!

The Church Of Garth has spoken!

#31 Brad on 10.26.09 at 9:50 pm

#24, Mark.

Exactly, but some of these people obviously don’t agree with me. I’ve seen it first-hand. I’ve seen people YOUNGER than me lined up at the food bank and soup kitchens. Two weeks ago, a local church handed out thousands of free coats to those who couldn’t afford it. Local welfare rates are up 30%. IMO, there is no recovery taking place out there, merely a shifting of wealth and values. Nothing new really. Just more of the same. Rich get richer, poor get poorer, money flows to money. All part of how the game works…

#32 RM in Oakville on 10.26.09 at 9:50 pm

Personally I think the folks in the pic are too old to be Boomers. Parents of Boomers maybe.

#33 Bruce on 10.26.09 at 9:57 pm

Well said JO, #28…

#34 InvestorsFriend on 10.26.09 at 10:04 pm

Well if your only real asset is your house equity and you are over 50, you really have not saved much.

If you have a pension plan, that’s okay, you can get by in that case with no RRSP.

And pension or not, you are better off than the tons of boomers who have little equity in a house and no pension plan.

Was it on this blog that house equity was described as inactive equity? It’s not like liquid financial wealth.

If you are a boomer with 10 years or more left of working, then focus on building financial assets. (especially if you don’t have a pension plan)

I don’t see any reason for most boomers to sell their houses now as most are not interested in renting. But maybe forget about buying that cottage and forget about the renovations until you get a serious chunk of money into RRSPS and the new tax free savings accounts.

Averages are useless. Everyone is different. Not every boomer will starve in retirement and not everyone will live the high-life. The spectrum runs from desitute to super-rich.

Most of the really rich and comfortably wealthy will have done that partly by hard work and good choices and partly by some good luck or at least a lack of really bad luck.

Most boomers have made their own beds and will lie in those beds. Some in comfy beds, some in cots at the shelter…

Life is not fair, get used to it.

#35 Fool me once... on 10.26.09 at 10:04 pm

I’m so tired of the finger pointing. I’m a Senior manager at a large institution. When I finished school I was working hard labor until I was able to get my career off the ground. But these days I can’t hire anyone with a degree into our entry level positions. They all expect to go straight into a 6 figure position, probably because they need it to cover their debt payments. I’m in my mid 40s so not really a boomer, but the boomers I know mostly started in humble jobs and worked their way up. Not now days, graduates want the big apple coming out of the gate while they hang around their parents home living off of them.

#36 Watched Bubble Never Pops on 10.26.09 at 10:10 pm

#22 Brad

“If you read my post carefully, you will notice that I said that many X’ers did indeed fare well, and many did not.”

That’s similar to any generation.

“I think it depends on your situation in life and your geographical location. I stand by what I said that from my perspective, we didn’t exactly get the golden parachute.”

From my perspective we have had the best time. With the RE crash in the early-mid 90s, tech stock crash of 2000-2002 and credit crisis of 2007-2009 we have had opportunity after opportunity to pick up assets on the cheap.

I agree that perspective is reality. My perspective is that our generation has been very (very) fortunate.

#37 Watched Bubble Never Pops on 10.26.09 at 10:12 pm

#23 Bruce

My friends colleagues and I are all in Southern Ontario. Life has been very good to us down here.

#38 Watched Bubble Never Pops on 10.26.09 at 10:14 pm

#27 Downsized and Delighted

“Well I hate to disappoint everyone but I’m a baby boomer with lots of money – have already downsized because I wanted to not because I needed the money to retire. I live with the knowledge that we don’t own houses – they own us. Made me realize that owning the smallest home that will accommodate your needs leaves more space for living. But the most important thing of all is family and children and having a safe home for them.”

Congratulations and great post! I think you have an excellent attitude!

#39 taxpayer like you on 10.26.09 at 10:15 pm

#4 gb said

“Almost without exception, whenever I pull up beside a
luxury vehicle….it’s grey hair sitting in there.

Maybe instead of a luxury car, some of that cash could have gone towards funding an independant , self sufficient retirement?”

Your first sentence is based on observation, your second
is based on assumption. If we agree that most luxury vehicles are driven by grey hairs, can we conclude that most grey hairs drive luxury vehicles? Of course not.

Wealth takes time to accumulate. I am much wealthier
at 50 than I was at 40. Therefore a more valid conclusion is that the grey hairs have worked longer and saved more to enjoy this “luxury”. (And you’re the one hung-up on luxury vehicles) You also cant assume anything about
those people. They could be completely financially
independent (or not!)

If you think carefully about what you’ve seen growing up, you’ve been bombarded with messages like “you
deserve” and “you can have” naturally resulting in
a “gotta have it” mentality. Hey its OK. You just have to
realize its there, and fight it. Patience (years of patience) and smart, hard work (years of work) will pay off. And you’ll probably have grey hair – if any – by then.

#40 InvestorsFriend on 10.26.09 at 10:25 pm

The boomers are the most self-indulgent and self-entitled generation in history. Except that is, for every generation since.

As a species we are continually growing softer. But that is the reward of progress.

Each and every generation inherits not only the cost of looking after the elderly and some government debt, but also the entire installed base of housing, schools, roads, infratstructure of all kind and the entire body of human knowledge and progess since the begining of time. (No one takes these things to their grave)

All ye young ‘uns, it aint such a bad trade off!! Would you rather have been deposited debt free at birth into the the woods somewhere free from the “burdens” of civilization with its responsibilities and benefits?

A fair-minded look at the state of the world in 1946 through 1964 would indicate that the standard of living for those born today is far higher than it was for the boomers.

Youngers take the opportunity you have been given and run with it!

#41 Einsam Solo on 10.26.09 at 10:35 pm

And while the prices and demand for the Boomers homes is dropping, they must still pay ever increasing property taxes, utilities, home insurance etc.

#42 Kelly McMae on 10.26.09 at 10:48 pm

Great post, though one thing perhaps lacking.

Where’s the data on the percentage of boomers et al. who still owe on their homes. If the house is paid off why would someone sell, unless they madly crave Florida golf trips and tea at the Empress.

Housing is my largest expense, and without that cost life is pretty simple, and cheap. CPP should cover most expenses outside housing, no? So why would people who outright own their home sell? What are the stats on grey hairs and mid-lifers who still owe large amounts on their houses/homes?

#43 Forrest on 10.26.09 at 11:26 pm

I am boomer. Born 1958. 1973 – sucked no good jobs.1978 sucked -no good jobs. 1981 to 1986 really sucked-no good jobs and 20% interest rates. I saved $2000/year for 10 years and bought my first house when I was 28 with 25% down. It was a forclosure. I paid $99K for it.The previous owner had speculated on it for $140K.
Gen X&Y – Don’t blame your parents for YOUR life.Save YOUR money, don’t buy shit YOU don’t need and work hard even if it is a shit job. Buy a house when the opportunity comes and you can afford it.
Like my Dad always said when I whined about not having the toys the rich kids had……..”So, what are YOU going to do about it?”

#44 Landlord on 10.26.09 at 11:31 pm

Gosh darnit we are all screwed! The boomers the gen xers. Sell your homes and rent. Thanks for your money.

#45 Ted on 10.26.09 at 11:41 pm

Garth, You may know a thing or two about which way the markets may flow but you seriously overestimate the boomer reaction to their finances. They will stay in there homes for considerably longer than previous generations and will continue to be gainfully employed even longer. Under employment is already a problem in may larger centres in Canada. eventually this will be a boom to tax revenues and a much smaller burden on health care and is contrary to your analysis.

#46 Nostradamus jr. on 10.26.09 at 11:53 pm

Garth, your blog tonight hits a nerve across Canada…..

#4 GB

“”The generations are about to clash.

… because my generation will absolutely not pay ever increasing taxes for you to continue your lifelong life of opulence.””

…The clash of generations will be felt the hardest in rural Canada and especially hard hit across Toronto and the Ontario hinterland.

…The very first solution that should be initiated is the reduction of all employees and civil servants of all Provincial and Federal Govt’s.

We will see huge “Strikes” followed by “clashes” by these groups Govt paid employees…who have “entitlement” written all over their brows.

…What is interesting is….the rest of the world considers Canada as “the world’s safest paradise”.

Western Canada will at some point in the future, desire to secede from Eastern Canada.

…I predict Canada will revert back to the 1950’s lifestyle.

…Two families will share one home…

and many unemployed will join the Canadian Armed Forces.

Nostradamus jr.

#47 Toronto C9 Renter on 10.26.09 at 11:57 pm

I’m a Boomer, wife is a Gen-X. We’re successful, so I suppose it will be assumed we’ve had it easy. Fine, think what you wish.

Generally, our friends are also very successful. Last time I checked, there was no particular difference between those that are Boomers and those that aren’t.

For the most part, they are just people that worked hard, got a few breaks, and thereby rose towards the top of the meritocracy. Typically, education level is high, and in the right fields — Law, Medicine, Finance. Financially speaking Engineering is overrated – waste of good brainpower. Anything else, forget it. (Let’s face it, if you spend 4 yrs in undergrad and two in post-grad studying Archaeology, what did you really expect??)

Personally, things didn’t really start opening up financially until I was in my 40’s. My first 20 years of working had many setbacks, and I felt like a lot of you Gen X’er’ s are perhaps feeling now.

I don’t recall blaming anybody else, though. In fact I suffered from self doubt in the early years – am I doing the right thing?, am I working hard enough?, do I have what it takes?

I can’t imagine just giving up and saying – “It’s not my fault, it’s the previous generation”. I mean, You Gen-Xer’s must be joking, right?

#48 Nathan in Edmonton on 10.26.09 at 11:58 pm

The parents of the boomers — the ones dropping now– are the last generation to have years of easy retirement — and they deserved it, having lived through tumultuous times early in their lives. The boomers, on the other hand, will have these times in their twilight years… easy retirement as we’ve known it is over and will never come again.
“like most of my generation, I’ll never be able to afford the luxury of retirement; unlike most of my generation, I’m well aware of this fact”

#49 kc on 10.27.09 at 12:06 am

Completely off topic (sorry Garth) however, I wanted to toss this out there … debated with myself whether to post this or not.

This swine flu, h1n1, scare that is in full force had me thinking about a topic that is 100% out of sight and out of mind in canada’s MSM. The fact that 1,000’s of people who live in tent cities through out the US have little if no forms of sanitary conditions, IE the basic form of running water, let alone “perfect” living conditions; what is the story on these shots for these people? I watched the news tonight and seen the long lines of people who are waiting in Canada for their turn to roll up the sleeves. Then on another segment they are showing people lined up in the states waiting for theirs with the caveat that the states have only enough injections at hand for maybe 20% of the population. Somehow I am thinking that the tent cities should be made more priority if this vaccination is the way to advert what is feared to hit. Has anyone heard anything about this?

If the virus takes hold there it will be a good observation about how bad this sucker may become. One other thing to watch is the % of the ones who took a shot vrs. the ones who don’t in the tent cities. Makes me wonder why our MSM is so “not investigating” news that might matter. Sweep tragedies under the carpet for there is no reason to cause the truth of bankrupt people to get out.

Strange how this one topic has been so pumped and yet so much debate on to get the shot or not.

cheers

#50 Betamax on 10.27.09 at 12:16 am

“There will be an entire generation that will have to work well into their 70s until they can “retire”.”

Work at what? Many will be unable to work due to age, obesity, health problems — or simply replaced by younger and cheaper labour.

Walmart only needs so many ‘greeters’.

#51 nonplused on 10.27.09 at 12:17 am

The solution is simple. Keep working longer.

And I don’t see how it comes as a surprise the state we’re in. Anybody who has read about Woodstock should have been able to make a few predictions. Or observed their voting patterns over the years. It’s clear that as they were voting for increased government debt that they were probably acquiring increased personal debt themselves.

#3 Brad,

All the GenXer’s I know who did ok started from modest backgrounds (parents were teachers, carpenters, police officers) who went to university for a professional degree, worked hard, started small, and kept at it. And a few who got trades and started their own businesses. There are some Y’s who I am observing are on the same path. You are right about the jobs being a lot harder to come by though. I am sure they are out there, but I don’t know that many trust fund babies.

#13 WBNP

Have you pulled up a chart of a REIT lately? I guess Fairfax is a bad bet but everyone else put in their high in 2007, even with the dead cat bounce.

General comment:

The “generational war” will be fairly boring. No guns, no protests. Just a bankrupt government and a bunch of folks scrambling for a piece of the dwindling pie. There is no need for neighbor to turn against neighbor as we’ll all be in the same boat. This story has played itself out numerous times before in other countries. We’ll actually have to all work together to solve it.

#52 Gord In Vancouver on 10.27.09 at 12:21 am

#9 LS

I’m a real estate bear but agree with your sentiments.

#53 Ulsterman on 10.27.09 at 12:25 am

I’m Gen X and i cannot understand the hate-on other X’ers have for the Boomers. It is not some huge conspiracy to rape and pillage the system by the Boomers. They just grew up, went to school, had careers/jobs, had a good life. They weren’t any more calculating than any other generation. They were just living their lives. Gen X’ers would live just the same way if they had the chance.

The bitterness is crazy. Each generation has its pro’s and con’s.

#54 ruraldude on 10.27.09 at 12:29 am

For all you people that want to know some of the reasons why we’re headed deeper in this slop hole economy this is a must read and I might add very short. When these big companies get big bail outs and pull this kind of crap you know we are screwed.

http://wcbstv.com/consumer/credit.card.fees.2.1272124.html

#55 Elle on 10.27.09 at 12:34 am

The BLAME game might feel awfully good ….but doesn’t accomplish very much. Every generation has its’ own
problems to deal with, and they just get on and deal with them! Baby Boomer parents for the most part gave the ‘kids’ more than they ever had ….face it you’re spoiled. Offspring of Baby Boomers to a great extent, inherit assets and a potfull of money ……do you think the Boomers got 2 cents from their parents? No. Do you think for a minute that they could live at home past 16 or for sure 18? No, …neither could they go back home after they left! So suck it up, Mom & Dad still have the big house and your room is still there if your’e lucky!
Now I don’t want to give away my age so I’ll just tell you this…..I’m on the other side of forty……. but I’m not saying which side!!

elle

#56 Ghost of Tom Joad on 10.27.09 at 12:52 am

Great title for the article Garth — “Terrorists” with a picture of Gran and Gramps in their khakis!! Classic!

#57 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad on 10.27.09 at 12:59 am

Unless there is a major relaxation of the immigration laws, and a subsequent influx of young people spread across Canada to help boost all areas of the economy (which probably won’t happen), boomers will only have minimal choices, two of which could be to pass their homes on to their children through a will, or ask for a drastically reduced price.

“. . . the result of Mark Carney’s experiment in super-cheap interest rates. Boom, then bust.”

FWIW, I hold a slightly different view which y’all know about, and until one is proven correct then I will stick with my guns.

Say, isn’t there a US$1 trillion demand note coming due sometime soon, payable to China?

If it’s not paid, that lets the fox run the henhouse, no?
——
A great way to make free money! — Goldfart Bombs
——
One EU already exists, another (see links) may be set up so that leaves the Americas, North and South. Should we Tango with Lapland? — EU – Asian style / Trade

#58 The dog on 10.27.09 at 1:07 am

Gen X and Y and baby boomers….etc…etc….etc. All categories…..labels….makes life easier that way if we can find a group and identify with it and blame those other groups. Well enjoy the blame game ……life is too good in Canada to get sucked into this. You got a house, food, entertainment and you have to work until 65 or maybe 70………BoooooHooooo
Self entitled………. #[email protected]

#59 Ghost of Tom Joad on 10.27.09 at 1:25 am

BTW – They should be giving out the H1N1 mercury shots in Tim Horton’s by the looks of things. Everyone in there talking about how they can’t wait to get their H1N1 shot. I guess that makes sense though:

Horton hears a w.h.o.

#60 Munch on 10.27.09 at 1:57 am

Great read, Garth!

And great comments too (so far)

Anyone coming to South Africa for World Cup?

I have information, you need it.

Just ask!

#61 Mike (Authentic) on 10.27.09 at 2:43 am

Garth “Do you have a corporate pension plan? If you do, is it adequately funded? Have you looked? ”

Funny you should mention that, my wife who has a DB pension plan at a Calgary O&G company got this letter 2 weeks ago saying that their pension plan is:

42% underfunded.

But the company said they added “$62 million irrevocable letter of credit since these obligations cannot be funded on a tax-effective basis” “This letter of credit allow the pan to look to the underwriting bank (bank name not mentioned) if “the company” is unable to pay when required”

Since the plan lost so much in the stock market crash an additional $46 million lump-sum was made which “was the maximum amount permitted by legislation”.

The letter closes to say with these 2 items the plan is 98% secured.

But letter of credit? humm…

Mike

#62 Jane54 on 10.27.09 at 3:47 am

May I point out that the premise of current 50 year olds having to work until they are 70 odd is based on a very false illusion that there are jobs existing for this age group. There are precious few openings for over 50 now and there will be even fewer in a decade.

So then what happens guys? I might suggest that this will re-establish the extended family concept when different generations of a family live together and which may actually be positive for our society. Just a thought.

#63 Jack the Lad on 10.27.09 at 4:14 am

The best move I ever made in my life was leaving Canada. Canada is a sinking ship.

There’s simply no way in hell that I’m going to work like a dog so a huge chunk of my income can go to support a bunch of gov’t works on fat pensions.

While we need some gov’t, too many gov’t workers have been living off the fat of the system and others people’s hard labor.

No way am I paying for these people. No way.

Where I live, we pay government workers what they’re worth. We don’t pay a bunch of R.N.’s or government workers with wishy washy degrees in B.S. talk $70,000 per year.

We pay them what they’re worth, which is about 1/3 of that value.

The only problem with my current country is they pay their teachers too much. They’re about on par with Canadian teacher salaries.

The whole debt balloon in the west, the support of a life style WAY beyond people’s means, is about to go pop.

$600,000 for an average house in Victoria… have you people lost your marbles???

#64 Marky Mark on 10.27.09 at 5:22 am

Garth,

Agree with you entirely. No substantive quibbles.

One non-substantive quibble. My father is about to turn 70 and I tease him about the fact that he’s entering his “eighth decade”. This means that boomers turning 60 something are in their seventh (not sixth) decade.

#65 It's a secret!! on 10.27.09 at 6:23 am

Here’s a secret I learned this last year.
We sold our house 2 years ago in Kelowna for $740,000 and Moved to Thunder Bay. We bought a great house for $160,000 and 4 other rental properties.
Our family has never been happier.
This is a great place to live. It has nothing to do with the weather. I don’t have to work 60 hours a week to pay a dumb mortgage. I have time for my wife and kids. And time to enjoy this great part of the country that I had no Idea existed. If all I have to put up with is a little bit winter. I’ll take it any day over stress!

It’s not were you live it,s, how life is lived

#66 SaraBeth on 10.27.09 at 6:31 am

Bruce ~ You live at home (with your parents I assume) and yet are complaining about their generation?

#67 Dan on 10.27.09 at 6:42 am

“If the American people ever allow the banking system to control their money, first by inflation, then by deflation; their children will one day wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.” Thomas Jefferson.

I’ve said this before on this blog: stop fighting among ourselves. The reasons we’re in this pile of crap are fairly simple.

1. Mortgage debt. For decades the private non-mortgage debt has been almost flat as a percentage of income. Mortgage debt has rocketed up, from about 30% of income in the 60s to more than 100% now. Yes, ordinary people should be able to work out that something about that smells bad, and that putting down 0% deposit is probably not a sensible way to run an economy. However, ordinary people don’t make these calculations. We’re too busy being engineers or doctors or Walmart greeters. Bankers do. It seems absolutely obvious with 10 seconds of study that debt can’t rise forever without an equal rise in income. If debt rises faster than income, eventually interest payments = total income, and the system has to fail. Prior to this point is the level of debt where you can’t afford to eat/pay rent/pay tax/have running water. To anyone with any ability to add up, this is obvious. How is it possible that this fundamental truth escaped our bankers?
a) they are incompetent
b) they did it deliberately. Take your pick.

The banking system is responsible for the vast majority of inflation over the last few decades. They create loans out of thin air, with no cost to themselves, and force borrowers to pay back real money from the real economy. New loans create new money, which is used to bid up the price of existing assets. Almost all the new money in the system is created in this way. Who can blame ordinary people who saw the prices of an essential asset (housing) leaping ahead far more quickly than they could save, from borrowing more to avoid having to buy later, when the price would be even higher. Initially people thought, this can’t go on forever. When it continued for year after year, even sensible people cracked and went into debt as the lesser of two evils. Never forget the banking system is to blame, as the people responsible for this ever-receding carrot in front of ordinary people’s noses.

2. Trade. For thousands of year, trade had the same purpose. One group produces commodity A and needs commodity B. The second group has the reverse situation. They swap, and both are better off. International loans are totally unsustainable, and should only be undertaken in times of war or crushing natural disaster. I’d make a possible exception for productive investment (self-amortizing debt). Never, ever, for consumption.

Any answers?

1. Remember who the enemy is. It’s not the boomers, or gen X. It’s the banks. Lose sight of that and we’re truly lost.

2. Personally I think a large financial sector makes us vulnerable. A debt-based economy has all the stability of a crack addict. When debt grows so does spending (people take out loans to spend money, remember). This is new money injected into the economy, and inflationary, but it’s a bit like stretching a rubber band. Eventually the interest burden means it can’t expand any more, and needs to be paid back (usually impossible) or defaulted on. When debt shrinks (eventually someone has to pay it back, or why bother with lending), these loans are removed from the system. Businesses that based their production on debt-fuelled demand suddenly can’t pay their own debts, have to lay off workers, and recession ensues. The bigger the debt, the worse the problem, and this debt bubble is twice the size of the one that caused the Great Depression. We need to reduce the size of the debt, either by deflation and default or by inflation. Then we need to make sure it never happens again. Limit the banking system to perhaps 1 or 2% of the economy. Cap their growth. If we need any inflation as a spur to production, lets print the money ourselves. At least there isn’t any interest to be paid on that.

3. Stop deficit spending and national debt. Go back to a true barter system. If you don’t produce anything, you’re poor. If you produce a great deal you’re rich. Real wealth is sustainable productive capacity per unit of population. Forgetting that is the way to the poorhouse.

I quite like this as a basic primer on money creation in Canada:
http://www.ohcanadamovie.com

#68 Danforth on 10.27.09 at 6:55 am

@ Brad on 10.26.09 at 6:34 pm

I’m from 1972, which puts me on the cusp of X and Y.

I recall in my youth that much as much of the world was geared around boomers who were in the prime of their adult years.

But I can hardly say that I got the raw end of the stick. Without family connections or privilege, I ended up with a great career with a solid paycheck.

As someone else mentioned – placing blame outwards was never productive. I suspect there were some pessimist boomers who blamed other peer boomers: “There’s too many of us competing for the same opportunity, I’ll never get a job!”

Lets not forget that the boomer generation also left behind a lot of legacy for subsequent generations to use. Public healthcare largely came after their birth, and dozens of universities were built in anticipation of the boomers education needs. In the late 90’s I temporarily lived in an concrete bunker of an apartment tower built in the 70’s, which was built to cater to boomers early in their career. Lets not underestimate the legacy of the boomers, and how much subsequent generations leverage that in their “life’s toolkit”.

#69 pbrasseur on 10.27.09 at 7:00 am

Garth I think you’re right about the equity market, with the fall of real-estate it’s becoming the only destination for growth investment which is needed by millions of soon to be retired boomers who need to make up for lost ground. This could trigger a stock market rally the size of which we have not seen yet. Just look at it now, the market is in flame with merely hints of recovery…

Actually when you think about it even this huge credit crisis was made possible in part because millions of investors wanted/needed high returns which prompted demand for all sorts of “exotic” products. The exotic products are gone but the demand for high returns is still here, more than ever in fact.

As for the boomers who don’t have enough to retire, well at least there’s a silver lining (beside the fact that working keeps you healthy): They will have to stay at work longer and this will help sustain the economy.

#70 Robert1 on 10.27.09 at 7:03 am

And the problem is ??????????

“The high cost of living” ? or “The cost of high living” ?

The answer seems pretty simple to me. How about you folks of ALL generations ……………is the answer simple to you ?

#71 allanbradl on 10.27.09 at 7:12 am

Someone asked “where would boomers go if they sell their houses?” And I can tell you just that: They will temporarily populate places like my condo, they would say “Hello” in the morning and “Good night ” in the evening and one day they will roll out on the stretcher and never come back, their unwanted stuff will temporarily flood “recycling” room and soon someone will move into their place like many times before…

#72 Dan on 10.27.09 at 7:22 am

Sorry, that comment should be referring to a barter system for international trade. I’m not in favour of carrying chicken and pigs for domestic trade!

#73 Gord In Vancouver on 10.27.09 at 7:44 am

#62 Jane54

May I point out that the premise of current 50 year olds having to work until they are 70 odd is based on a very false illusion that there are jobs existing for this age group. There are precious few openings for over 50 now and there will be even fewer in a decade.
________________________________________

Many of them will become retired consultants and lobby the heck out of their former employers or associates for work/hours. This approach eliminates the “I can’t retire” stigma but takes opportunities away from younger people.

#74 Grantmi on 10.27.09 at 7:54 am

This is it!!!!! We’re all going to hell!!!

http://i33.tinypic.com/wsnthy.png

#75 Grantmi on 10.27.09 at 8:09 am

#9 LS on 10.26.09 at 7:43 pm

While I’m sure there are a lot of boomers that will be selling their houses …. ….. ….. . The age where you could expect to retire at 55 or 60, or even 65 is over. There will be an entire generation that will have to work well into their 70s until they can “retire”.

That’s IS the problem LS. These people SHOULD be moving on from their yobs now! And what’s happening is THEY ARE NOT! So during layoffs and recession like we are now… who gets hit first! It’s the youngest employees or middle tier!

Companies can not afford the huge severance packages for these boomer staff that linger on like a bad smell!! … so they keep them on and dump the up and comers!!

“Move along! Nothing to see here!!”

#76 molson cdn on 10.27.09 at 8:11 am

Dickie-dee is always looking for new workers.

#77 miketheengineer on 10.27.09 at 8:18 am

Garth et al:

I was watching/listening to this interview with Gerald Celente:

http://www.youtube.com/user/TheAlexJonesChannel#p/u/26/feCcFZglUAM

There are 7 segments. Most informative. He states somewhere in the 7 segments, “prepare for the worst”.

I thought it was somewhat entertaining and interesting. Thought I would pass it along.

Mike

#78 Hiteclowtec on 10.27.09 at 8:30 am

I hope the Boomers don`t expect the government to save them. The government cannot even figure out how many citizens are unemployed or on social assistance.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/ei-data-dont-count-those-who-run-out/article1339141/

#79 Nostradamus jr. on 10.27.09 at 8:32 am

Garth,

…..You definately need to focus less on “Wet” Vancouver.

Compared to the “sh*t” that’s gonna hit the fan in Ontario with the decline and death of its Manufacturing….a soon to be 30% unemployment in Toronto and its Hinterland.

…It will be exasberbated by Civil Servant’s strikes of Basic Services because Govt Paid worker’s salaries AND have no where to go ….BUT DOWN!

Ontario is overpopulated and dependant on a non existant Manufacturing industry.

…Vancouver has less than 1 million people!…is strategically located for industry, trade, leisure with plentiful “Basics” of Water, Lectricity and a mild climate.

You need to get off your Wet Vancouver obsession.

…If Toronto’s Real Estate will retain its value because there is no other safe or trustworthy place for its citizen’s to invest in their retirement equity, then Wet Vancouver’s Real Estate will increase.

Nostradamus jr.

#80 JFoo on 10.27.09 at 8:41 am

Hey Bruce #23.

Maybe it’s time you moved out of your parents house, move out of southern ontario and find a place that will give you some training.

You are 35, if you can’t afford an old used car then what have you been up to for the last 20 years? Seriously.

Read “The Millionaire Next Door”, sure it’s an older book, but it shows clearly that the majority of people with money are those who were not born into money. These millionaires don’t look it though, you won’t find them in rich neighbourhoods, driving mercedes, wearing hundred dollar watches, sitting on their butts playing the newest first person shooter.

A striking finding was that the longer a person lives in America, the less likely the person will have money. Duh! Consumerism at it’s finest.

Here’s a great investment for you. Take 3k, travel to Guatemala, and go build some houses for Habitat for Humanity. I guarantee you that you will come back and with a realization of what you actually “need” to be happy.

All this woa is me crap is annoying. Even at 35 you have it good, if you’re hungry go to a soup kitchen, if you sick, go do the hospital. There are woa is me stories, and yours doesn’t sound like one.

#81 Grantmi on 10.27.09 at 8:44 am

46 Nostradamus jr. on 10.26.09 at 11:53 pm …Two families will share one home…

One home! Try one ROOM!! New Immigrants have been doing it for years in Canada.

Come to South Surrey! Homes there have 8 cars in the drive-way and on the curb!

#82 Watched Bubble Never Pops on 10.27.09 at 8:48 am

#29 Brad

The age group you are describing are age 15-24.

If you are 33, your age group hasn’t been affected to any large degree.

http://www.bmonesbittburns.com/economics/focus/20090918/feature.pdf

#83 Schroedinger's Bull on 10.27.09 at 8:50 am

Jack the Lad:

I’m trying to understand how you’ve arrived at your valuation of Nurses’ salaries? I wonder if you’d change your mind if you were sick for any length of time.

I’ve never understood why we’re happy to pay the CEO of our health region (Calgary) $575K, but we expect the people who take care of us, clean up our shit, bathe us, turn us, comfort us, and push our sorry asses around in wheelchairs to work for peanuts.

Strange world.

#84 Watched Bubble Never Pops on 10.27.09 at 8:50 am

#31 Brad

“Nothing new really. Just more of the same. Rich get richer, poor get poorer, money flows to money. All part of how the game works…”

Money flows to people who make an effort to understand money. Vice versa.

#85 Watched Bubble Never Pops on 10.27.09 at 8:53 am

#43 Forrest

“Like my Dad always said when I whined about not having the toys the rich kids had……..’So, what are YOU going to do about it?'”

Your father was a wise man!

#86 pezzazz on 10.27.09 at 9:02 am

Paper profits are good for two things…picking up chicks at cocktail parties and using the paper to wipe your ass. Not necessarily in that order. It ain’t profit until it’s in your pocket.

#87 Watched Bubble Never Pops on 10.27.09 at 9:02 am

#62 Jane54

“May I point out that the premise of current 50 year olds having to work until they are 70 odd is based on a very false illusion that there are jobs existing for this age group. There are precious few openings for over 50 now and there will be even fewer in a decade.”

False.

55+ is the only age group currently experiencing higher employment.

http://www.bmonesbittburns.com/economics/focus/20090918/feature.pdf

#88 somecatchphrase on 10.27.09 at 9:24 am

#63 Jack the Lad on 10.27.09 at 4:14 am

Great assessment of the situation from the post boomer perspective. I’m thinking about leaving too.

#89 Sanchez on 10.27.09 at 9:25 am

Toronto C9 Renter:

What do you mean by “Financially speaking Engineering is overrated – waste of good brainpower. “?

#90 Watched Bubble Never Pops on 10.27.09 at 9:43 am

#88 Sanchez

Perhaps he means that engineers get paid crap. If that is the case, I would agree.

#91 bubbleboombust on 10.27.09 at 9:45 am

Brad: “Sure there are many others in my age group who have gone on to successful careers, but more often than not, these individuals came from wealthy, influential backgrounds to begin with. In other words, they were born successful and had their entire careers mapped out for them…”

That’s weird, I could’ve sworn I was doing well because of my own hard work.

#92 CinToronto on 10.27.09 at 9:58 am

#88 Sanchez, I was just about to copy and paste Toronto C9 Renter’s comment, “Financially speaking Engineering is overrated – waste of good brainpower. ” While C9 might have done well for the last decade, other countries have been building public and private infrastructure using those engineering brains. We’ve just been shuffling paper.

#93 David Bakody on 10.27.09 at 10:00 am

1 Told you so on 10.26.09 at 6:18 pm

Do Tell Sir/Madame and just what have you done for your family and friends to ensure their well financial being for the future …. We 39 (?) and the thousands who read here daily are waiting. The ball is in your court …. Speak up dam it time is wasting! We could have as high as 20% (real #’s) unemployed due to the failings of this government as pointed out by Mr. Turner. (note the US news agencies have reported their real number of unemployed is 17% and growing!)

Our Canadian news agencies have failed Canada in this regard but there is always hope professional journalism will prevail.

#94 Jack the Lad on 10.27.09 at 10:13 am

#68 Schroedinger’s Bull on 10.27.09 at 8:50 am

Well, I agree that CEO’s salary is high, but in my country RN’s are paid about 1/3 of what an equiv. Canadian nurse would make, and I’d have no reservations about going to a local hospital.

I’m not mean. I wish everyone could be super well paid.

But the reality is the system just can’t keep paying out these somewhat large wages to very large numbers of workers.

Where is the money supposed to come from to support all these hospital workers *and* the hospital worker retirees at the same time?

The system isn’t going to be able to support this. Something is going to have to give.

#88 somecatchphrase on 10.27.09 at 9:24 am

If you can get out of Canada, do it. You generally need a highly specialized technical skill though, in finance or engineering. Get that, head to Asia, marry an Asian woman unless you’re really set on the “Large and In Charge” white woman variety, and you’ll be set.

You can sit back and chuckle while all your friends and family are back home drowning in their mega mortgage debt and paying outrageous taxes to support a bunch of overpaid nurses and nurse retirees waddling around Tim Hortons.

#95 Alberta Ed on 10.27.09 at 10:13 am

As a Boomer who worked hard and lived frugally for the last 40 years while raising a family, I don’t have a whole lot of sympathy for the GEN X/Y’ers whining about their fate. When I realized early on that the personally rewarding career I was in was a financial dead-end, I took the risk (with the support of my wife) and made a significant career change, and we were able to start building a portfolio. A good financial advisor steered us through the last few recessions. I got retired early enough to enjoy some of the fruits (hence the Harley, which goes well with the grey hair), and we’re both fortunate enough to enjoy excellent health. So no apologies here, and the grey hair goes well with the Harley.

#96 Jim on 10.27.09 at 10:16 am

There is no question that many boomers have significantly more net worth, at least those with houses in large cities. With two degrees and an income of almost 100K and a similar amount saved, I can’t even afford a decent 2 bedroom condo in Vancouver. Yet many boomers who own houses in Vancouver don’t even have professional jobs. They just happened to be fortunate enough to pay several hundred thousand dollars for their house 20 years ago, and now the value has tripled. I don’t see how this is related to acumen, hard work or foresight, but rather dumb luck, as many of these people know very little about investing. Even if housing stagnates or corrects 20%, they have still made fortunes.

Jim

#97 Bruce on 10.27.09 at 10:19 am

Well boy oh boy, hasn’t this turned into a pissing match? And all because a few Generation X’rs who fared quite well want to crap on those who haven’t. Canada sure has become a nation of whiners and egotists. I think many of you are missing Garth’s point entirely. I agree with him that that the younger generation setting themselves up for a lifetime of debt and enslavement are doomed. Just because you’ve worked hard, gone to school, studied for hundreds of hours, read hundreds of books and have a fancy piece of paper to prove it, doesn’t guarantee you ANYTHING. Tell that to all these university grads who have been turned down because they’re “overqualified”… What DO you do when you’ve exhausted all your resources, resumes, and prospects? Hell, no wonder welfare appears so lucrative to some people…

I have never seen Canadians so polarized and divided on so many issues as they are now. From east to west, it’s become a big rat race to the top. Watch out for #1! And don’t forget to shit on everyone else who’s trying for that “dream” too… It’s like we’ve developed an “Us vs. Them” mentality. On one hand you’ve got the boomers who had life on easy street, on the other you’ve got the Y and X crowd who can’t even win at their own game, because that’s EXACTLY what this sick economy has become. It’s obvious from this forum that we can’t even agree amongst ourselves when it comes to who’s successful, who’s not, and how come… It’s amazing what a dirty piece of paper(money)does to one’s personality…

This will be last post here since it’s obvious that I’m not getting through to those of you who have an inflated sense of self-worth and puffed-up egos. Listen, my father is 66yrs old. He told me over Christmas dinner last year that Canada has changed drastically over the past 3-4 decades, and not for the better. EVERY segment of our society–whether you agree or not–has gone to hell in a handbasket. We’ve gone from a once-proud nation who helped one another out to a decadent country full of debt, deficits and social decline. In other words, the exact same nightmare the US has become… Funny, I’ve always heard that Canada was the 51st state. I’m starting to believe it’s really true.

I never thought I would live to see the day when a working person has to choose between paying their rent or buying groceries for the month. To those of you who you have never known hard times, you are about to get a serious reality check. This party is gonna end VERY badly, as Garth himself even states. But I guess you all want your cake and eat it too? After all, life has been so good to YOU, so to hell with everyone else who missed the boat, right? Man, you REALLY gotta love Canada…

Goodbye, good luck, and thanks Garth for your courage to stand up and tell it like it is.

#98 LS on 10.27.09 at 10:20 am

More evidence that boomers aren’t just going to sell their homes: http://www.financialpost.com/personal-finance/family-finance/story.html?id=2138054

“Our recent research indicates 77% of senior net worth is in home equity, and 17% view their home as their retirement fund,” says Mr. Krikler. The research also indicates 84% of seniors don’t want to leave their home.”

So 80% percent of boomers will likely try to keep their home (until its time for the old folks home), either by working longer or taking a reverse mortgage.. Don’t expect a huge glut of homes until they all start being forced to move into seniors homes.

Actually that only proves the Boomers’ parents, a vastly smaller cohort, are confirming their financial illiteracy. This is no guide to the years to come. — Garth

#99 LS on 10.27.09 at 10:21 am

Sorry about that ad in my last post.. Please remove it, it came in with the copy&paste.

#100 Onemorething on 10.27.09 at 10:28 am

#65 It’s a Secret!

Sure is and keep it that way so the rest of those AFFORDABLE Ontario cities arent invaded by Left Coasters!

Take the GTA out of the equation, Ontario has some reasonably affordable housing and some great small towns to retire in!

#101 freedom_2008 on 10.27.09 at 10:28 am

If you’re so good & so smart about economics and politics, maybe you should run for office.
Ooops, you did.
I guess you have a blog and 40 readers to feel good about yourself…

I’d guess that’s 39 more reasons than you have. — Garth”

Plus two more from Victoria!

#102 Future Expatriate on 10.27.09 at 10:49 am

Garth, I hate to be the one to tell you this, but YOU’RE A BABY BOOMER! Born 1949.

It’s strange, I’m technically Generation Jones (’56) but I identify more with Baby Boomers than you seem to!

The Baby Boomers may be a pain in the ass now, but never forget they kept MY rear out of Viet Nam and gave the US their LAST decade of peace (until Reagan invaded Grenada.)

How successful have the current generations been at stopping Bush’s and now, Obama’s debacle wars?

EVERYONE is too interested in McMansions to give a damn it seems. And suckered by Obama.

So let’s thank the Baby Boomers… for making real estate finally affordable again and popping these absurd bank inflat-o bubbles once and for all!

#103 Mark on 10.27.09 at 11:07 am

Sanchez, what he means is that, while obviously engineers are the smartest people in society, they most often earn the least, and are unemployed the most.

I was part of the class of 2002 in engineering (electrical/computer). Most of us graduated to unemployment, and are still unemployed (7 years later), because companies like Nortel and others, collapsed, and nothing took their place. All of us have sent out thousands of resumes, but rarely do we even get interviews, because the jobs simply do not exist.

#104 Gary in Kelowna on 10.27.09 at 11:17 am

You know what the song says “Every generation blames the one before”. We are all responsible for ourselves and our own successes or failures. The blaming of the previous generations is futile, it’s like betting on an unknown horse, getting involved with a wild woman or driving on icy roads.
Be responsible, live within your means and look for your own opportunities.

#105 Downbytheriver on 10.27.09 at 11:27 am

@#65 It’s a secret!!

It’s a secret my husband and I shared too – in 07 (which we were convinced was the top of Toronto’s RE bubble LOL) we sold our downtown condo & bought a house for half the price in Niagara.

The first year, we both worked only part time and now we’re in the midst of opening a small business. Sure it’s stressful & has its ups and downs but heck, compared to Toronto it’s like being on vacation every day!

Houses are very reasonably priced in the entire area and the winters are milder than the rest of Ontario.

#106 PeckedToDeathByDucks on 10.27.09 at 11:38 am

It’s interesting that some are sowing the seeds of an age gap hate fest on this and other Blogs. We form generational gangs and squabble amongst ourselves on the trickle down garbage heap for the choicest leavings and berate the elders for having feasted when the goods were less rancid.

Meanwhile, we ignore the huge disparity of the high and mighty wealth gap which increases every year with every government. Governments that make the rules and the grandest of errors.

The latter is the true source of our condition and the only one that we can control should we dare to exercise our rights. Turn your spiteful eyes to them.

The greatest terrorist of all is old age. Your body will become your daily enemy and will demand a vengeance of daily ransom. Your brain, longing for dance will be imprisoned in a cage of frail bones. Old age is in pursuit of everyone. Never envy or covet that of the aged, for their situation shall fall upon you with time.

The potential or downfall for you is you.
“The thing that eats the heart, is mostly heart.”…US Poet Laureate Stanley Kunitz

#107 Got A Watch on 10.27.09 at 11:41 am

“because my generation will absolutely not pay ever increasing taxes for you to continue your lifelong life of opulence.”

ha ha ha a comedian has arrived. As if you will be given the choice. When was the last time you saw a Government employee permanently laid-off or had their benefits cut? No, the politicians will just raise taxes, and Government workers will get their indexed pay raise and benefit increase. You won’t be given a choice, unless you plan to have no income all your life.

The real criminals in this country are in Parliament, and work for the Government, at all levels, and they are growing in numbers. In fact they are about half the working population now, and if they vote as a block, well, let’s just say the probability of any meaningful cuts in Government employee pay/benefits is approaching zero.

“sitting on their butts playing the newest first person shooter.” I strongly resemble that remark. Pass the Krug’s, m’dear. I heavily recommend “Fallout 3” for some light and happy entertainment, a good vision of the future. And of course “Battlefield 2” for some online 64-player mayhem. It’s why the internet was invented, so you can gather with interesting people from around the world, and shoot them.

As if. Most of the “successful” people I know work very long hours, running their own businesses, like 60+ hours a week. Only their unemployed children can afford the time to play XBox/PS3 all day. Success does not come to most without wealthy and connected parents (about maybe 3% of the population) unless they work long and hard. I know in every career path I have had I started at the bottom and worked my way up – so old school now, who has time for that.

There is still plenty of opportunity in this country, for those who want to get up off the couch and go after it. It might require moving, changing careers, opening your own business – but it will include working long hours for no or little pay at first. There will be new industries arising. These will come from new small businesses started on a shoe-string, not from large mega-corporations who will be debt and capital constrained for years. You won’t get any help from anyone, not Banks nor Government, just lip service. That is the true spirit of entrepreneurship, not writing a glossy “Business Plan” and getting a loan from a venture capitalist so you can maintain your burn rate. That old-fashioned hard work is the key, sorry.

Like every other time in history, the smart and nimble will survive and prosper, the sheeple will be shorn. You have to choose which group to be in. Be self-reliant and independent, and success will follow. Or sit around moping, waiting for the next Government check to arrive, and have some cheese with your whine.

btw I am a Gen-Xer, and my experience is real life is what YOU make of it, not what others hand to you. In all areas. Your mental attitude is the most important thing. If you are sad and depressed, everything will be a struggle. Who wants to go through life like that? Far easier to blame others than the person in the mirror, but no way to live. Canada is a great country, enjoy life to the fullest, which does not have to cost any money. A long walk through the woods costs nothing. Take the dog and enjoy the four seasons.

Live every day as if it might be your last. hope for the best, plan for the worst. And stop whining.

#108 PeckedToDeathByDucks on 10.27.09 at 11:41 am

@Bruce #97 – excellent summation

#109 Gordon on 10.27.09 at 11:44 am

Well, in Victoria it is much simpler. The boomers just have to sell some of their investment properties. This town is crazy. I know of one baby boomer that in the last decade has gone from owning 2 homes to 15. He believes that property values will continue to go up forever because of the shortage of housing. When I told him that there will not be a shortage of houses for sale in the future. He asked me when? And I said:

when you die there be 15 more homes available, now multiply that by the other people who have done the same as you.

“Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few” WC

#110 Lisa on 10.27.09 at 11:47 am

Brad on 10.26.09 at 8:20 pm #11, I stand by what I said that from my perspective, we didn’t exactly get the golden parachute.

And why should you? You special or something? Perhaps that’s why you and your friends can’t find decent jobs – no one handed one to you on a silver platter. Boomers never had a problem starting small and saving, that’s why they can afford luxury cars in their twilight years. You could learn a good lesson from these folks – ya big baby!

#111 Betamax on 10.27.09 at 11:52 am

#100 – He knows he’s a boomer.

It’s not about blaming boomers or saying anyone else would behave any differently in their shoes, it’s simply a matter of acknowledging what they have wrought culturally and economically as a dominant demographic.

#112 Pitaking on 10.27.09 at 11:54 am

Demographic changes are the biggest hurdle we look at in the near future. Not only will they downsize their houses, they will also pull money out of the stock market, cripple pensions and health care. This was one of the best posts I have read on this blog, keep up the good work!

#113 Joshua on 10.27.09 at 12:03 pm

Mark Carney Says we should let the Banks go Bankrupt as he claims the BoC is going to be more strict.

Well you already bailed them out. Maybe he should have said that before the bailout.

Them bankers sure do know how to manipulate the minds of the public into thinking their actions are for the people. Do I smell a liar?

#114 Ken on 10.27.09 at 12:07 pm

I am at a loss to understand the rational if any behind this cheap money,creating a bubble in canada vs. south of the border. Ridiculous!

#115 Mike (Authentic) on 10.27.09 at 12:08 pm

#97 Bruce “Well boy oh boy”

You said it brother so well. Money is the root of all evil, well, maybe not evil, but greed sure grows well in it.

Important values like family, friends, community, country, freedom, peace and even religion seem to be put on the side table these days as they don’t pay the same rate of return.

Mike

#116 Mike (Authentic) on 10.27.09 at 12:13 pm

94 Jack the Lad “If you can get out of Canada, do it.”

Are you ever so wrong there. Jack the Lad. Canada is a oasis in the world. Maybe you never got the opportunity to live in Canada?

Maybe you should refresh yourself on how the “real world” is and how lucky Canadian really are to have a country like Canada?

http://www.voyage.gc.ca/countries_pays/menu-eng.asp

I’m living abroad, expat in London UK currently. Traveled the world but I won’t step a foot in Asia. I’m not one for their “style” of human rights.

Mike

#117 David Bakody on 10.27.09 at 12:15 pm

Nothing repeat nothing wrt to helpful fact from he/she who knows it all> But I digress.

If history has taught us anything it is this … no matter how smart you are or worst think you are you can never out fox, out play or last the big boys when it comes to financial matters. Generation this or generation will never come to the point they can sit down and pat themselves on the back. Life ladies and gentlemen was and is designed for the privallaged.

Therefore less is more, try to live a simple life, build your foundation on three corner stones: Mental Physical and Spiritual, then live within your means pay down debt, (try not to accumulate it) invest your money wisely and enjoy life. I understand and appreciate the fact many are looking at that invest part and not the other two …. I believe Garth has said this (allow me to interpret) you can not invest until you have debt paid down and under control (40% total for necessities of life) then setting sound investments gains full benifits …. then saving for a family vacation and emergencies. The trouble is far too many people ( with help from the big boys) think investments are akin to the 649, they are no such thing. A planned family vacation has memories to last a life time. An emergency replacement of a major appliance paid for with cash is only a slight set back. Sound unrealistic … talk it over with any mother who has responsibility for the family and she will tell you it would be a dream come true.

PS: Have I always done this “NO” but I worked toward it once the light came on then life/family became far better.

#118 Munch on 10.27.09 at 12:21 pm

#80 “JFoo” is damn correct!

You want “O woe is me stories?”

Come see the REAL world, pal!

I am AMAZED at the “job culture” that still seems t exist in people’s minds. Where I come from we think “work” – and mostly you make your own work, and you do a GOOD job cozz otherwise you starve, on the street.

Canada needs a major wake-up call, and Garth is doing his best to deliver it.

#119 jess on 10.27.09 at 12:26 pm

Death Industry

Didn’t President Wilson (www1) call in the troops and force the miners back to work in the unsafe Butte copper mine? Projectiles of all sorts keep commodities running

Here’s a book by a boomer
Bullets by the Billion wesley Stout Chrysler Corportation Detroit, Michigan 1946.
http://www.time.com/time/covers/0,16641,19380110,00.html
http://imperialclub.com/Yr/1945/46Ammo/Cover.htm

#120 kitchener1 on 10.27.09 at 12:28 pm

Its not a generational war or anything like that. The fact is that boomers had it really good, free or almost no education. Lots of job opportunites, no need for 2 degrees and 6 years of schooling to get into a decent job. Look at trades, it was much easier to get a trade in the 70’s then it is now, no 5 year apprenticeships etc…
From my perspective, the boomer voting bloc is a great example of protectionism, they had it much easier getting jobs etc.. but now, for the same entry level jobs that they started in, it is now required to have 6 years of University or a 5 year trade. They are increasing the entry level requirments for jobs to levels they never had in an effort to protect themselves.

What ever happened to the 3 year Bachelor degree? now its a minium of 4 year hon bach, and that will get you a job a home depot.

I would argue that if the same conditions exisited now for boomers as do for the under 35 crowd in terms of getting employment, they would be crying too.

Personally, thats alright with me, I’ll tough it out and make it through.

The only thing that urks me is the political pandering that is taking place and this is only the tip of the iceberg.

The Conservative UI plan that tops up salaries to those who are unemployed but have worked at the same job for 7-10 years…… what about the 20 somethings that are unemployed? Now, boomers are going to be competeting and taking away low paying jobs because the govt will subsidize them anyway.

The new push to increase CPP etc… its coming and its going to be paid for by Gen X and Y

Boomers have to open their eyes and look at our perspective, we are looking paying huge taxes, less services, a restructuring of the economy. Look at the amount of work required for the pay done.

I just wish all the boomers would just admit that they had it good, instead of always whining about how bad thngs were for them.

Ive said it before, the boomers had it better then any generation and will have it worse then any generation in their retierment years. Just wait until you guys reitre and watch your kids push you into reteriment homes– thats a booming industry, I see them opening up all over the place, guess who those are being built for.

#121 artisuseless on 10.27.09 at 12:45 pm

@ #29 Brad on 10.26.09 at 9:43 pm
OK, don’t take my word for it. Hell, I’m only 33, so what the hell do I know anyway? For the most part, it’s just a big rat-race out there where everyone seems to shit on everyone else, right?

http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/October2009/06/c3036.html

I suggest your problem is probably more the chip on your shoulder than what generation you came from. People your age entered the job market during some of the best economic times ever, plus had the most up-to-date education for any job demanding tech skills plus having the internet as a career information resource.
Baby-boomers and actual Gen-Xers (as in not children of baby-boomers) had to start their careers at a time when a: the economy sucked with no end in sight and b:
without the internet – as in, without the myriad reliable resources on various careers, forums for advice and most importantly, up-to-date information.

And you don’t fit the category in that news release.

You also misinterpreted my last comment which additionally leads me to believe your perception is skewed. It isn’t about one generation vs another and doesn’t have to be a rat race if people would shake such paranoid mentalities.

Direct that anger at the rampant cronyism in Canada – both in gov’t & the private sector, at the ‘winner-takes-all’ economic system where only marginal differences in luck or talent or opportunity turn into huge disparities in the rewards, where the most lucrative careers can be found in shuffling paper around more than in actually producing anything, at corporate welfare and at unfair tax policies, at a corporate culture that rewards sucking up and nepotism over hard work and ingenuity.

But the bubble-headed twenty-somethings that were featured in earlier posts who all live at home and earn 100K+ are just as much a part of the problem as their parents’ generation.

#122 Jeff in Pickering on 10.27.09 at 12:54 pm

They’re going to have to flock to city condos and apartments given that federal, provincial, and municipal govts are – or will be – shutting down critical services in suburban and rural communities (like hospitals) in order to get the deficit under control.
Those lovely small town communities which have a nice pace of life, a community feeling, often a nice cross-section of arts, larger properties where you can’t reach into your neighbour’s bathroom from yours, etc. will be stripped of the things that people enjoy or need access to, from health care right on down to recreation programs.

As for the crash, it isn’t a generational thing. There are members from every single generation that have tried to outpace and outdo their parents that came before them, just as there are those in each generation that have stopped for a moment’s reflection on planning before leaping into the abyss.

Aside from things like higher taxes which you more or less can’t control, how this all will impact you will come down to your individual choices – did you bite off more than you could chew, did you plan well, etc.

Everyone likes to blame the evil banks, or the evil realtors, or the evil BOC. Hopefully when this all comes down the cult of entitlement and abdication of responsibility will die, bringing a return to personal accountability for the choice YOU make.

#123 Patiently Waiting on 10.27.09 at 1:23 pm

#87 – “55+ is the only age group currently experiencing higher employment.”

That won’t last. The problem with that study is people between 55-65 (huge group of early boomers) haven’t reached retirement age yet. They better be working at that age or they’re screwed. That’s prime earning years.

But as the early boomers reach 65, employers will be retiring them. Unless they’re highly skilled or doing the lowest service jobs, they won’t get more work. Hiring elderly workers is risky and expensive. They want more money for their experience and will require more benefits. Employers will hire younger employees who get less pay, longer hours and can be more easily molded.

Also, check chart 5 in the PDF, unemployment for seniors is pointing sharply upwards. Just wait and see.

I’m GenX but I don’t resent boomers. Every generation is just a collection of individuals, good and bad, poor and rich. But I do fear their numbers; the generational bulge. We will have fewer workers supporting many more retirees. Whether you are successful or not, get ready for some pain as the system adjusts to this problem it hasn’t prepared for (even though we’ve seen it coming). And this at a time of economic turmoil, growing huge personal debts, and governments going into huge deficits.

#124 Stop Puttin Down Boomers on 10.27.09 at 1:39 pm

#12 Bonnie N BC on 10.26.09 at 8:01 pm
Garth
It’s kinda sick isn’t it – Gen X wanting to hang us boomers high…

For what being gullible? Well, we would never walked into a 40 zero mortgage and when I tried to talk my nephew out of the transaction I was rebuked by his not so boomer parents.

It’s not fair not because we weren’t paying attention when they changed the rules – we still vote which in comparison to the You Tube generation who think voting isn’t cool – they should accept some responsibility.

Yes its sick Bonnie. The majority of boomers I know were responsible & paid off their mtgs. ASAP. They didn’t buy humongeous, overpriced homes and they haven’t put in granite countertops, etc. That fad strted about 10 years ago and it was the gen x or Y who thought they deserved better than their parents. I only have to look on my street where there are several 30+ kids living w/their parents – not because they don’t have a job – but because they want the life their parents provided for them, without the sacrifices their parents made. Most won’t lift a hand to shovel or mow their parent’s lawn or even take out the garbage. I too blame the parents for not showing some ‘tough love’. Gees, as very young adults, I & my 2 sisters, when we got a $5./wk raise, offered to give half to help our parents.

I do feel bad for the younger generation, but if they had been in our situation, they, undoubtedly, would have done the same. We can’t control the times we were born into.

#125 Stop Puttin Down Boomers on 10.27.09 at 1:44 pm

#15 greyhound on 10.26.09 at 8:03 pm
“I’d guess that’s 39 more reasons than you have.” — Garth

Loved it too. He’s so succinct, but cutting too.

#126 Toronto C9 Renter on 10.27.09 at 1:44 pm

#119 Kitchener 1…

You’re correct. Back in our day, we Boomers all got quick 3-Yr University degrees (which were free, by the way) and then immediately began our cushy jobs with starting salaries of 6 figures.

Your right about those tradespeople too. Apprenticeships were strictly outlawed in our day. It was “straight to work with you — here’s your big cheque”

Finally, you’re also correct that we’ve been discussing the next election and have agreed we’re all going to vote together (to heck with provincial demographic trends — this time around all Boomers will cast aside party allegiances) We’re banding together to vote in a huge CPP increase which comes into effect the day we retire.

Yep, as you say, the boomers had it really good. Its a documented “fact”. I would likely be crying right now if I had to try and survive in todays world.

#127 Patiently Waiting on 10.27.09 at 1:46 pm

#122 – “Everyone likes to blame the evil banks, or the evil realtors, or the evil BOC.”

That’s because they are to blame. At least the banks and BOC (not to mention the CMHC). Realtors are just salespeople.

#128 Stop Puttin Down Boomers on 10.27.09 at 2:01 pm

#16 T.O. Bubble Boy on 10.26.09 at 8:04 pm

Many boomers are concerned about moving to small communities due to health care concerns due to a lack of physicians/24/7 med. emergency services, etc. In many ways I’d love to move to an apt. – never again to a condo – but I really like my neighbours & community. I’ve probably moved about 30 times in my life & have been in my present home about 19 years & I’m just 62. It takes time to bond with people & from my perspective, I think the boomers will try to remain in their homes as long as they physically can. Not all people consider a ‘home’ as just an investment .

#129 jess on 10.27.09 at 2:03 pm

Put the guns down boys

Sterotyping what a boomer is and isn’t won’t change the problems the humans face today. Interesting how we don’t want to ‘see’ what is right in front of our eyes.
The world needs a plan and more Hoover types :^)!

For instance look at Bangladesh the future has already arrived. Chicken farming has changed to ducks since ducks swim. Rice paddy no good in saline whereas crustacea thrive. Sea tolerant varieties of rice have replaced the not so tolerant.

Climate change and poverty should be viewed as the same battle whether you are a boomer doomer or a gener xyz.

http://www.developments.org.uk issue 46/2009

#130 My_View on 10.27.09 at 2:04 pm

There’s no bubble in ‘Leave-it-to-Beaver’ single family homes

It’s said there’s a bubble in Canadian housing. We’re not convinced. A bubble usually implies a growing stockpile of unsold product. That’s not the case for the Leave-it-to-Beaver two-storey two-car garage benchmark. In fact, inventories of single family homes are dropping and sit at lean levels. Condo inventories are at their highest since the first part of the 1990s, but fairly narrowly based in Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary.

Rate increase would strengthen already high loonie

The Bank of Canada, until 2011, is a strict inflation targeting central bank under its current agreement with the Federal Government. The debate over what should be targeted thereafter is unsettled, but it’s odd for a part of the market to be talking rate hikes while both the Governor of the Bank of Canada and Finance Minister are concerned about the Canadian dollar and talking up their options.

Courtesy of the G&M

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-investor/investment-ideas/why-central-banks-should-not-raise-interest-rates/article1340160/

#131 nobody on 10.27.09 at 2:10 pm

#62 Oakville Owner in the last blog entry – selling your house to an investor

You can try these sites:
Real Estate Investor Networks – Canada focused
http://www.myreinspace.com/forums/index.php

http://www.realestatetalks.com/viewforum.php?f=2

You can also check out various for sale by owner sites in various provinces.

Happy Hunting

#132 CM on 10.27.09 at 2:27 pm

What bubble?

http://dynamic-evolution.com/ehb/091027-1.jpg

http://edmontonhousingbust.blogspot.com/2009/10/exchange-rate.html

#133 LetsGetOurFactsStraight on 10.27.09 at 2:58 pm

Didn’t anybody read Boom, Bust, and Echo by David Foot 12 years ago?

I get the feeling that anyone with a bad job or poor prospects likes to call themselves a Generation Xer! If I remember correctly, Foot’s analysis was that Generation Xers were actually a part of the post-war Baby Boom, but because they were the smaller part and at the tail end, they were the ones who were going to suffer the most — particularly as they were squished between the older Baby Boomers and their “Echo” — I guess you could also say they were squished between the lucky/self-indulgent and the spoiled ;-)

I was teaching Social Studies when the book came out, and I remember warning my students that one day those of us at the bottom of the population pyramid (the smaller cohorts) were going to be paying for those in the middle (the significantly larger cohorts).

I have to say, that as a Generation Xer, though I don’t own a home, I haven’t done too badly. And most of my friends seem to be doing okay. But I have always felt that I was never in the right place at the right time. By the time I could afford to do something, it was already too late. On the other hand, my father has done really well, profiting from every opportunity that has come along. But I certainly don’t expect to inherit anything that will “compensate” me for my lost opportunities.

We have to be careful what we wish for, though. No matter what, we will always be ones to pay. That’s just a demographic reality. Because I know that if the markets (housing, stock, whatever) tank, and the boomers lose all their assets, who is going to support them? The rest of us, of course.

So while a part of me is hoping the housing market tanks here in Vancouver so that I can finally get that home for my family, another part of me knows that if that happens, my parents could take a hit big time, and might come to us for support — both directly (cash) and indirectly (CPP, taxes, etc.).

Maybe it’s time to get him to sell up before it’s too late….

#134 West Coast on 10.27.09 at 3:03 pm

Garth, is there anyway you could follow up on our missing bullion? MSM seems to have dropped it.

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/ottawa/story/2009/06/29/ottawa-mint-gold-missing.html

#135 Men With Hats on 10.27.09 at 3:07 pm

Triumvirate of dummoes theme song :

I could while away the hours, conferrin’ with the flowers
Consultin’ with the rain.
And my head I’d be scratchin’ while
my thoughts were busy hatchin’
If I only had a brain.
I’d unravel every riddle for any individ’le,
In trouble or in pain.
With the thoughts you’ll be thinkin’
you could be another Lincoln
If you only had a brain.
Oh, I could tell you why The ocean’s near the shore.
I could think of things I never thunk before.
And then I’d sit, and think some more.
I would not be just a nothin’ my head all full of stuffin’
My heart all full of pain.
I would dance and be merry, life would be a ding-a-derry,
If I only had a brain.

#136 betamax on 10.27.09 at 3:49 pm

“A bubble usually implies a growing stockpile of unsold product. ”

Absolutely not. Bubbles are characterized by extremely high speculative demand, as we saw in the US housing bubble and still see in Canada. Product lies unsold in the bust, not bubble, as is patently obvious in the US.

#137 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 10.27.09 at 3:52 pm

But I’m not normal. Especially compared to the bulk of people in my generation.

Garth, Garth,. Garth!

You not normal? Oh come on now! We already knew that! LOL

Seriously, I, as a first in the line Boomer, can say this…’Inflation has been the carrot before the horse for most of my life. It is the sole cause of ever growing debt, and those who promoted it as an economic theory should be the next guests on ‘Getting A Head’ featuring Mssr” Gay Blade and his magickal machine, Madame Guillotine!’

Granted, a lot of my generation has made mistakes, but we believed in a future that was promoted by the financial gurus and MSM. The politicans were all on-board that same train to Neverland as well.

Throw in divorces, injuries, companies that simply chagne location to increase profits, and it has not been an easy road for most people. Now, after $27 TRILLION in vapourized investment funds thanks ever so much to Alan Greenspand and Robert Rubin (you lieing bastards) for their funnymentalist religious fervour of ‘free-markets’ and Ronny Reagan for his ‘Trickle Down Economics’ (Better known as Pissonya) I think we ‘seniors’ are going to be making some serious demands, and it might not be pretty or peaceful.

Take the U.S. Social Security fiasco as one critical item of interest. The Congress has bled the coffers dry and BY GOD when we ask for our paid up just due we damn well better be getting those cheques in full and on time.

I see Dim Jim is doing more photo-ops on this very matter regarding federal pensions, etc. Tread carefully Jimmy my Boy because Canucks are not going to be one less bit serious about things.

We were the ones that changed the world back during Viet Nam, and we will go out, if necessary, changing it again.

Think William Wallace! Beware or we will gum you to death! ;-)

#138 LS on 10.27.09 at 4:02 pm

“Actually that only proves the Boomers’ parents, a vastly smaller cohort, are confirming their financial illiteracy. This is no guide to the years to come. — Garth”

Well unless you think the Boomers are smarter than their parents, it is certainly an excellent guide to the years to come.

It’s about numbers not smarts. — Garth

#139 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 10.27.09 at 4:04 pm

125 Toronto C9 Renter

Yeppers! Right on! We had it so easy in our youth. I remember mowing lawns for a dollar. My paper route was a breeze getting up at 4 AM and delivering 176 daily and 270 Sunday newspapers and I made a super income of $13 per week. My first actual regular job paid a retirement income of $1 per hour and a 10% commission on every pair of shoes I sold (shoes ran from $2 to $15 a pair back then. No Nike like markups, just real shoes at real prices).

Man, we had it made and we all made millions in no time. Then inflation sucked it all away. Never did actually get to eat, or even taste, that wonderful carrot that dangled so enticingly all these decades. Came close, but then Paul Volcker and his cohorts destroyed the carrot and replaced it with a bag of road apples.

#140 LS on 10.27.09 at 4:08 pm

@Mark “I was part of the class of 2002 in engineering (electrical/computer). Most of us graduated to unemployment, and are still unemployed (7 years later)”

Hate to tell you this, but your friends’ situation is not typical. I am also an engineering graduate (computer engineering, 2006) and all my engineering friends (electric, mechanical, and computer) have good jobs. I don’t know anyone that was unemployed for more than 3 months after graduation.

My older brother is also an engineering grad (2001). He has had a good job since then and all of his friends have had good employment since their graduation. Once again, not a single one of them ever lacked work.

Who knows why your group of friends can’t find work. I’m not going to speculate since I don’t know them, but that situation is certainly not the norm.

#141 Jeff Smith on 10.27.09 at 4:11 pm

#47 Toronto C9 Renter on 10.26.09 at 11:57 pm I’m a [snip]

For the most part, they are just people that worked hard, got a few breaks, and thereby rose towards the top of the meritocracy. Typically, education level is high, and in the right fields — Law, Medicine, Finance. Financially speaking Engineering is overrated – waste of good brainpower.

[snip]

I can tell you from personal experience, engineering is not much different from being an artist. You get to do what you enjoy doing, but you are always starving (ever heard of the term Starving Artists??). The money just isn’t there. And you always have to suck up to those people with the CGA, BBA, MBA etc, or worse a guy with a degree in psychology (I am not joking). A lot of time they end up being your boss. Many of my classmates from my graduating year already threw in the hat and went back to school for a degree in teaching, an MBA, law or whatever. I even know one who resort to selling life insurance and real estate for a living (not joking here either). It doesn’t help that a lot of the good real engineering design jobs are gone forever (to far east) from this economy. So there you go, I think your statement that “waste of good brainpower” is an understatement.
Regarding the blame game, I can not possibly blame my parents (boomer). I know their lives were much worse than mine, I was there when they to struggled raise us.

#142 Watched Bubble Never Pops on 10.27.09 at 4:14 pm

#103 Mark

“Sanchez, what he means is that, while obviously engineers are the smartest people in society, they most often earn the least, and are unemployed the most.”

They can’t be THAT smart then.

#143 Watched Bubble Never Pops on 10.27.09 at 4:18 pm

#109 Gordon

“When I told him that there will not be a shortage of houses for sale in the future. He asked me when? And I said: ‘When you die there be 15 more homes available, now multiply that by the other people who have done the same as you.'”

And at that point you lost all credibility.

#144 David Bakody on 10.27.09 at 4:19 pm

Bin Wondering Garth….

Gordon Pape was on TV and wrote books about a bank program called Chip I believe …. at the time I thought OMG should the market fall these people will really be in trouble. How many Canadian fell for it or have signed on?

#145 Watched Bubble Never Pops on 10.27.09 at 4:20 pm

#117 David Bakody

“A planned family vacation has memories to last a life time.”

Unless you get Alzheimers or another form of dementia.

#146 shane on 10.27.09 at 4:36 pm

i hope really hope the home prices come down 40% in the GTA could that be possible garth??

Shane

#147 (IHNM, WMM) I Have No Money, Where's My McMansion? on 10.27.09 at 4:39 pm

http://www.debtclock.ca/ – check it out!

It’s time to take control of your own destiny, forget the Feds. You don’t need 3 bedroom house for couple with 2 kids. Why have 2500 sqft house when you can live with comfort in 800 sqft house.

#148 Jeff Smith on 10.27.09 at 4:42 pm

>#65 It’s a secret!! on 10.27.09 at 6:23 am Here’s a
>secret I learned this last year.
>We sold our house 2 years ago in Kelowna for
>$740,000 and Moved to Thunder Bay. We bought a
>great house for $160,000 and 4 other rental properties.

That’s awesome. I lived in toronto and have never been to Thunderbay. I have to visit that place sometimes. Its’ amazing how disconnected we are sometimes to other places nearby.

#149 Patiently Waiting on 10.27.09 at 4:51 pm

129 – “A bubble usually implies a growing stockpile of unsold product.”

I don’t think you get some of the basic concepts. You might want to do a little more reading on the subject.

#150 Dan in Victoria on 10.27.09 at 5:00 pm

Post #120 Kitchener.”Trade apprenticeships were easier to get in the seventies”Really?Lets see, I started with a firm here in Victoria in 1971, I got 40 bucks a week and all the s–t and abuse I could handle.They gave out maybe 2 apprenticeships a year.There were normally between 8 and 10 of us labouers competing for those positions.I applied at the Federal Government to write an exam to start an apprenticeship.I got to write along with 200 others,after the results I was selected for an interview,then another interview of the final 10.Meanwhile my bosses were selecting the “lucky”new apprentice.
Guess what? I was offered an apprenticeship with the private sector,I jumped all over it,it was like winning the lottery.The government guys phoned and said one final selection,sorry I said I got an apprenticeship.It took 6 years to get enough hours in to finish(4 year full time),what with the lay offs and slow downs.
Now,you have to offer them one in thrity to sixty days.If they are going to stay.
Hell ever hear of a slide rule?

#151 Dan in Victoria on 10.27.09 at 5:12 pm

Post #107 Got a Watch.Most succesful people work 60 hour a week.Exactly..The way I figured it everybody worked 8 hours a day so to get ahead I had to work those extra hours every day.I had to get enough money to buy the tools,buy the truck,buy the materials etc.Bank give a loan for a construction business?What are you nuts!!Thats the way it was 35 years ago the strong survived.
Like my post last week about the kid with the new house, new truck, new tools, new business,no money and gobs of credit.(I could care less)Its waaaay easier now to do it NO comparsion.
Just wait till TSHTF lots of youger people will get caught in this mess,( I do have symphathy for them.)
The smart and strong ones will make out okay.

#152 Popeye on 10.27.09 at 5:14 pm

Why do humans always find reasons to alienate each other? We’re all in this boat together; who cares what generation you’re from, what colour your skin is, what language you speak, how big your house is. Let’s try and come up with solutions rather than blaming certain age groups for your perceived problems!

#153 Told you so on 10.27.09 at 5:18 pm

Lots of superficial folks here…
Definition of “terrorist”:
A person, usually a member of a group, who uses or advocates terrorism.
Terrorism:
The use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes.

Sources: dictionary.com

Good job, Garth, to misinform your gullible readers…

What I like about you, Garth, is that you deliberately seek and choose negative topics to post on your site that suit your agenda (i.e. selling books) while you ignore important items such as that U.S. home resales in some major markets are up and in many areas resale prices are up as well – in some cases for FOUR months running.

Great unbiased info, Garth.

Yeah, you’re right. The people here are ‘superficial’ and ‘gullible’. We should all watch the pumpers on CNN. Solid advice. — Garth

#154 Herb on 10.27.09 at 5:30 pm

Hats @ #33,

your best poetry yet!

#155 Herb on 10.27.09 at 5:32 pm

Sorry, Hats #133.

#156 Rob in Onterrible on 10.27.09 at 5:48 pm

@#26, Greg. Thanks for posting that video. I’ve been wanting to watch it for a while. It even has the ultimate guru, Gerald Celente. I recommend Kingworldnews.com for some awesome financial news.

Regarding this intergenerational war. I’ve seen it a lot lately on this blog but the fundamentals of our economy have changed. We’re not a manufacturing powerhouse anymore. That honor goes to China. Canada is turning into a South American country where all we produce is wheat and dirty oil instead of coffee and cocaine…

#157 Nostradamus jr. on 10.27.09 at 6:10 pm

Can you say Toronto….

“”Pension Plans and Government Salaries To Blame

Houston Texas is broke.

According to the report, pension plans and government salaries are at the heart of the matter. Here are a few select details.””

http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/

…Get the heck outta Dodge folks…move West to Vancouver.

Nostradamus jr.

#158 TJ on 10.27.09 at 6:20 pm

Fixed mortgage rates may help you feel secure in your budgeting, but the Bank of Montreal (TSX:BMO) says the more volatile variable rate mortgages will save you money in the long run.

The bank put out a report Friday showing that, over the past 30 years, variable-rate mortgages have been more cost-effective about 82 per cent of the time.

That may come as a surprise to some after studies have shown many Canadians prefer a fixed-rate mortgage.

http://tinyurl.com/yhul7f9

Investors worldwide are borrowing dollars to buy assets including equities and commodities, fueling “huge” bubbles that may spark another financial crisis, said New York University professor Nouriel Roubini.

“We have the mother of all carry trades,” Roubini, who predicted the banking crisis that spurred more than $1.6 trillion of asset writedowns and credit losses at financial companies worldwide since 2007, said via satellite to a conference in Cape Town, South Africa. “Everybody’s playing the same game and this game is becoming dangerous.”

http://tinyurl.com/ykdwekw

#159 abc on 10.27.09 at 6:22 pm

“…while obviously engineers are the smartest people in society…”

“… they most often earn the least, and are unemployed the most….”

err… doesn’t sound so smart, does it?

#160 greyhound on 10.27.09 at 6:26 pm

#16 —
Proceeds from a reverse mortgage are tax-free in Canada.
Lots of seniors will likely take that route and stay put. Packing up and moving is a lot more onerous in your 60’s and later than when you were a kid.

#161 S on 10.27.09 at 6:39 pm

A few months ago an article appeared in one of the publications designed for medical practitioners. It read something like this: “Physician shortage no more.” (Sorry, too busy to look for the actual title.) The jest of the piece was that due to the bloodbath on the stock markets physicians RRSP’s took such a beating that many would have to postpone or cancel entirely their retirement plans. Over the last few years we heard a lot about upcoming retirement crisis, but one of a different sort. There was to be a shortage of all professions, starting with physicians ending on electricians and plumbers. I guess like nature, economy has its own way to compensate for excesses. The boomers will just have to work longer. One crisis averted…

#162 S on 10.27.09 at 6:40 pm

P.S.

Sorry for the doctors though. That is one group that surely ought to have a government pension plan, but does not. And they do work their butts off.

#163 S on 10.27.09 at 6:42 pm

Sorry for the doctors though. That is one group that should have a government pension plan, but does not. And they do work their butts off.

#164 Kurt on 10.27.09 at 6:50 pm

#67 Dan

“Remember who the enemy is. It’s not the boomers, or gen X. It’s the banks. Lose sight of that and we’re truly lost.”

There are other power elites within our society, but alone amongst the rants today, I think this is the correct sentiment. Those elites, whether political, business, financial, bureaucratic or what have you depend on us being distracted in order to pick our pockets. Keep your eye on the ball, folks.

#165 Onemorething on 10.27.09 at 7:01 pm

#116 Mike,

You want to make a case for human rights, look what the Ponzi governments are doing right now in the “Civilized World”. How the banks are inhuman and how you nothing to say about it!

Expat in the UK, the term does not exist, it’s called a transfer and your living in a country that is leading in where Canada is going. Down the rate hole!

You wouldnt make it in Asia anyhow bro!

#166 Smith Martin on 10.27.09 at 7:19 pm

For all who choose to play the blame game, I would like to tell you a little about we oldsters, not all mind but most of whom I knew, grew up with, and their parents.

We were survivors of the “great Depression” some of the “great war,the war to end all wars” and WW2.
We had little but appreciated much, life was much more simple, we did what had to be done with integrity, a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work.

From this I learned, that life is like a garden, we carefully till the soil, plant the seeds tend the tender shoots weed, water, cultivate, and remove any and all insect that would rob the plants of vital nourishment, With sun and rain the garden is fed and grows, and we are rewarded with an abundance of food.

So with life, we do the work required to provide our needs, we spend only what we have ‘cash ‘ for, We plan our homes, our needs, making a house a home filled with love. We realize what needs are, what are wants, We know what is important, the education of our children, shelter from the elements, and food for growth of body and soul. We did not take on debt, the cruelest form of slavery, we kept our life simple.
Then something happened to society as a whole, the Great God Greed was born, everything had to be bigger, and instantaneous The Gotta have it society was born, along with “Credit cards” Buy now, pay later. Well if you play you have to pay. Now American Express and City bank have a new idea as to how to gain more interest from those who pay their cards in full each month, they will add a user fee from $19.00 to $99.00 a year, this is only a trial, but ‘ain’t that just ducky’ ? That is a fantastic reward for trying to save.

We got into this mess because we wanted everything yesterday, no one held a gun to our heads and said buy now, , so people suck it up, you are the captains of your own destiny, if you waste your life just spending on every toy you see, don’t feel bad that you have nothing to show for a life time of high living and spending take responsibility, if all you plant is weeds, that is all you will harvest.

#167 steven rowlandson on 10.27.09 at 7:20 pm

Hello everyone.
I am a junior baby boomer. I was born in 1960 and as a tradesman I am as priced out of Canada as alot of gen Xers. How can we save? Live below our means and buy value and underpriced assets that can not be worth nothing. To do that you must do research and do your own thinking. When senior boomers and the privilegencia try to financially abuse you don’t give them the satisfaction. Offer them 1960s prices for their houses. They offer you 1960- 1970s pay for your time and effort. If all you can afford is $30,000 to $50,000 for a house and that financed over 25 years thats fine. When that boomer tries to sell you a house for half a million offer him 10 cents on the dollar take it or leave it. If all home buyers do that the greedy boomers will get the message. This is called terrorizing the terrorists/boomers. If you really want to screw the terrorists offer them a silver maple as payment in full for their yuppy palace. Just a thought concerning getting revenge.

Steven

#168 T.O. Bubble Boy on 10.27.09 at 7:40 pm

@ #128 Stop Puttin Down Boomers :

You’ve confirmed the point that I was trying to make: even if it makes financial sense for a sixty-something to sell the house now and get out of the market, my feeling is that many won’t — for a number of factors (some of which I listed off).

The small town comment was meant as an argument for people staying put: if a retiree is currently in a house in say Toronto, they could sell, pocket the cash, and move somewhere cheaper outside of the GTA… but I believe many won’t move — even if they could save a lot of money by doing so.

#169 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad on 10.27.09 at 7:40 pm

#46 Nostradamus jr. — “and many unemployed will join the Canadian Armed Forces.”

Precisely what has happened in the US. So many unemployed, so the forces burst at the seams now. Hence, more unemployment, larger armed forces which lead to more wars, but this is the way of the world with airheads in charge.

Interesting to note that when the US illegally invaded Iraq in 2003, the fiscal downturn began shortly after, and John Lennon’s song “Instant Karma” comes to mind. Further — Early End / Broke

#97 Bruce — “. . . heard that Canada was the 51st state. I’m starting to believe it’s really true.”

Excellent post. See Nostradamus’ #46 above — we are beind led down the same road that dubya et al, Harper and Flanagan here have laid out for Canada.

Obama is no different, except he increased the number of armed personnel in AfPak. They are all war criminals and should be tried and treated as such.

#113 Joshua — “Do I smell a liar?” — Ask Jimbo, Stevie and Mark how IT investors felt after they were screwed royally! Fat cats are doing fine, ‘tho.

#151 Popeye — “Why do humans always find reasons to alienate each other?” — The majority of sheeple (not here) habitually blame the one standing closest to them. That’s one reason why they’re sheeple, and we’re not.
——
Well worth taking ten minutes out to watch — looks at climate change from the 10th Century and notes the evolution since.

It always been a normal event — people are only here for a short lifespan, climate changes for ever. No alarmism, no extreme radicalism. — Unstoppable Solar Cycles

The logo at the top left (ABC) tells the story. ABC is the mouthpiece for the WH. — The Crying Game

The type of event that no one can do anything about. — Asteroid

BTW — Questions

#170 DaBull on 10.27.09 at 7:41 pm

S

Yea I remember that article, but due to the stock market preformance since then the the headline now reads “Physician shortage again due to market gains”. Oh well was nice while it lasted.

#171 Mark on 10.27.09 at 7:42 pm

LS, the mech/civil/chem crowd has fared better than EE/compE, because of the oilsands developments and infrastructure spending. The CompE/EE’s are competing against the thousands of engineers laid off. I think your group of friends may be atypical, as starting salaries for EE grads that can even find jobs are less than they were a decade ago, despite a decade of inflation in pretty much everything.

#172 Farnsworth, Hubert J. on 10.27.09 at 7:54 pm

“#103 Mark on 10.27.09 at 11:07 am
Sanchez, what he means is that, while obviously engineers are the smartest people in society, they most often earn the least, and are unemployed the most.

I was part of the class of 2002 in engineering (electrical/computer). Most of us graduated to unemployment, and are still unemployed (7 years later), because companies like Nortel and others, collapsed, and nothing took their place. All of us have sent out thousands of resumes, but rarely do we even get interviews, because the jobs simply do not exist.”

Hmmmmmmm… If all engineers rate at the top, intellectually speaking, of society, wouldn’t all those attracted to engineering also have had the keen insight to enter an alternate discipline, thereby avoiding a lifetime of underemployment and poverty? Doesn’t your unqualified assertion about an entire profession’s superiority logically demand this outcome? But what do I know, I’m just one of those other, intellectually handicapped professionals out there. Working all the time. Except of course when I take a break and spend time counting the money down in the vault. Hey, it was an engineer I hired to design/build the vault. Now that’s irony…

#173 Devil's Advocate on 10.27.09 at 8:13 pm

#158 greyhound “Lots of seniors will likely take that route (reverse mortgage) and stay put. Packing up and moving is a lot more onerous in your 60’s and later than when you were a kid.”

Ain’t gonna matter much either way when the reverse mortgage lender looks at the then value of the house advances an accordingly meager amount and the cost of lifes necessities has increased beyond comprehension.

#174 Colin on 10.27.09 at 9:00 pm

here’s my “genX story”

– i’m 39 years old
– married but no kids
– live in Toronto
– earn $70k/year at my 9-5 career
– earn $15k/year at my part-time business
– have no credit card debt
– have no line of credit debt
– have no mortgage debt
– have no other forms of debts
– don’t own car
– rent a nice 2 bedroom apt for $1500/month
– have $25k in my rrsp (20k cash, 5k equities)
– have $5k in my tfsa (cash)
– have $60k in cash saved up

Note:

– my parents were not wealthy
– i went to university in the late 80s/early 90s and had to get OSAP to earn my bachelor’s degree
– i paid off my student loans within 10 years of graduation
– post-graduation, i had several careers, was up and down, indebted then not, until i began to get control over my life, career and finances

being almost 40 now, and with the life you’ve read above, i know i’ll never be wealthy, but if i keep plugging away as i’ve been doing, it is my belief that i can have a comfortable life moving forward.

i do not blame the boomers or any demographic group for either my failures or successes in life.

best wishes to everyone, and hope my story lends some anecdotal flavor to this discussion.

#175 CalgaryRocks on 10.27.09 at 9:09 pm

#163 Onemorething on 10.27.09 at 7:01 pm #116 Mike,

You want to make a case for human rights, look what the Ponzi governments are doing right now in the “Civilized World”. How the banks are inhuman and how you nothing to say about it!

Didn’t your mother teach you that 2 wrongs do not make it right?

You know the reason you find it so affordable in Asia is because you are something of a modern day slave owner that gets paid North American wages to exploit workers in 3rd world countries.

Perhaps if you were one of the slaves, err workers, you would find Canada a much better place.

Anyways, I find that you spend a lot of time on this site for someone that is clearly so important. Don’t you have some kids to flog. Those running shoes aren’t gonna make themselves you know.

#176 Mark on 10.27.09 at 9:29 pm

Farnsworth, to graduate in 2001-2002, required a person to start engineering in 1997, and to develop an interest in the subject much earlier than that. Who was to know that there would be a monumental glut?

#177 GregW., Oakville on 10.27.09 at 9:35 pm

Hi Garth, FYI. artical. I hope you-all think about it.

Ron Paul Questions Why Obama Daughters Haven’t Taken Swine Flu Vaccine
Paul Joseph Watson
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
http://www.infowars.com/ron-paul-questions-why-obama-daughters-havent-taken-swine-flu-vaccine/

#178 Virgil on 10.27.09 at 9:53 pm

In the 70’s southern Ontario region and the USA Great Lakes region was the most industrialized region in the world. Not anymore!

Don’t blame it on boomers! If you want your stock/pension plan to grow indefinite, big corporations need to move part of the work in other parts of the world so that it keeps “growing”.

This is the Globalization!

Also: keep in mind that boomers had and still have objectives in life. Younger generations seem to be hooked to video gaming, remote controls and have no direction in life.

I am gen X myself, but I can see sometimes the lack of motivation in gen X.

I can see a lot of boomers working harder than their own children.

Some young people were too spoiled by their boomer parents and lost their motivation…

Remote controls and keyboards won’t take you out of your mess. You have to get off your butt and find your way out…

#179 OnlyTheBankersLaugh on 10.27.09 at 10:14 pm

Wow! What a site. Since I got out of the market in mid 2005 as a bit of a gamble and feeling a froth back then, I finally find income / house price believers here (and, of course, some doubters with some good historical trend backing them). I have definitely lost some equity because of my decision in West GTA but I have, as hard as it has been, stayed on my crazy course to see this thing thru despite the constant abuse of my homeowner buddies. I continue to believe that a reckoning will be seen but Carney(val) guy and banks will do anything to prove me wrong despite my own perceived logic. One thing I have learned so far and from the 1990 crash is that this thing moves so slow and it can be tricked with desparate bankers on this 35 yr mortgage 5% schemes which enslave people for life. It certainly makes long time homeowners (boomers being majority due to size of demog) feel content until maybe a Harper victory or simply until we’re out of this mess but it is surely a case of the bigger they are, the harder they fall. Unfortunately, because of CMHC skyrocketing loans, I may take part in the fall with all taxpayers simply to make people feel happy in a recession. I am not sure of all history but income continues to drop in real terms and yet housing, in a recession, continues to go up. Sustainable? Only if they continue to give homeowners free money while incomes rise. I feel that politicians are taking the easy route as we can’t build an economy on house construction and associated consumer spending as was proven in USA. Now, we have Carney and CIBC telling us to kill the $$ but it seems only to support their goals of a) Harper wishes and b) bonuses this year with CMHC money respectively. Never increase rates as this will cause hardship for debtors! What a crock. What about savers. So, while I am still holding on with my wife believing and not belieivng depending on her mood, I am sometimes buckling as this will take another 5 years to unravel if CMHC/taxpayers continue to fund these wilda$$ mortgages of historical size and historical low interest. Anyone predict a window when bond market will lower the boom? OnlyTheBankersLaugh

#180 Just a Girl on 10.27.09 at 10:16 pm

The blaming thing makes me crazy. Younger generations blame the older generations. Union workers blame management. The working class blame the rich. Everyone blames the government. A mosquito bit me. So many people’s locus of control is outside themselves.

Here’s a thought …. taking accountability for one’s own life and decisions, no matter the starting position or unfair situations you were dealt.

#181 Sanchez on 10.27.09 at 11:02 pm

To the engineers on this board:

Leave the engineering profession. It is worthless and the struggle to earn a decent income is simply not worth it. Sell real estate instead.

#182 nonplused on 10.27.09 at 11:54 pm

#40 InvestorsFriend

Oh great, we’re going to inherit all that decaying infrastructure? I hope you aren’t expecting me to fix it! That stuff is in bad shape, well beyond it’s service life.

All the next generation inherits is knowledge and debt. Well, I guess also land and what raw materials remain. The infrastructure has to be completely replaced on a timeline that long. We ain’t going to fly around in your worn out DC3’s, and the roads and pipes are all in terrible shape. Even the electric system is 20 years behind. The internet, ok, that’s in good shape, but we built that just recently.

Still, the knowledge is worth a lot if we can deploy it responsibly.

#90 Watched Bubble Never Pops

Engineers get paid crap??? Not the engineers I know. Oh sure, they don’t make out like dentists, but they get along.

The young ones, of course, misguidedly thing they should get $100,000 grand right out of university, which doesn’t happen except at Google and those aren’t engineers, they are software developers. Problem is, in engineering you learn 90% of what you need to know after you graduate. So, like accounting or law, pay sucks until you put in the time and master the trade. But it gets better. On average they way out-earn a business degree, and are more likely to end up in the top positions. (Simply because over the years they actually learn how the company goes about generating those cash flows the business guys like to work with.)

You can teach an engineer business, but I’ve never seen a business major pick up engineering.

#103 Mark

Tough situation no doubt. But we all suffer when the blue collar jobs go away. If the factories close down, they don’t need engineers to design products. Same with civil engineering and construction. Sooner or later the government has to get it through their head: you can’t just build a “high tech industry” and ignore the regular worker. It is the worker bees that we all leverage off of. The professions are a derivative of the trades. Vital, no doubt, but interdependent.

No doubt the white collar guys at GM are suffering every bit as badly as the blue, or at least will over time. If you are an engineer, you want to see a busy site packed with workers needing a little direction. No workers, no need for direction.

And what about dentists, my favorite profession. How will they fair as their blue collar clients loose their benefits? My guess is not so well as they did before.

We are all interdependent. I guess one or 2 posters here are correct, we should stop pointing fingers as to who caused the mess. It’s a mess. Time to start figuring out what can be done about it.

#179 Just a Girl

Ya, ya, take accountability for your own life. I listen to Dr. Laura now and again too. I love listening to her scold everyone for the obvious, but hell if I am going to call in.

#183 Farnsworth, Hubert J. on 10.28.09 at 12:12 am

#175 Mark on 10.27.09 at 9:29 pm

“Farnsworth, to graduate in 2001-2002, required a person to start engineering in 1997, and to develop an interest in the subject much earlier than that. Who was to know that there would be a monumental glut”

Well, Mark, given that “engineers are the smartest people in society”, I would expect them to know. If you’re looking hard enough for demographics and economic indicators to give you a hint of what lay down the line in 10 or 20 years time, the books, the blogs, and the best guesses are out there to be found, digested, discarded, or utilized. The hollowing out of North American engineering and manufacturing (and more recently, design) is a trend that many ‘communicators’ have been commenting on now for more than 20 years. Only blind arrogance (or, dare I say it, ignorance or provincialism) would lead one to miss a decades long, screamingly obvious local skill/trade/professional demand collapse. This is very disappointing to me on a personal basis, given that I so well understand my limitations as a mere monkey/lawyer. If we, (“OOOKK!”) the monkey/lawyer class (“OOOCK!! OOOCK!!”) cannot look to engineers as our models/superiors, where else is there to turn? I would like to continue this posting, but I have produced droppings that I must fling on pertinent files (“OOCK!! AWWWK!”)…

#184 Jim on 10.28.09 at 12:53 am

Re #103 if engineers are the smartest people in society, then why are you out of work? Think about that. We won’t even wade in on your interpersonal skills…

#185 CalgaryRocks on 10.28.09 at 7:21 am

#183 Jim on 10.28.09 at 12:53 am Re #103 if engineers are the smartest people in society, then why are you out of work? Think about that. We won’t even wade in on your interpersonal skills…

Engineers think that because they have technical skills they do not need the butt kissing skills required for a fulgurant progression on the corporate ladder. They couldn’t be more wrong.

One guy I know is a vice-president for a Billion $ company that has himself FAILED out of hotel school in his home country. He’s a great kiss ass though and a master at eliminating his competition.

Being smart only counts when you work for yourself. It’s definately not a requirement in the corporate world.

#186 Sanchez on 10.28.09 at 9:28 am

You can not deny that engineering is a hard subject to study; but so are other professions. The benefit, I suppose from engineering is that it focuses a lot on problem solving; abstract, poorly defined, complex problems requiring creativity. These are useful skills anywhere. You also can’t deny that Ontario (and Canada) has become the lowest spender on R&D per capita in the G8 circle. Getting financing for risky projects is difficult (we are not speaking of construction technology that is somewhat mature and repeatable). I’m referring to high risk, new technologies. I suspect the country has been a poor incubator to innovation and technology (atleast in Ontario). I can’t speak of Alberta.

#187 D from London, ON on 10.28.09 at 7:07 pm

# 181 nonplused

– Yes
– Yes
– Yes
– Yes indeed.

I am sorry I missed an old fashioned “Boomers vs. the ROW” dust-up. I love those things. But the posters that said (basically) “Shit gonna happen, don’t matter who caused what” are right. We are going to be in mess ‘o trouble very soon, with such a large subset of our population gradually switching over from mostly producing to mostly consuming (if not entirely consuming, as they age).

The buy-now-pay-later mentality of our leader class over the past 50 or 60 years is coming home to roost, and those that set this course are now dead or living their last years in adequate care. Boomers and the rest of us are soon going to reap the harvest of this, the ultimate PONZI scheme.

And we will fight like dogs over the scraps of society’s resources that are left.

Sigh.

#188 Genghis on 10.29.09 at 6:54 pm

Good commentary from Diane Francis, National Post re: CMHC nuttiness (Oct 22)

http://www.nationalpost.com/opinion/columnists/story.html?id=734ff73e-1f8c-4bfd-b3de-5e468913e8be

Speaking of the National Post, rumour is that tomorrow (Oct 30) could well be the last issue.

#189 Dorf on 10.29.09 at 10:12 pm

Boomers vs. Generation X Debate – An Education

Most people whose posts I have read do not seem to understand demographics.

Here is the rundown.

The Boomer Generation is 3 times the size of generation X.

So, when we talk about the Boomers leaving huge bills to Generation X, we are not talking about your personal finances.

What we are talking about is a generation that spent money and incurred debt, on a governmental level, based on the fact that a huge population would service that debtload.

Forgotten from the equation, was the novel idea of planning for all this debt to be eliminated before the generation that incurred it expires.

Instead, that plan was forgone in favor of fattening the gravy even more, and the debtload has been allowed to continue to grow to an unmanageable level, only to be left to a population that is 1/3 the size of it, to service all this debt.

That is going to leave us with an enormous tax burden that we cannot support.

On top of that, they will leave us with zero-funds pension plans and enormous medical costs.

That is how we got robbed.
It’s got nothing to do with your career, although I agree that the boomers still hog most of the good jobs while hooked up to their respirator.

#190 Dorf on 10.29.09 at 10:33 pm

Sorry, not everybody. My mistake.

#132 is on the right page of the right book.