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Credit to their generations: baby boomers

Post-war experimental attitude includes plastic

By Geoff Williams

CREDIT TO THEIR GENERATIONS:
How age sets attitudes toward credit, debt
The Greatest Generation, Silent Generation
Greatest, Silent generations (1911-1945)
Baby boomers
Baby boomers (1946-1964)
Generation X
Generation X (1965-1979)
Millennials
Millennials (1980-2000)

Baby Boomers (1946-1964)

What they buy:  Convenience

The baby boomers' way of thinking:  Young folks catch flak for having lousy money management skills. Unfortunately, they learned it from their parents, the baby boomers, who range from 44 to 61 years old. Fortunately, the baby boomers are starting to figure things out, but will it be too late?

According to a 2005 survey by the Center for Retirement Baby boomers' attitudes toward credit. Illustration by Brandy KeslResearch at Boston College, 45 percent of households are "at risk" for falling short in being financially prepared when the primary moneymakers get ready to retire.  Seeing as the survey was made up of baby boomers and Generation X'ers, the country is probably in for a financial roller-coaster, fueled at least in part by easy credit.

"They tend to use credit cards in supermarkets and stores because it's easier," says financial planner Patrick Astre.  "But they aren't spending wildly out of control anymore. Boomers are approaching retirement and they know that they're not retiring if they have to pay off huge debts. Unfortunately, they seem to have realized this only within the last decade or so."

The news isn't all bad for baby boomers, according to Astre:  "I see a little more caution in that group. They also tend to use home equity loans or other favored and tax deductible credit for major purchases instead of credit cards."

Next: Generation X (1965-1979).




Published: March 19, 2008


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