Baby-Boomer Weight Crisis is Crushing Millennials With Taxes and Debt – Triple Pundit (registration) (blog)

Bill Roth, author of The Boomer Generation Diet“Telling it like it is,” was sports journalist Howard Cosell’s mantra, which he breached to the baby boomer generation that joined him in making Monday Night Football a national party night. In the spirit of “telling it like it is,” this is what the numbers now say say about the baby boomer generation: Medicare (which baby boomers are signing up for in record numbers to avoid soaring health care costs) is projected to spend 72 percent more for the remaining lifetime of a typical 65-year-old in 2030 than a 65-year-old in 2010. Obesity is a major reason why. Almost twice as many baby boomers will suffer from obesity in 2030 compared to 2010.

Reducing the national debt and government fiscal responsibility is a major baby boomer focus. Yet Social Security and Medicare now represent two-thirds of the annual federal budget. Medicare alone equals about 25 percent of all government spending. The “tell like it is” numbers are squarely pointing the finger at the boomer generation as the cause of spiraling government expenditures. Their lifestyle, and its unintended weight-related health consequences, is the greatest threat to our country’s ability to balance its budget and the future prosperity of our children and grandchildren.

The baby-boomer weight crisis

Today 72 percent of boomer men and 67 percent of boomer women are overweight or obese. By 2030, this generation will experience almost double the incident of having all three chronic conditions of hypertension, heart disease and diabetes. These three chronic health conditions are tied to this generation’s weight gain. The boomer generation is in a weight crisis that is about to go over the health care cliff.

Baby-boomer health care is creating a national financial crisis

The baby-boomer weight crisis is rapidly moving past their burden of buying plus-size clothing. Modern medicine will keep them alive longer than previous generations even with their increased need for care due to their weight gain. Their increased health care cost will push America into a debt crisis. One driver will be paying for extended medical care to medicate the life choices made by the boomer generation. The second driver will be the increased gross amounts the boomer generation will be paid from Social Security by living longer.

Here’s “the tell it like it is” projection for Medicare costs. Medicare spending is projected to grow four times faster between now and 2024 than it grew between 2010 and 2014. Medicare spending is projected to grow almost a full percentage faster than our country’s economy.

The boomer generation’s lifetime of weight-gaining choices will force the millennial generation to pay higher taxes to sustain government spending. This tax burden will be a significant negative factor in terms of economic growth and a burden on the millennial generation’s ability to realize their American Dream.

What millennials must do to preserve their future

The numbers are stark. For the next 30 years, it is not enough for the millennial generation to adopt sustainable best practices. Their actions will push our national policy and economy toward sustained economic growth, improved human health and environmental sustainability. But to actually realize these results will require boomer generation engagement.

This is because the boomer generation continues to be large in numbers with behaviors that are still too unsustainable. The reality is that sustainability for our economy, human health and environment cannot be achieved without boomer generation engagement. What every millennial must do is engage the boomer generation to help them adopt sustainable life choices.

It can be done. My millennial generation kids did it for me. But it was not easy. We boomers are very sure of ourselves and self-focused. Appreciating how hard it will be for my generation to change, I wrote “The Boomer Generation Diet Book.”

Market researchers define the boomer generation as the “have it all” generation. The Boomer Generation Diet explains, in their terms, how they can lose weight, have fun and live more+. Here’s what Jen Boynton,  editor in chief of TriplePundit, says about the book:

“Written in Bill Roth’s lovable, relatable tone, ‘The Boomer Generation Diet’ is a must-read for any boomer who is looking to jumpstart their health and have fun at the same time. I hope my parents read it!”

Millennials, you have tried taking them to Chipotle. You have tried lecturing them about not drinking Diet Coke. Keep trying, but consider giving them a book written for them by one of them. It will open their eyes, and hopefully their hearts, before it is too late for them and for you.

Image credit: Bill Roth

20 Things Baby Boomers Can Save Money On in 2016 – Go Banking Rates

dependent care tax breaks

The generation known for rock ‘n roll, free love and flower power is close to or already in retirement. Baby boomers — those born between 1946 and 1964 — will be between the ages of 51 and 70 in 2016.

If you’re a baby boomer living on a tight budget or fixed income, saving money matters more than ever. Here are 20 things that baby boomers can save money on in 2016.

See: 19 Easy Ways Baby Boomers Can Build Their Credit

1. Use Health Savings Accounts

A health savings account allows you to contribute pre-tax dollars into an account that can only be used for qualified medical expenses. The funds roll over from year to year if they are not spent. Moreover, those unspent funds will grow tax-free, allowing you to develop a cushion for most medical expenses during retirement.

Read: 11 Most Expensive Diseases in the U.S.

2. Buy Long-Term Insurance Premiums

In order to deduct medical expenses on your taxes, those expenses must exceed 10 percent of your income. Purchasing long-term insurance is one way to help meet that threshold because the premiums are typically tax deductible. People over the age of 61 can deduct up to $3,900. For those earning $50,000 per year, that deduction could push you over the limit when combined with other medical expenses.

3. Tap Free Tax Help

If you pay an accountant to file your taxes each year, consider taking advantage of the Tax Counseling for the Elderly program, which provides free tax preparation help for those age 60 and older. Considering that the average cost for a tax preparation service is $273, using the program is an easy way to save.

4. Claim Dependent Care Tax Break

If you’re taking care of grandchildren full time, or you’re supporting them financially, you might be able to claim them as dependents on your tax return. Talk with a tax advisor to learn about deductions for which you may qualify.

5. Take Tax Deduction for Dependent Parents

Perhaps it’s not your grandchildren but your elderly parents for whom you’re caring. With people living longer, many older adults are moving in with their adult children for financial or health reasons. As a taxpayer, you may be able to claim your parents as dependents in addition to your own children.

According to IRS requirements, you must have provided more than half of your parents’ support during the tax year in order to claim them as dependents. You would calculate the fair market value of the room your parents occupy in your home, as well as the cost of food, utilities, medical bills and general living expenses that you pay on their behalf. There are other qualifications to consider as well.

6. Offer to Research Tuition Assistance

If you are struggling to make ends meet and can’t afford to help your child pay for college expenses, then offer assistance in other ways. For example, help them find scholarships and grants. Contribute to the cost of their college textbooks. If they’re older and have children of their own, offer to babysit free of charge while they attend class. Try to avoid taking out a Parent Plus or Direct Loan for your student if you’re not in a position to do so.

7. Shop for Deals

Whether you’re in the market for a new pair of shoes or a personal loan, it’s always best to comparison shop to find the best deal. Doing your homework by comparing loan terms, fees and interest rates can save you thousands of dollars over the life of the loan. Likewise, comparison shopping for the smaller things in life can also save you substantial money over the course of your lifetime.

Related: 35 Secrets to Saving Money in 2016

8. Avoid Bank Fees

Consumers incur bank fees for using out-of-network ATM machines, overdrafts and for falling below the required minimum daily balance. Avoid these fees by finding a bank that suits your money management style. For example, some banks allow you to withdraw money from any ATM and will reimburse the fee charged by the other bank. Some offer free checking or no minimum balance. With careful planning, bank fees can be avoided.

9. Exercise Outside

Smoking, consuming too much sugar or saturated fat, and failing to exercise are all unhealthy habits that can lead to chronic medical conditions and rising health care costs. To help trim your waistline and your medical expenses, adopt a healthy lifestyle. Quit smoking, cut down or eliminate meat from your diet and start exercising daily.

You don’t have to join a gym to get a good workout. Exercise at home or walk outside. A recent study found that walking 20 to 25 minutes as part of your daily routine can add seven years to your life.

10. Eat at Home

Not only does cooking and eating at home save money, you’ll also benefit from the healthy ingredients you choose for recipes. Consider eating more vegetables, beans, whole grains, nuts, fruit and other power-packed ingredients. Dining at home rather than in restaurants can save you hundreds of dollars a year.

11. Drink Less

Americans on average spend 1 percent of their income on alcohol, USA Today reported. Save money by curbing or eliminating your alcoholic beverage intake. If eliminating spirits altogether isn’t something you want to do, then find deals or promotions to save money on those purchases.

12. Use Costco for Entertainment

If you have a Costco membership, you can save money on restaurants and movie tickets. Costco often sells $100 worth of restaurant gift cards for $79.99, a deal that’s especially popular around the holidays. You can also pick up a four-pack of discounted movie tickets to AMC, Regal and Cinemark theaters.

13. Make Your Home Energy Efficient

By making your home energy efficient, you can cut your energy bill by 20 to 30 percent. Consider caulking windows and doors to retain heat, switching to energy-saving light bulbs, changing the air filters often, and using Energy Star appliances.

14. Stay with Family or Friends When Traveling

Baby boomers reportedly took an average of four to five trips in 2015, and most trips were within the U.S. When traveling, consider staying with relatives and friends instead of booking a pricey hotel room. Not only will you save money, you’ll also get to spend quality time with loved ones.

15. Negotiate Your Bills

Try negotiating with service providers to see if you can snag a deal on your cable and internet plan, your cell phone package, your lawn care service and other bills. You might qualify for a senior discount or get a special promotion the company is offering. It never hurts to ask for a discount.

16. Purchase a National Park Pass

People aged 62 and older can purchase a National Park Pass for just $10 per year. The pass provides admission to more than 2,000 national parks and federal recreation sites. Older pass holders might also qualify for discounts on camping and other amenities. If you’re looking for affordable vacation destinations, purchasing a National Park Pass can set you on your way.

17. Keep Your Credit Score High

It’s in your best interest to pay your bills on time and maintain a high credit score. If you need a loan in your later years, the interest rate will be determined by your credit score. So having excellent credit, with a score of 740 and above, will qualify you for the best rates, saving you potentially thousands of dollars over the life of your loan.

18. Pay Off Credit Card Debt

The average baby boomer has more than $8000 in credit card debt. Assuming an interest rate of 15 percent, baby boomers could be spending more than $100 per month in interest alone. By paying down your credit card debt, or switching to a 0 percent interest credit card, you could save more than $1,000 per year. Making purchases with cash, rather than with credit cards, could also boost your bottom line.

19. Ask for the Senior Discount

When shopping, dining or going to the movies, always ask for a senior discount. Typically, this discount is reserved for those age 55 and older. Kohl’s, for example, offers people aged 55 and older a 15 percent discount every Wednesday in store. Boston Market, Chili’s, Dairy Queen and Subway also offer these types of discounts.

20. Pick Up a Side Job

If you’re nearing retirement or are already in retirement and need some extra cash, consider picking up a side job. You could do contract or freelance work for your former employer, work part time at one of your favorite stores. You can also start a side business from the comfort of your home.

Advantages Millennials Have Over Baby Boomers – Business 2 Community

Screen Shot 2015-12-28 at 11.37.29 AMThe stereotypes of the Millennial generation have been made clear over the last few years. Laziness, entitlement, and no respect for authority, right? Wrong! Although many believe Baby Boomers have this generation beat when it comes to value in the workplace, Millennials actually have many advantages over them. Here are just a few:

Breaking down the hierarchy.

Millennials don’t look at a corporate office and see the clear hierarchy of upper to lower management like Baby Boomers do. Although some may see this as Millennials lacking respect for authority, it’s actually quite the opposite. Millennials look up to their superiors, but at the same time, are not afraid to approach and engage them. Do they have a new idea on how to increase sales by hiring distributors? They won’t be shy to bring it right to the top of management. They desire an open and honest communication with their management so they can get a stream of valuable feedback and create lasting relationships.

Recommended for YouWebcast: TRACTION: How to Achieve Explosive Customer Growth


The obvious advantage that Millennials have over Baby Boomers is their technology skill. Millennials grew up using these tools and adapting as new technology was introduced, whereas Baby Boomers were forced to learn new skills to survive in the midst of their careers. Not only do Millennials have a better grasp of technology, but they use it to solve problems, increase efficiency and better the experience for the end user.

Better balance.

Millennials have long been criticized for their “lazy” behavior, or their understanding of the need for work life balance, a concept lost on previous generations. Although this may seem like a disadvantage to employers, after all, don’t you want employees to work longer hours? It actually isn’t! Think about it. The longer you expect employees to work insane hours with little time to themselves, the more you should expect these employees to burn out and turn bitter about their work. Millennials have found a way to create a healthy balance between work and life, allowing them to stay optimistic, engaged and motivated in the workplace.

Not about the money.

It’s unlikely for a Millennial to immediately expect a raise, demand a bonus at the end of the year, or compare salaries with co-workers. Whereas Baby Boomers allow their salary to define their success, Millennials are more concerned with how their work is impacting the company and the community. This generation is more interested in doing good than pulling in good money.

Outside interests.

Baby Boomers tend to allow themselves to be defined by their career, whereas Millennials define themselves not only by their job, but also by their passions outside of work, as well as their friends and family. By creating a more fulfilled life away from the office, Millennials are able to better develop a well-rounded skillset that can strengthen their performance at work.

Managing different generations in the workplace can be tricky. Are you fit for the challenge?

Column: Fond farewell for this Baby Boomer –



Look around the business world, and you’ll find Baby Boomers departing en masse from companies. Often the timing isn’t their own. I know about this because I was one of them.

When my father returned from the South Pacific after World War II, my parents made up for lost time by producing seven children about as fast as possible. I’m No. 2, a true Baby Boomer. That means that in this day and age, I, like many of my 60-something peers, had a bulls-eye on my back.

What’s happening to many Baby Boomers in the workplace—and this includes the rubber industry—isn’t age discrimination. Nope, it’s wage discrimination, which is NOT illegal and, in fact, is a common, business practice. Even understandable.

A company has a senior person who likes his/her job and sticks with it for many years. Over time this person’s pay increases to the point where their compensation is way more than people beneath them. If they did a good job as a mentor, the company has a qualified replacement waiting in the wings.

So you get rid of the higher up, and save money. Today it’s the Baby Boomers; 20 years ago, I remember that happening to the Greatest Generation people in the rubber industry. I imagine someday today’s up-and-comers will get their turn at the chopping block.

In my case, I was treated extremely well on the way out the door. Emotionally, I was all in anyway—I had planned to retire in a year, so severance essentially amounted to a paid vacation. Plus I still could contribute for awhile as a consultant these past two years. Sweet deal, indeed.

Edward Noga, today

Edward Noga, today

I became a journalist because I wanted to write, and, frankly, just love stories. Stories of any kind, good news or bad, features or investigative. I learned from a master, RPN founder Ernie Zielasko, how to really edit, which is like weeding a garden, tossing out the junk in a story so the good stuff can flower. EZ was the publisher, too, but his first love was the story. He often complained he no longer had the time to report, write and edit because he was the publication’s business manager.

I took that to heart, and never wanted the publisher job. Since the rise of the internet and the decline of the fortunes of the press, I got a taste of it, like it or not. Finding ways for the publication to make money was a secondary role for editors in the past, but today it almost seems like Job 1.

The journalism I practiced was as rigid as EZ’s editing: keep your opinion out of the stories, confined to the editorial page; and publish the truth as best we can find it.

Edward Noga, back in the day

Edward Noga, back in the day

I wouldn’t take free trips offered by companies, a common practice in the trade press. Even if a reporter isn’t swayed by such a freebie—wining, dining, rooms, flights, etc.—it looks like a conflict of interest. I often stepped on toes by defending seemingly obscure editorial principles, because I knew each compromise of a publication’s standards could lead to another. That’s especially true with the digital platforms, where the reasoning is they don’t have to conform to “old” journalism practices.

For 36 years I really enjoyed covering an extremely competitive industry, constantly in turmoil, full of interesting people. I got a chance to travel the world, was paid well enough, and worked with many creative, talented journalists, production and administrative staffers. Even with a couple of hardworking, honest ad sales people who didn’t spend their afternoons engaging in “customer golf.”

If you’re a Baby Boomer in the rubber industry, I hope your exit is as good as mine.

Noga is the former editor of Rubber & Plastics News. He can be reached at [email protected]

Hep Savvy: All baby boomers should get screened for Hepatitis C | Public … – Enumclaw Courier-Herald

Baby boomers.  - Stock photo

Baby boomers.

— image credit: Stock photo

The following is written by  for Public Health Insider:

Are you a baby boomer born between 1945 and 1965, or have a family member who is? Read on to learn about an important new screening your health care provider will be offering their baby boomer patients.

Viral hepatitis is an alphabet soup of diseases, defined by liver inflammation and caused by different viruses (Hepatitis A, B, C, D, & E). Hep A, B, and C are the most common forms (click the links for more information and signs and symptoms):

  • Hep A: Typically spread through contaminated water or food, including fruits, vegetables and shellfish.  It may also be spread through close contact with an infectious person. Children are routinely vaccinated for Hep A. Hepatitis A does not cause chronic infections (long term or lifelong).
  • Hep B: Typically spread through contact with blood or body fluids on an infected person. A vaccine is available and is typically given at birth and with subsequent vaccination. Hepatitis B can cause chronic infection.
  • Hep C: Typically spread contact with the blood of an infected person, such as through intravenous drug use, non-sterile medical equipment, and blood transfusions before 1992 (blood is now screened to prevent Hep C transmission). Less commonly, a person can also get Hep C through sharing personal care items that may have come in contact with another person’s blood, such as razors or toothbrushes or having sex with a person infected with the Hep C.

Hep C causes a chronic infection in most people and often doesn’t show symptoms until the disease is well advanced. People with advanced Hep C can develop cirrhosis (liver scarring), cancer, upper gastrointestinal bleeding, and is the leading cause of liver cancer and liver transplants. There is no vaccine, but there are very effective new treatment options.

Recent guidelines recommend that all baby boomers should be screened for Hep C. That’s right – all baby boomers, even those who haven’t had a transfusion or don’t think they’ve had a known risk factor.

Elizabeth Barash, manager of Public Health’s CDC-funded “Test & Cure” campaign, provides the details:

Who should be tested for HCV? Everyone born between 1945-1965 (a.k.a. baby boomers) should be tested for hepatitis C.

Why is the recommendation to test all baby boomers for HCV even if a patient does not have a known risk factor? One big reason is that almost half of the people with HCV do not recall a risk factor for getting infected. In addition, HCV is largely a baby boomer disease. People born during 1945-1965 are five times more likely to have HCV infection – making up 75% of people with HCV.  And routine screening of this age group will save lives. But it’s impossible to know whether you’ve got HCV unless you re tested because there are usually no symptoms until liver damage appears.

Why are baby boomers at higher risk for HCV infection?The reason is not completely understood. Researchers think that most baby boomers were infected in the 1970s and 1980s when rates of HCV were the highest. HCV is primarily spread through contact with blood from an infected person. Many baby boomers could have gotten infected from contaminated blood and blood products before widespread screening of the blood supply began in 1992. Others may have become infected from injecting drugs, even if only once in the past, or through contact with contaminated personal items or through sexual contact. Many baby boomers do not know how or when they were infected. The bottom line is that you only know for sure if you’ve got the virus if you get tested. And if you do, additional tests can see if there is liver damage. This helps determine how soon treatment should be started.

Is there a cure for this disease? That’s the great news: New treatments can cure most people and in a shorter time than previous HCV treatments and with fewer side effects.

Who else besides baby boomers should get tested for HCV?

HCV testing is also recommended for people of any age who:


  • Ever injected drugs or currently inject drugs
  • Received clotting factor concentrates before 1987
  • Have persistently abnormal liver enzyme tests;
  • Have been on long-term dialysis;
  • Have HIV
  • Received blood or organ transfusions or transplants before 1992 or who were told that they received a transfusion or an organ from someone who later tested positive for HCV infection.

Drug treatment for HCV is expensive and I’ve heard it is often difficult to get insurance to pay for it. Why should I get tested if I can’t get cured right away? Finding out about your HCV status will provide you with critical information. First, people with liver damage should be treated as soon as possible. But, if your disease is in the early stages and there are restrictions on insurance coverage for treatment, it is still important to know that you are infected so you can monitor for progression of illness and be treated promptly if the disease progresses and/or when eligibility criteria for coverage changes.  In addition, if you know you have HCV you can take other steps to keep your liver healthy.

Should I expect my healthcare provider to ask me about getting screened, or should I ask him/her? This recommendation is new and not all healthcare providers may be aware of the new expanded screening criteria. So, ask your provider the next time you go for a routine check-up. If your healthcare provider has any questions, refer him or her to Public Health’s Hepatitis C Test & Cure team at 206-263-2017.


Baby Boomers drive Citrus rental market – Citrus County Chronicle

Citrus County and the Homosassa Springs MSA have emerged as of one of the best markets in the nation for renting to Baby Boomers.

The conclusion came from an analysis of 40 markets where the Baby Boomer share of the population was above the national average of 25 percent and had increased at least 5 percent between 2007 and 2013.

They were also markets where potential annual rental returns were 9 percent or higher. Boomer areas with the highest annual rental returns included counties in the Tampa, Ocala, East Stroudsburg (Pennslyvania), Homosassa Springs (Citrus County) and Binghamton (New York) metro areas.

The  analysis was done by RealtyTrac, which looked at all U.S. counties with a population of 100,000 or mreo and sufficient home price and rental data.

Citrus County showed an annual gross rental yield of 15.3 percent In 2015, fair market rent for a three bedroom was $1,020, a 3-percent increase over 2014.

As of 2013 an estimated 36 percent of the county’s population was in the Baby Boomer bracket. From 2007 to 2013,  the county’s Boomer population increased by 36 percent.

Marion County showed a slight higher annual gross rental yield at nearly 17 percent with a fair market rent of $1,055.

“With homeownership rates at their lowest level in 20 years, historically low levels of housing starts and relatively low home prices in many parts of the country, there is sill plenty of opportunity in the U.S. housing market for single family rental investors employing a variety of investing strategies,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac in a news release.

“Whether focusing on markets where homeownership-shy millennials are migrating, markets where recovering Gen X homeowners turned renters are prevalent, or markets Baby Boomers are testing for retirement, investors can find good options with solid potential rental returns.”

To view the full report visit and click on news.


The Millennial vs. Baby Boomer Conflict at the Heart of 'Star Wars: The Force … – Flavorwire

Note: This essay contains spoilers about the plot of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Like, real spoilers.

The rebellion against the evil First Order is in trouble, and Finn (John Boyega) has an idea. The young Stormtrooper-turned-Resistance-fighter, part of a new breed of Star Wars heroes, has put himself and Han Solo (Harrison Ford) into a sticky situation. But he has a solution: “We’ll figure it out! We’ll use the Force!” Solo, grizzled and and gray-haired, grumpily retorts, “That’s not how the Force works.” Kids these days, always looking for a shortcut, am I right?

J.J. Abrams’ much anticipated Star Wars: The Force Awakens hones in on the family-drama aspect of George Lucas’ creation in a particular manner that makes very specific sense, given the contemporary cultural atmosphere. It’s the ultimate battle of good and evil, of light and dark – and also of “darn those kids and their selfies” and “you ruined the economy for us anyways”: the baby boomers and the millennials.

The most striking element of The Force Awakens is how overtly it juxtaposes its characters against a world – or universe, rather – that has fallen, that is decaying. Daisy Ridley’s Rey is seen hopping on a little makeshift sled as a gigantic ship from the Empire lies in the sand, dwarfing her. The planet she lives on, Jakku, is struck with a kind of poverty that seems even worse when compared to that of the decrepit and dusty Tatooine. Rey sells junk parts for rations of food, her family gone. Elsewhere, everything is in pieces, including the Millennium Falcon.

Harrison Ford in

The subtextual dialogue between generations isn’t as polemical as it has been in other recent films that have tacitly covered the subject, such as the horror film Unfriended, which takes a stance that’s in keeping with anti-millennial rhetoric. If one thing can bring people of all ages together, it’s Star Wars, even the more overtly political and controversial prequel films. But what’s particularly striking is the way that the generations inside and outside of the film function, both in terms of the characters and the audience. The presence of an inclusive cast and its retread of Star Wars’ narrative beats are like a reclamation of the original film trilogy (which was dominated by an all-white cast) by new voices, from Ridley and John Boyega to Lupita Nyong’o and Oscar Isaac (and Adam Driver, if you read Brooklyn hipsters as villains — which you might, after While We’re Young).

Father/son relationships are core to the Star Wars saga, but The Force Awakens’ intergenerational subtext makes that dynamic more potent contextually, with characters old and new explicitly in tension. Not to discount the importance of Luke and Vader’s relationship, but the interpersonal connections and the cross-generational appeal of Han Solo and Kylo Ren’s relationship is an interesting manifestation of baby boomer/millennial tension.

Boomers and millennials go at it in endless think pieces, often with the younger generation written off by the elders as narcisstic, lazy, and entitled. Kylo Ren embodies that rhetoric; once training to be a Jedi, he instead chose the path of the Dark Side for his own gain. (You know who also did that? Anakin Skywalker.) The latter blame their situations – economically and socially – on the previous generation. Ren is driven by power, and the film implies that he saw no benefit in training to be a Jedi. Perhaps paradoxically, while Kylo Ren exemplifies an argument that accuses a younger generation of being self-interested, he also debunks the claims of laziness, if not those of narcissism and entitlement. Regardless of the fact that he is taking orders from a quasi-Emperor Palpatine named Supreme Leader Snoke (Andy Serkis), his stakes in the game are personal. Looking, nearly genuflecting, down upon the recovered, burnt mask of Darth Vader, he says, “I will finish what you started.” And while that sounds like his motivations are for some greater ideological cause, the origins of Darth Vader’s path to the Dark Side were personal.

The Star Wars universe – gradually decaying from film to film (chronologically) and its subtext becoming clearer – seems as broken as Gen Y writers posit reality is. Ross Pomeroy and William Handke scoff, “True entitlement is allowing the reasonable minimum wage that baby boomers enjoyed when they were our age to deteriorate while opting to cut taxes on the gains from stocks and bonds that they accrued during periods of debt-driven economic and stock-market surges – creating an economy where wage earners at all income levels, as of 2012, receive a smaller portion of economic output at any time since 1929.”

Kylo Ren, as the primary villain of the film, is the intersection of old and new, a convergence of both the arguments against and defenses of millennials. Ren is at once the primary character who would be the target of such claims of entitlement – in his desire for ultimate power – and the millennial who blames the previous generation of those that catalyzed the events that lead to galaxy’s current situation, in this case a governmental coup whose effects seemed to have had little positive effect in the Star Wars universe.

Adam Driver in

Baby boomers can give it as good as they can take it, and the gruff Han Solo and Chewbacca fire back as well as they ever did; there’s a clear sense of denial, in them, that their generation is accountable for how the galaxy operates now. The litany of allegations against millennials in the media represents an accusatory rhetoric, and, beyond Ren as the figurehead of the debate, it’s one that The Force Awakens does not abide by in the film.

It means, though, that heroes from this younger generation have to prove themselves in The Force Awakens. The subtle inclusion of concepts of validation and identity permeate the film, particularly in the various ways that Finn and Rey explore their identity through external factors: Finn does not define himself by the Stormtrooper helmet he once wore, and Rey evolves into someone who is not defined by her familial situation on Jakku. That Finn and Rey also represent a vision of Lucas’s universe that is more inclusive of both race and gender is both subtle and crucial to this flim’s subtext about the way millennials fixate on identity. The search for self-validation is an aspect of Gen Y’s proclivities which is written off – like selfies – but when such an exploration of identity proves useful, there’s a sense of validation for both the character and the audience. Rey’s background is mostly unknown to us; even her clothes are relatively nondescript, making her as much of an enigma as Luke Skywalker before her. But her versatility and acumen on the Millennium Falcon, an external factor to her identity, is enough to win Han Solo over. How one defines themselves via the intersections of factors like race, gender, and class — the core of identity politics — doesn’t impress an older generation: function and utility do.

The film’s supposedly throwaway references have been labeled as fan service, but contextually, such remarks as, “Is there a garbage chute?” – quipped by Han Solo on the Starkiller Base, when asked what to do with a captured Stormtrooper – suggest that the present generation must reconcile with the past, and vice versa. Though Abrams seems very interested in the friction and the dialogue surrounding this subject, he employs restraint (and humor) in approaching it. If the main dialectic of antagonism presents itself through the dynamic between Kylo Ren and his parents Han Solo and General Leia, then it allows Abrams to propose a version where both generations are able to save the galaxy. Abrams’ vision of the future is teamwork.

There’s a specific objective in mind, and the characters are forthright with their intentions. That these characters actively perform this intergenerational dialogue suggests that the subtext of the film is a future where the sins of the past are rectified by both the present and past generations. The ghosts of the past disappear in favor of a strategy or rhetoric more amiable and workable (in the form of bringing down Starkiller Base). Reconciliation with time and history even plays out, for comic purposes, between C-3PO and BB-8, who, while prodding R2-D2, is told that the latter droid has gone into low-power mode after the disappearance of Luke Skywalker. But it appears that dealing with the remnants of the past and picking up the pieces of the previous generation’s follies will be a crucial thematic through line throughout the new Star Wars trilogy.

The Best Saving Strategies for Baby Boomers, Gen Xers and Millennials – Fox Business

dinner, family, meal, restaurant

If you’re looking to save more money in the new year — and really, who isn’t? — you’ll need a plan. The best saving strategy for you depends on what stage of life you’re in, as each phase carries its own particular financial responsibilities.

There’s no one-size-fits-all advice for saving, but here are a few generation-specific suggestions for getting the ball rolling.

Baby Boomers (51-69)

If you’re a Baby Boomer, you’re part of a massive generation (making up over a quarter of the American population) born between 1946 and 1964.

While you’re in better financial shape than your younger counterparts, the reality is that you probably don’t have much in your retirement account — only 60 percent of boomers report having any retirement savings — you likely don’t have a pension, and you’ve got pressing questions about Social Security and Medicare.

As a result, you’re likely feeling a bit unsettled, particularly since it’s crunch time. You’ve really got to get serious about saving, or you may have to alter your expectations and adjust your standard of living.

So what can you do? Here are a few ideas to safeguard your future.

  • Go back to work. Many boomers are, and the majority are doing so for financial reasons.
  • Try to get by with less. Is downsizing an option for you?
  • Accelerate your retirement savings.
  • Make sure your investments are allocated properly. Less than half of boomers are confident that theirs are.
  • Consider long-term care insurance.

And if you’re an empty-nester with kids who aren’t fully weaned off your wallet yet, consider prioritizing your own needs first. Sure, it’s human nature to want to take care of your children, but many boomer parents are doing so to the detriment of their own financial security. In fact, according to a study by Ameriprise Financial, 93 percent of boomer parents report providing financial support to adult children, 71 percent helped with college loans and tuition, and 53 percent helped them buy a car.

Gen Xers (36-50)

Most Generation X members, born between 1965 and 1979, are busy trying to advance their careers and raise families. Some are also caring for aging parents.

Managing cashflow, especially at this stage, is particularly challenging. After all, these are the most expensive years of your life. (Do you have any idea how much kids cost?)

Get into the habit of paying yourself first. Set aside a portion of your income the day you get paid, before you spend any discretionary money. The best strategy is to have someone else save for you, with your employer or your bank automatically taking money off the top of your paycheck for your retirement plan or other savings goals.

And avoid buying more home than you can afford. A big mortgage is a bad idea.

Millennials (19-35)

Millennials, born between 1980 and 1996, actually tend to be a bit better than Gen Xers at day-to-day money management. However, they often live in the moment when it comes to financial decisions, and fail to prioritize long-term concerns — like retirement, for example. This group is the least likely to contribute to their employer’s retirement plan.

As for managing costs, let’s start with the big one: rent. Avoid paying it altogether, and live at home instead. After all, this is going to be your biggest expense. In many markets, rent eats up more than 30 percent of one’s monthly income.

When it comes to student debt, ridding yourself of this burden should be a top priority. Consider an income-based loan repayment plan.

To keep your discretionary spending in check, give yourself a weekly or monthly allowance, or you’ll end up splurging more often than not.

Technology can be a big help in better managing your money. Try a budgeting app like Mint to set goals and track spending.

And keep an eye on your credit score. If you want to buy a home someday, your score will feature prominently in the mortgage rate you’ll qualify for, and hence how much home you can afford.

What are some of the saving strategies that have worked for you?

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Note: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of Zillow.

Vera Gibbons is a financial journalist based in New York City and is a contributor to Zillow Blog. Connect with her at

This Holiday Season, Talk to Your Baby Boomer Parents About Their Annoying … – Slate Magazine (blog)

Do your Baby Boomer parents know that games like Candy Crush still work even with the sound turned off?

Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images

It’s almost Christmas, which means many Americans have returned to the homes of their Baby Boomer parents, like salmon slipping back upstream to gorge on spinach and artichoke dip. If you are one of those Americans, I come to you with an important request.

Ruth Graham is a regular Slate contributor. She lives in New Hampshire.

This holiday season, have the Talk with your Baby Boomer parents. It won’t be easy, but you can’t put it off forever. Sit them down, look them in the eye, and get serious: For the love of God, they absolutely must turn off all the extraneous sounds on their smartphones and tablets.

If you don’t know how to get the conversation started, here are some sample questions to ask the Baby Boomers in your life:

  • Do you really need audible alerts for every text message, email, and Facebook notification you receive? If so, do those alerts need to be set at the highest possible volume?
  • Did you know that Candy Crush and other games still work even with the sound turned off?
  • What if I told you that FaceTiming in public is considered rude, even antisocial?
  • Surprisingly, no one has been murdered in public based on their decision to keep “keyboard click” sounds turned on as they type. But do you really want to risk being first victim?
  • Is there a reason you want to hear all the notifications on your laptop, too?

I’m definitely not the only one to have noticed the phenomenon of Boomers leaving their smartphone noises turned on. In some ways it’s the classic story about older people hilariously bungling a new technology, which means we should have empathy: After all, that time will come for all of us. But in this case, the haplessness has real consequences: The people forced to share public space with Baby Boomers are losing their sanity.

The cause of the problem seems obvious enough: Boomers have eagerly adopted new technology, in part because they have the money to do so. Younger people may have a reputation for an obnoxious overreliance on their phones, but they also tend to have an intuitive sense of tech etiquette. Boomers, by contrast, are not digital natives; they obviously haven’t picked up on the etiquette norms, and in many cases they may not know how to toggle their settings to conform to them. Throw hearing loss into the mix and you have a recipe for a noisy nuisance.

That’s where you, the offspring, come in. This is crucial, because my fear is that Baby Boomers are not receiving clear messages about this scourge, and there’s no better source of real talk than immediate family members. Be gentle but firm. Keyboard clicks are widely considered infuriating. Audible notifications drive people crazy. Keeping the volume on while you play an iPhone game is unbelievably rude. And that camera-shutter sound really needs to be disabled. There’s a reason a 2009 anti-creepshot bill that would have required camera phones to make a sound when taking a picture failed to make it through Congress. (That bill was introduced by—you guessed it—a Baby Boomer, Peter T. King.)

Or you can keep the message even simpler: Phones should be silent in public. And then, if you really love your parents, go into their smartphone settings and turn off their notification sounds for them. Consider it a thoughtful Christmas gift—not only for your parents, but also for everyone who comes within earshot of them.

Baby boomer trend: Golden years in poor health – HeraldNet


After the last of the baby boomers become fully eligible for Medicare, the federal health program can expect significantly higher costs in 2030 both because of the high number of beneficiaries and because many are expected to be significantly less healthy than previous generations.

The typical Medicare beneficiary who is 65 or older then will more likely be obese, disabled and suffering from chronic conditions such as heart disease and high blood pressure than those in 2010, according to a report by the University for Southern California’s Schaeffer Center of Health Policy and Economics.

Adjusted for inflation, overall Medicare spending is projected to more than double between 2010 and 2030 to about $1.2 trillion. A massive influx of baby boomers into Medicare will be the main driver. With the last baby boomers turning 65 in 2029, Medicare rolls are expected to number 67 million Americans in 2030, the Schaeffer Center said.

But costs per beneficiary could grow by 50 percent over the same time due to longer life expectancies, shifting health trends and medical cost inflation, the report said. In inflation-adjusted dollars, Medicare is projected to spend 72 percent more for the remaining lifetime of a typical 65-year-old beneficiary in 2030 than a 65-year-old in 2010.

“It’d be one thing if there was an increase in life expectancy while maintaining health, but this is different. If you have more people that are disabled, it’s more costly, and we’re paying more because they’re living longer,” said lead researcher Dana Goldman at the University of Southern California.

“In some ways, we are victims of our success” in extending lives and preventing mortality, he said. “We’ve done such a good job of preventing cardiovascular disease that now we have more cancer and Alzheimer’s.”

The average life expectancy for 65-year-olds is projected to rise by almost a year from the 2010 norm, to 20.1 years in 2030. People with disabilities at 65 will extend their old ages, too — by more than a full year, to 8.6 years in 2030, the Schaeffer Center said.

Obesity is likely to surge, affecting 47 percent of Medicare elderly beneficiaries by 2030, up from 28 percent in 2010, according to the report.

“The people about to become eligible are more sick and obese (than past beneficiaries), even though there are treatments that will keep them living longer,” said Etienne Gaudette, a lead economist from the Schaeffer Center.

Significant increases in beneficiaries with these chronic conditions are also forecast by 2030:

Hypertension: 79 percent vs. 67 percent in 2010.

Heart disease: 43 percent vs. 36 percent.

Diabetes: 39 percent vs. 24 percent.

Three or more chronic conditions: 40 percent vs. 26 percent.

Smaller increases are forecast for elderly beneficiaries with cancer — 26 percent vs. 21 percent — and stroke — 19 percent vs. 14 percent. Lung disease is expected to see the slowest growth of all, about one percentage point to 16 percent.

That change is mostly due to Americans’ declining smoking habits. By 2030, 52 percent of Medicare’s beneficiaries will be lifelong non-smokers; only 43 percent were in 2010, the report said.

The Schaeffer Center’s report was published Nov. 28 in the Forum for Health Economics and Policy.


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