Overcoming Adversity – Sylvestor Stallone – How He Did It

The Expendables (2010) opened at number one at the U.S. box office with a first weekend gross of Thirty Five million dollars. This makes Sylvester Stallone the only person in Hollywood history to have starred in films that have opened atop the box office charts over five consecutive decades. Not bad for a baby boomer! I am going to share his story with you and point you in a direction that will help you live your life to the fullest. I hope this will help you get back to being a contender!

Sylvester (also known as Sly) Stallone is sitting back on top and living the good life! It has not always been that way; he had to overcome a lot of adversity to get to where he is now. Mostly through grit, determination and the unwillingness to settle for NO are the things that have led to his success.

He only stands 5′ 9 inches tall which is short for an actor in the Hollywood world. He has a permanent droopy mouth caused by the doctor that delivered him; the doctor accidentally severed a nerve in his face.

This resulted in paralyzing parts of his lip, the lower left side of his mouth and parts of his tongue and his chin. That is what has given his trademark snarling look and his slurred speech. He tends to talk in a mono syllabic manner which you would think makes him undesirable for movie rolls, however, he has succeeded in an extraordinary fashion.

He is a baby boomer; born on July 6, 1946, in the charity ward in New York’s gritty Hell’s Kitchen. His youth was pretty much in turmoil; he was expelled from fourteen schools before the age of thirteen because of his antisocial and violent behavior. He ended up in a school for troubled kids and was voted “most likely to end up in the electric chair”.

He has had to fight his way to the top and the story behind the movie “Rocky” and the Rocky franchise is almost legend.

The “Rambo” films and franchise is a story by itself.

Sly Stallone is a perfect example of boomers living their life to the fullest! If you look at this guy and everything he does in a 64 year old body it is truly inspirational. His virility and strength is all due to the lifestyle he has chosen to live. This lifestyle is available to everybody and he has documented his lifestyle in a book.

He book is called “Sly Moves” and he shares the stories about what happened behind the scenes of his movies as well as his philosophy about life. More importantly he lays out an exercise plan as well as an eating plan; he does not believe in diets but he does believe in healthy living. You can follow his plan to get into shape and lose weight.

The book promises to help the reader lose weight, build strength, gain will power and to help you live your dream. Some of the sections of the book include:

1. Sly on Sly – telling the stories behind the scenes that were involved in all the movies.

2. Shaping up with Sly Moves – this includes his work out programs that helped develop his body. There is also a chapter for women and recommended exercises for the fairer sex.

3. Sly Moves Eating Plan – he recommends a guaranteed way to live healthy.

4. Sly moves in Action – this includes three days with Sly and advice on getting and keeping the Eye of the Tiger.

There are lots of pictures that show scenes from the movies plus how each exercise should be performed. His main goal is to have you live like a contender and remember that winners get rid of their problems before their problems get rid of them!

This is a book that is inspirational, educational and just a good read if you would like to get to know the man known as Sly Stallone

Millennials vs. Baby Boomers: How Attitudes and Behaviors Differ [Infographic] – MarketingProfs.com (subscription)

Millennials are more likely than Baby Boomers to do multiple things while consuming media, to pay for socially responsible products, and to be willing to try new digital platforms, according to recent research from Nielsen.

The report was based on data from the Nielsen Global Survey, which has been polling the attitudes of more than 30,000 online consumers in more than 60 countries since 2013.

A larger share of Millennial respondents (age 21-34) than Baby Boomer respondents (age 50-64) say they multitask while watching video.

That’s also true regarding paying a premium for sustainable brands, being open to ordering online for food delivery/using a virtual supermarket, and wanting to be connected anytime, anywhere to access digital content.

Check out the infographic below for more findings from the research:


About the research: The report was based on data from the Nielsen Global Survey, which has been polling the attitudes of more than 30,000 online consumers in more than 60 countries since 2013.

Join over 600,000 marketing professionals, and gain access to thousands of marketing resources! Don’t worry … it’s FREE!

Ayaz Nanji is an independent digital strategist and a co-founder of ICW Content, a marketing agency specializing in content creation for brands and businesses. He is also a research writer for MarketingProfs. He has worked for Google/YouTube, the Travel Channel, AOL, and the New York Times.

LinkedIn: Ayaz Nanji

Twitter: @ayaznanji

Generational Markers: Their Value for Employee Engagement

"Generational cohorts are people born roughly at the same time, who as a consequence tend to have rather similar attitudes and expectations. They are often brought up with the same child rearing practices and have similar experiences as teenagers and young adults. This is a particularly sensitive period for acquiring a moral and political orientation. These shared experiences are termed 'generational markers.' These are important since they provide clues about how these generations will behave as they move into positions of decision making at work and have increasing access to resources, "Lynda Gratton, The Shift: The Future of Work is Already Here.

When we think about ourselves, our working styles, our workplace environment preferences, and how we want to be treated as employees, contractors, consultants, or advisors in the work world, we tend to think of ourselves as unique, as providers of very exclusive competencies, carriers of very specific knowledge, owners of very transferable and in demand skills. Of course we do. But, what if we acknowledge the fact that each and every one of us, no matter our age or work experience, has been affected by significant formative influences and events that occurred during our most formative years – those of our teenage and young adult years? What does that tell others about our working style, our work preferences, our capacity and capability when it comes to providing services and achieving high performance results?

Whenever I conduct this presentation or speak about the topic of the Boomer leader legacy, invariably someone in the audience feels obligated to announce to me and the others that they are not typical of the generational cohort to which they belong. Ho hum. The point, they are missing, is that all of us, whether we like it or not, been influenced by significant formative events during our 'coming of age' years, and these events, although they may affect some of us differently than others, still define that period in our history and affect the way in which we view the world. Since a large part of our world includes the hours we spend employed by someone else or ourselves, this means these formative events also affect the way we view work, the workplace, how we want to be treated in the workplace, and the type of individual and organization we prefer to have as our leaders and employers.

So what are these formative events and how do they translate into working style, workplace preferences, and workplace attitudes? How do leaders utilize this knowledge to advance their organization's agenda when it comes to attracting, developing, retaining and engaging high performers?

Generational Markers by Generation Cohort:

Traditionalists (born prior to 1947):

This group's style and preferences, both work and home, are clearly affected by WWII. This created an environment of instability, personal sacrifice and significant change in the roles of women. As a result, members of this cohort developed a desire for loyalty, dependability and being rewarded for working toward a common goal. With communication challenges many of us have not experienced, their world is one of formal, focused communication where they prefer to communicate face to face. They have seen significant technology changes take place and are open to learning about them from their grandchildren and great grandchildren but, their preference remains to be, what most of us would consider, formal face to face.

The world of work for this group is one in which employees remain loyal to one employer, being company-focused. They are focused on producing results for their company and their boss and believe one is compensated for doing their job well. They put aside their own needs for the company and job security.

Taking into consideration their focus on company loyalty and producing company results, it behooves leaders to keep them around as long as they are willing to be active in the workplace.

Baby Boomers (born between 1947 and 1966 ):

This is by far the largest demographic group today and the largest in history. Hence, their effect on the workplace, its structure, its systems and processes, how it functions on a daily basis, is more than significant. The result is a workplace where competitiveness, results orientation, promotion and career growth are dominant and highly prized by these employees. They are generally optimistic and team-oriented but they are also, as individuals, competitive when it comes to promotion.

Boomers were born into an abundant, healthy economy. Their formative events include the development of the computer, then the personal computer, the internet and the birth control pill. This created an environment where women were able to enter more non traditional roles and the two income family became the norm. With dual incomes, this group began to consume products and services at a fast pace. Since they define their self worth and others by the type of work they do, by the position they hold in their organization, they consume those items that demonstrate to others their position in the work hierarchy. They live to work and expect everyone else to have the same work ethic and work the same amount of hours.

The communication style of Boomers is much more informal than that of the Traditionalists. They prefer to remain connected via technology, particularly, through email and they are heavily into networking both on site and online. They utilize all forms of communication whether formal or informal and they are the fastest growing group in the social media world. They continue to dominate the luxury products and services industry as they continue to practice consumption as a learned behaviour.

This is the cohort with all the expertise, the ones whom have crafted today's organizations and the ones who still lead the majority of organizations. The focus for this group should be their expertise, recognize it and harvest it for others.

Generation X (born between 1966 and 1979 ):

This cohort has grown up in the shadow of the Baby Boomers and is more focused on work / life balance than their predecessor. They are the first 'latchkey kids', children of dual income traditionalists and first stage Boomers. Due to the increasing divorce rate, post WWII, this generation appears resilient, adaptable and independent. They work to live and view the world with some cynicism and distrust.

The members of this cohort grew up with the internet and, at an early age, began to see cellular technology as an integral part of their life, particularly their personal and social life. They are fully networked, utilizing all forms of communication technology to keep in touch with their worklife, their colleagues, their friends and their family. They are the generation of self-reliance and, although career-oriented like the Boomers, they are more interested in finding that balance between work and their personal life and being rewarded for outcomes rather than results.

Find ways to integrate the members of this cohort more firmly into the organization. The resilience of their nature provides them with a solid foundation for accepting, implementing and integrating organizational changes. With their desire for work / life balance, they are the right managers and leaders to coach and mentor both of the largest generations (Boomers and Generation Y) in how to work to live rather than living to work.

Generation Y (born between 1980 and 1995 ):

The next largest demographic group have, for all intents and purposes, been heavily influenced by the manner in which their Boomer parents have behaved. The nature of the 'helicopter' parent is deemed to have created a generation that is focused on themselves and their needs. They have the same desire as the Boomers for rapid success expecting to move quickly up the organizational ladder, even though they may not have the requisite skills or knowledge. Their loyalty is to their colleagues – those within their cohort – and they believe everyone is equal. They are focused on the broader community, at the other end of the spectrum from the Traditionalists.

This cohort's formative events are the introduction of smartphone technology and they have grown up with the Iphone and the Blackberry. They communicate, almost exclusively, through these types of devices, preferring to text rather than to talk. Their communication vehicles are mobile and they have a very extensive network of friends. They are the Facebook generation, preferring to update their status daily to an audience, most of whom they have never met personally, then share their personal lives face to face with their family and friends.

Similar attitudes of this group, to their Boomer parents, include:

  • belief in empowerment – a term deployed during the years when the Boomers began to enter the workforce in large numbers and demand changes to the hierarchical world of work;
  • demanding reward and recognition – this group, like the Boomers before them, expect to be rewarded for what they do, the difference being they expect these rewards for participation as well as productivity and performance.
  • questioning authority – remember the 1960 "s? That was the period when the Baby Boomers took on every possible authority figure and institution, sometimes to extremes. This plays out with Generation Y in the workplace as they challenge the boomer notions of promotion, capability, capacity and career progression.

What is most interesting about this cohort is although they demand reward and recognition for effort and question, unequivocally, all that has been put in place in organizations (structures, processes and systems) by Boomers, they still want face to face coaching and mentoring from their bosses. This should be a key area of ​​focus for today's leaders, not that different from what they themselves demand.

The key for today's leaders and managers is to get to know to which of the cohorts their employees belong and what formative events have influenced their view of the workplace, their working styles and, how they want to be treated by their colleagues, their peers and their bosses. Gaining a solid understanding of generational markers, and what they tell us about each of the generations, is critical if leaders are planning on attracting, retaining, and engaging high performers. Create a work environment where members of all cohorts can be productive and happy.

More baby boomers may face treatment-resistant depression – CNN … – CNN

The 73-year-old musician rattles off the list: Prozac, Cymbalta, Lexapro.

“I’ve been on a bunch,” she said. “I still cry all the time.”

She has what’s known as “treatment-resistant depression.” It’s commonly defined as depression that doesn’t respond to two different medications when taken one after the other, at the right dose and for the right amount of time.

Mental health experts expect treatment-resistant depression to become more widespread as baby boomers age. Boomers already have been identified as having higher rates of depression than previous generations, and over time their depression may no longer respond to medication.

“We are seeing treatment-resistant depression more, and we are recognizing it more,” said Helen Lavretsky, a geriatric psychiatrist at UCLA. “And in older adults, the answer to understanding what it is and what to do about it is more complicated than in younger adults.”

The consequences among older adults can be devastating. Persistent depression can raise the risk of early death and suicide, expedite memory decline and lead to a loss of independence.

The phenomenon isn’t well studied, but psychiatrists believe there are several reasons why depression in older adults may not respond to treatment. For one thing, if a person has been depressed and taken different medications for a long time, it can diminish their effectiveness. Patients also may neglect to take their medication as prescribed, because they have memory problems or they believe they no longer need it.

Party drug ketamine closer to approval for depression

“Sometimes people say, ‘I’m better. I don’t need this,’ and stop the medicine,” said Anthony P. Weiner, who directs outpatient geriatric psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital. “Then the symptoms recur … and if the person goes back on the medicine, it may not be fully effective.”

Seniors are also more likely to have chronic medical illnesses, which raises the risk of depression. Their illnesses may make it more difficult for them to recover from depression. And it can mask whether antidepressants are working, because symptoms of chronic illness can be mistaken for depression — and vice versa.

Poverty, isolation, pain, grief over the loss of a spouse, or being a caregiver can also lead to or intensify a senior’s depression. And no matter what medication the patients take, Lavretsky noted, those external factors don’t go away.

“Either they change their perspective or they change their circumstances, or the depression just persists,” she said.

Antidepressants can help seniors gain some perspective. But Lavretsky and others agree that even if the medications are effective, they shouldn’t be used in isolation. “It’s an emotional experience,” Weiner said. “The whole answer isn’t just, ‘Oh, here take a pill.’ There is such a central role for psychotherapy.”

Kramer-Carter, who speaks slowly and hugs everyone she meets, has felt depressed for as long as she can remember. As a young adult, she worked as a secretary and a proofreader but got fired more than once because she had trouble getting out of bed and making it to work on time. She went to the emergency room many times and in her 30s, she was diagnosed with depression.

Now, she spends a few days each week driving her husband, Eugene Carter, to medical appointments. When she feels up to it, she volunteers delivering food to poor families.

Better depression treatment could be found in blood test

Kramer-Carter checks all the boxes for being at high-risk of treatment-resistant depression. She is a long-time caregiver, first for her parents and now for her husband, a stroke survivor with short-term memory problems. Her own list of health problems is long: diabetes, high blood pressure, arthritis, fibromyalgia and gout.

“Who wants to be aching all the time?” she said.

Money problems don’t help either. The couple depends financially on Social Security. If she had more money, she said she would go to the theater or see live concerts. She misses both.

“We wouldn’t be so stuck,” she said. As it is, they spend everything on food, rent and other bills.

“It’s a constant struggle,” she said. “You have to borrow from Peter to pay Paul.”

Despite the prevalence of treatment-resistant depression, few resources exist to help psychiatrists make treatment decisions. Clinical trials have been scant, and there are no universally accepted protocols for the condition. The risks and benefits of different medications for older adults are largely unknown.

Given a shortage of geriatric psychiatrists, decisions on treatment are often left to primary care providers, who may not have relevant training or might be reluctant to take on such complicated care.

Treating anxiety, depression can help global economy, study says

Doctors with patients who don’t respond to traditional therapies frequently make ad hoc decisions about whether to change the dose, add a medication or switch to a new one.

“The clinicians use their best experience and trial and error,” said Evelyn Whitlock, chief science officer at the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute. “They try something, and if it doesn’t work, they try something else.”

Trial and error is not ideal, she said. Many of these people have been living with depression for so many years, and providers need to be able to provide them with effective treatment.

In an effort to produce better medical outcomes for people with treatment-resistant depression, the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute announced in July that it was funding three major studies that will test different approaches to the illness. The goal of the research is to produce tangible evidence that can be used immediately to help patients and their doctors make more informed treatment decisions.

The Washington, D.C. nonprofit, which finances health research, earmarked $40 million for the five-year studies, which it expects to begin this fall. They will include more than 2,500 patients at sites in California, Ohio, New York, Texas, Pennsylvania and elsewhere.

Survey: Mental health stigmas are shifting

One of the studies will examine electroconvulsive therapy — its impact on quality of life and its potential for relieving the symptoms. Another will compare the effectiveness and safety of three strategies — using magnetic fields to stimulate nerve cells in the brain, adding an antipsychotic medication or switching to a specific antidepressant. The research will assess how these approaches affect the patients’ ability to function at home and work.

The third and largest study, with about 1,500 patients, will focus specifically on older adults, testing different drugs and studying how aging affects the risk and benefits of antidepressants. UCLA, where Kramer-Carter is being treated, is part of the third study, which will weigh life circumstances and disabilities in addition to depression.

The grants represent an “unprecedented opportunity to look at this population,” Lavretsky said.

“It will be a comprehensive look at the condition, why it happens and what are the ways of alleviating suffering,” she said. “Are there some similarities among all people with treatment-resistant depression? I suspect we will find some.”

On a recent afternoon, Rini Kramer-Carter visited Lavretsky at UCLA. She said the only time she truly escapes her sadness is when she plays percussion along with other musicians. But she hasn’t been playing lately, and she has been sleeping up to 20 hours a day.

“If I can stay in bed all day, that’s what I do,” she said.

Sometimes she watches TV comedies to try to dissipate her black moods.

Kramer-Carter said she learned about Lavretsky after seeing a newspaper ad for another research study, of a drug typically used to treat early-stage dementia. During their appointment, Lavretsky went over a list of questions included in the study. “On a scale of zero to 10, where do you place yourself in terms of depression?” the doctor asked her. Nine, she responded.

She told Lavretsky she sometimes felt restless and anxious, but not suicidal.

“Do you feel full of energy?” Lavretsky asked.

“Do I look like I am full of energy?” she responded with a sigh.

Lavretsky told her that no pill will completely fix her problems, but medication might give her more energy and the ability to cope. Kramer-Carter said she knows a drug won’t produce any miracles. She just wants some relief.

“I just want to be able to live my life,” she said.

Don’t Blame Baby Boomers for Not Retiring – They Can’t Afford It – Newsmax

 

In business, the 80/20 rule states that 80% of your business will come from 20% of your customers. In an economy where more than 2/3rds of the growth rate is driven by consumption, an even bigger imbalance of the “have” and “have not’s” presents a major headwind.

I have often written about the disconnect between Wall Street and Main Street. While asset prices were inflated by continued interventions of monetary policy from the Federal Reserve, it only benefited the small portion of the population with assets invested in the market. Cheap debt, excess liquidity and a buyback spree, led to soaring Wall Street and corporate profits, surging executive compensation and rising incomes for those in the top 10%. Unfortunately, the other 90% known as “Main Street” did not receive many benefits.

This divide is clearly seen in various data and survey statistics such as the recent survey from National Institute On Retirement Security which showed the typical working-age household has only $2500 in retirement account assets. Importantly, “baby boomers” who are nearing retirement had an average of just $14,500 saved for their “golden years.”

Further evidence of the failure of ongoing Central Bank interventions to spark a broad economic recovery that lifted “all boats.” 4-0ut-of-5 working-age households have retirement savings of less than one times their annual income. This does not bode well for the sustainability of living standards in the “golden years.”

Here is the problem that is unfolding for investors going forward. While the mainstream financial press continues to extol the virtues of investing in the financial markets for the “long-term”, the assumptions are based on historical data that is not likely to repeat itself in the future.

Jeff Saut, Liz Ann Sonders, and others have continued to prognosticate the financial markets have entered into the next great “secular” bull market. As I have discussed previously, this is not likely to the be case based upon valuations, debt and demographic headwinds that are currently facing the economy.

Let’s set aside valuations and look strictly at the main driver of economic growth – the consumer.

Demographics Don’t Add Up

 

One of the big problems for the “secular bull market” story is the transition of a large mass of individuals heading into retirement years from accumulation to spending mode.

The gap between the young and elderly population has shrunk dramatically in recent years as the demographic trends have shifted. Old people are living longer and young people are delaying marriage and children. This means fewer people paying into a social welfare system, while more or taking out. Of course, the burden on the social safety net remains the 800-lb gorilla in the room no one wants to talk about. But with the insolvency of the welfare system looming in less than a decade, I am sure it will become a priority soon enough.

Of course, as we will discuss in a moment, the problem is that while the “baby boom” generation may be heading towards retirement years, there is little indication a large majority of them will be actually retiring. With a large majority of individuals being dependent on the welfare system in retirement, the burden will fall on those next in line.

Welcome to the “sandwich generation” when more individuals will be “sandwiched” between supporting both parents and children in the same household. It should be no surprise multi-generational households in the U.S. are at their highest levels since the “Great Depression.”

Given the sharp declines in fertility rates over the last 30-years, it is not surprising those over the age of 54 is now at its highest level, as a percentage of those between 25 and 54, in history.

This demographic problem is not going to be fixed anytime soon and has manifested itself in lower rates of household formations.More importantly, the drag from the elderly on the financial system is going to be a much bigger problem than most currently expect.

Employment Is A Problem

 

But let’s get back to that “secular bull market” theory for a moment. The consumer currently makes up almost 70% of economic growth. More importantly, that consumption is what drives changes in private and fixed investment, imports, and exports all of which feed into the economic growth story. However, in order for the consumer to do their part, they need a “job.” Consumption can not occur without production coming first. In other words, if you don’t have a J.O.B. – you don’t have a P.A.Y.C.H.E.C.K. with which to spend.

Recent employment increases, while encouraging, have been little more than a function of population growth. As the population grows, incremental demand increases caused by that increase in population will create employment needs in areas most impacted by that population growth. This is why job formation has been primarily focused in retail, service and hospitality areas.

The Census Bureau and Bureau of Labor Statistics provide some fairly comprehensive data about employment that can help us understand the current state of labor force participation. Is it really just an issue of masses of “baby boomers” retiring? Or is it something potentially more structural in nature.

Let’s start with the retirement of the boomer generation.

Recent statistics show the average American is woefully unprepared for retirement. On average, 40% of American families are NOT saving for retirement, and of those who are, it is primarily about one year’s worth of income. Furthermore, important to this particular conversation, one-fourth of those at retirement age postponed retirement with only 18% being confident of having enough saved for retirement.

For the purposes of this analysis, I am going to exclude all of the “seasonal adjustments” that tend to be a focal point of many of the arguments and utilize a simple 12-month average to smooth the non-adjusted data.

With 24% of “baby boomers” postponing retirement, due to an inability to retire, it is not surprising the employment level of individuals OVER the age of 65, as a percent of the working-age population 16 and over, has risen sharply in recent years.

This should really come as no surprise as decreases in economic and personal income growth was offset by surges in household debt to sustain the standard of living.

During the last “secular bull market,” the “consumption function” was not driven by rising wages, higher interest rates, or strong economic growth. In reality, the economy has been in a weakening trend since 1980. The “illusion” of the last great secular bull market was driven almost entirely by the expansion of credit and financial engineering. In other words, people used credit to make up the difference between their standard of living and weakening levels of wage growth. We have now come to the end of that game.

The problem with the “secular bull market” thesis currently is solely the inability of the consumer to re-leverage another $11 Trillion to support economic growth. With corporations having levered back up to historic peaks to fund share buybacks, dividend payouts, and acquisitions, there is likely little fuel in the tank to support another massive leg higher in the equity markets.

What seems to be missed by the majority of analysis, in my opinion, is whether the economic viability for the average American has improved? The fact social benefits as a percentage of real disposable incomes has risen to an all-time record certainly suggests that it has not.

It would seem to me this would be a much more salient question considering the importance of the consumer on the economic equation and, ultimately, corporate profits and asset prices.

While the Fed has inflated asset prices to the satisfaction of Wall Street, it has done little to improve real employment or consumption for the vast majority of Americans.

However, my concern is that despite much hope the current breakout of the markets is the beginning of a new secular “bull” market – the economic and fundamental variables suggest that this may not yet be the case. Valuations and sentiment are elevated and interest rates, inflation, wages and savings rates are all at historically low levels. These are the variables which are normally seen at the end of secular bull market periods rather than the beginning.

As stated above, the consumer, the main driver of the economy, will not be able to once again become a significantly larger chunk of the economy than today as the fundamental capacity to re-leverage to similar extremes is no longer available.

There is a huge difference between an organically driven secular bull market in stocks supported by underlying economic strength as opposed to an asset price inflation derived from direct liquidity injections. The former is sustainable, the latter is only sustainable as long as the ability to continue to “juice” the markets remain.

The last point is key. Central Bank interventions are finite. There is a limit to the number of bonds that can be swapped for cash before the credit market seizes entirely. There is also a limit to the ability of the world to operate within the context of a negative interest rate environment.

While stock prices can certainly be driven higher through more global Central Bank interventions, the inability for the economic variables to “replay the tape” of the 80’s and 90’s increases the potential of a rather nasty mean reversion in the future. However, it is precisely such a reversion that will create the “set up” necessary to start the next great secular bull market.

But as was seen at the bottom of the markets in 1942 and 1974, there were few individual investors left to enjoy the beginning of that ride. In the meantime, stop blaming “baby boomers” for not retiring – they simply can’t afford to.
 

 

 

Lance Roberts is a chief portfolio strategist and economist for Clarity Financial. To read more of his commentary, CLICK HERE NOW.

 

 

© 2016 Newsmax Finance. All rights reserved.

Generational Differences – Communication Guidelines

Successful workplace communication involves communicating effectively with members of each generational group. You might be interacting with team members, employees, vendors, or customers who are from a different generational group than yourself. To communicate successfully you must be able to adapt to the Traditionalists, the Baby Boomers, the Gen X, and the Gen Y.

According to figures reported by RainmakerThinking the 2005 workforce is comprised of the following percentage of workers.

o Traditionalists 7.5%

o Baby Boomers 42%

o Generation X 29.5%

o Generation Y 21%

Members of these various generations exhibit different sets of work styles and work standards, which can make communication difficult. To assist you and your team in communicating effectively here are some guidelines for communicating with individuals in each generational category.

Keep in mind, however, that while these guidelines are helpful and tell us something about these groups of people, not every individual in a particular generational group matches the stereotype perfectly. Keep in mind also that some individuals might fall within a certain category because of their age, but their thoughts and actions suggest that they belong to a different group.

Traditionalists, Born: 1922-1945

In communicating with Traditionalists you should generally …

o Appeal to the greater good

o Appeal to their sense of right / wrong

o Communicate formally

o Communicate face-to-face

o Communicate with computer technology with caution

Baby Boomers, Born: 1946-1964

In communicating with Baby Boomers you should generally …

o Emphasize fairness to all involved

o Use brainstorming techniques

o Communicate using face-to-face method or phone call

o Communicate more verbally than electronically

o Communicate with reference to the financial bottom line, when trying to justify a position

Gen X, Born: 1965-1976

In communicating with Gen X you should generally …

o Stress personal security

o Stress personal goals

o Stress task at hand

o Give advice through a mentor

o Communicate informally

Gen Y, Born: 1977 – 2002

In communicating with Gen Y you should generally …

o Communicate using full range of technology

o Expect constant feedback and reinforcement

o Share information using instant messaging, Internet, DVDs, MP3 players

o Focus on outcomes, not protocol

o Explain exact procedures

Practice these strategies for communicating effectively with each generational group and build bridges to better communication.

Baby boomers turn to upscale rental properties over hassle of owning homes – KSHB

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Renting is not only for millennials. More and more baby boomers are choosing to forgo home ownership for apartment leases.

Take for example Lawana Kelly, who traded in her four-bedroom house in Lenexa for a one-bedroom apartment at the new Centropolis in downtown Kansas City.

Her home sold in a matter of days, but even before putting it on the market, Kelly knew her next move was going to the city. She admitted to missing her garden but is not looking back.

“My day off was spent mowing the lawn, weeding the garden, and the rest of the week was spent worrying about the garden and the house,” said Kelly. 

Local realtor Christina Boveri estimates seeing noticeable growth in the last five years in the 55 and over demographic for the rental market.

“Probably eight to 10 years ago, mostly the biggest demographic was the young professional,” said Boveri. 

The search engine Apartment List said the rate of baby boomers renting property is up by 34 percent over the last seven years. 

Credit: Apartment List

Marnie Sauls at One Light listed a few reasons for the uptick.

“They’re looking for a carefree lifestyle,” said Sauls. “They don’t want to worry about anything. They want to make sure maintenance is doing everything for them. They want to have planned activities.”

One of those tenants is Debi George, who after owning a home with her husband for 25 years, decided to live the apartment life.

“We feel like we know our neighbors because we meet them down here and socialize,” said George.”We don’t look at it as money thrown away. We don’t pay property taxes. Anything that goes wrong in the apartment, they’re right there to fix it for us so we’re not spending that money so we only see upsides to it, we’re happy.”

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Jane Monreal can be reached at [email protected]

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Don’t Blame ‘Baby Boomers’ For Not Retiring | Seeking Alpha – Seeking Alpha

In business, the 80/20 rule states that 80% of your business will come from 20% of your customers. In an economy where more than 2/3rds of the growth rate is driven by consumption, an even bigger imbalance of the “have” and “have not’s” presents a major headwind.

I have often written about the disconnect between Wall Street and Main Street. As shown in the chart below, while asset prices were inflated by continued interventions of monetary policy from the Federal Reserve, it only benefited the small portion of the population with assets invested in the market. Cheap debt, excess liquidity and a buyback spree, led to soaring Wall Street and corporate profits, surging executive compensation and rising incomes for those in the top 10%. Unfortunately, the other 90% known as “Main Street” did not receive many benefits.

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This divide is clearly seen in various data and survey statistics such as the recent survey from National Institute On Retirement Security which showed the typical working-age household has only $2500 in retirement account assets. Importantly, “baby boomers” who are nearing retirement had an average of just $14,500 saved for their “golden years.”

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Further evidence of the failure of ongoing Central Bank interventions to spark a broad economic recovery that lifted “all boats” is shown in the chart below. 4-0ut-of-5 working-age households have retirement savings of less than one times their annual income. This does not bode well for the sustainability of living standards in the “golden years.”

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Here is the problem that is unfolding for investors going forward. While the mainstream financial press continues to extol the virtues of investing in the financial markets for the “long-term”, the assumptions are based on historical data that is not likely to repeat itself in the future.

Jeff Saut, Liz Ann Sonders, and others have continued to prognosticate the financial markets have entered into the next great “secular” bull market. As I have discussed previously, this is not likely to the be case based upon valuations, debt and demographic headwinds that are currently facing the economy.

Let’s set aside valuations and look strictly at the main driver of economic growth — the consumer.

Demographics Don’t Add Up

One of the big problems for the “secular bull market” story is the transition of a large mass of individuals heading into retirement years from accumulation to spending mode. The chart below shows the number of elderly versus young in millions in the U.S. through the last OECD survey ending in 2014.

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The gap between the young and elderly population has shrunk dramatically in recent years as the demographic trends have shifted. Old people are living longer and young people are delaying marriage and children. This means fewer people paying into a social welfare system, while more or taking out. Of course, the burden on the social safety net remains the 800-lb gorilla in the room no one wants to talk about. But with the insolvency of the welfare system looming in less than a decade, I am sure it will become a priority soon enough.

Of course, as we will discuss in a moment, the problem is that while the “baby boom” generation may be heading towards retirement years, there is little indication a large majority of them will be actually retiring. With a large majority of individuals being dependent on the welfare system in retirement, the burden will fall on those next in line.

Welcome to the “sandwich generation” when more individuals will be “sandwiched” between supporting both parents and children in the same household. It should be no surprise multi-generational households in the U.S. are at their highest levels since the “Great Depression.”

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Given the sharp declines in fertility rates over the last 30-years, it is not surprising those over the age of 54 is now at its highest level, as a percentage of those between 25 and 54, in history.

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This demographic problem is not going to be fixed anytime soon and has manifested itself in lower rates of household formations.More importantly, the drag from the elderly on the financial system is going to be a much bigger problem than most currently expect.

Employment Is A Problem

But let’s get back to that “secular bull market” theory for a moment. The consumer currently makes up almost 70% of economic growth. More importantly, that consumption is what drives changes in private and fixed investment, imports, and exports all of which feed into the economic growth story. However, in order for the consumer to do their part, they need a “job.” Consumption can not occur without production coming first. In other words, if you don’t have a J.O.B. — you don’t have a P.A.Y.C.H.E.C.K. with which to spend.

Recent employment increases, while encouraging, have been little more than a function of population growth. As the population grows, incremental demand increases caused by that increase in population will create employment needs in areas most impacted by that population growth. This is why job formation has been primarily focused in retail, service and hospitality areas.

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The Census Bureau and Bureau of Labor Statistics provide some fairly comprehensive data about employment that can help us understand the current state of labor force participation. Is it really just an issue of masses of “baby boomers” retiring? Or is it something potentially more structural in nature.

Let’s start with the retirement of the boomer generation. In addition to the survey above, recent statistics show the average American is woefully unprepared for retirement. On average, 40% of American families are NOT saving for retirement, and of those who are, it is primarily about one year’s worth of income. Furthermore, important to this particular conversation, one-fourth of those at retirement age postponed retirement with only 18% being confident of having enough saved for retirement.

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For the purposes of this analysis, I am going to exclude all of the “seasonal adjustments” that tend to be a focal point of many of the arguments and utilize a simple 12-month average to smooth the non-adjusted data.

With 24% of “baby boomers” postponing retirement, due to an inability to retire, it is not surprising the employment level of individuals OVER the age of 65, as a percent of the working-age population 16 and over, has risen sharply in recent years.

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This should really come as no surprise as decreases in economic and personal income growth was offset by surges in household debt to sustain the standard of living. Notice the surge in 65-year and older employment corresponds with the decline of prosperity in the chart below.

During the last “secular bull market,” the “consumption function” was not driven by rising wages, higher interest rates, or strong economic growth. In reality, the economy has been in a weakening trend since 1980. The “illusion” of the last great secular bull market was driven almost entirely by the expansion of credit and financial engineering. In other words, people used credit to make up the difference between their standard of living and weakening levels of wage growth. We have now come to the end of that game.

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The problem with the “secular bull market” thesis currently is solely the inability of the consumer to re-leverage another $11 Trillion to support economic growth. With corporations having levered back up to historic peaks to fund share buybacks, dividend payouts, and acquisitions, there is likely little fuel in the tank to support another massive leg higher in the equity markets.

What seems to be missed by the majority of analysis, in my opinion, is whether the economic viability for the average American has improved? The fact social benefits as a percentage of real disposable incomes has risen to an all-time record certainly suggests that it has not.

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It would seem to me this would be a much more salient question considering the importance of the consumer on the economic equation and, ultimately, corporate profits and asset prices.

While the Fed has inflated asset prices to the satisfaction of Wall Street, as shown in the first chart above, it has done little to improve real employment or consumption for the vast majority of Americans.

However, my concern is that despite much hope the current breakout of the markets is the beginning of a new secular “bull” market – the economic and fundamental variables suggest that this may not yet be the case. Valuations and sentiment are elevated and interest rates, inflation, wages and savings rates are all at historically low levels. These are the variables that are normally seen at the end of secular bull market periods rather than the beginning.

As stated above, the consumer, the main driver of the economy, will not be able to once again become a significantly larger chunk of the economy than today as the fundamental capacity to re-leverage to similar extremes is no longer available.

There is a huge difference between an organically driven secular bull market in stocks supported by underlying economic strength as opposed to an asset price inflation derived from direct liquidity injections. The former is sustainable, the latter is only sustainable as long as the ability to continue to “juice” the markets remain.

The last point is key. Central Bank interventions are finite. There is a limit to the number of bonds that can be swapped for cash before the credit market seizes entirely. There is also a limit to the ability of the world to operate within the context of a negative interest rate environment.

While stock prices can certainly be driven higher through more global Central Bank interventions, the inability for the economic variables to “replay the tape” of the 80’s and 90’s increases the potential of a rather nasty mean reversion in the future. However, it is precisely such a reversion that will create the “set up” necessary to start the next great secular bull market.

But as was seen at the bottom of the markets in 1942 and 1974, there were few individual investors left to enjoy the beginning of that ride. In the meantime, stop blaming “baby boomers” for not retiring — they simply can’t afford to.

Adult Lifestyle Community – A Definition

Now that our aging population has visibly become a force to be reckoned with, many homebuilders are discovering mature adults to be a potent market. But often homebuilders tend to miss the market by focusing more on the home (which is after all what builders are selling), rather than the lifestyle (which is what drives most of the sales activity in an adult lifestyle community).

Many developers and homebuilders operate from the misconception that mature buyers prefer to live in homes that are inexpensive and focus on pricing their homes as low as possible, believing that product and price are what drives the sale. And surely there are adult lifestyle purchasers for whom price is a prime consideration. But most potential residents of an adult lifestyle community are looking for three things: adult, lifestyle and community.

Purchasers in adult communities want to be sure that the community they are considering moving to is indeed an “adult” community. As such, many such communities are age-restricted, with a hard and fast set of rules that precludes the possibility of children moving in. Of course, in jurisdictions that do not allow discrimination on the basis of age, there are other ways to “restrict” who moves in. This could range from so-called restrictive covenants registered on title of the property to rules about the permanent number of residents that may occupy any one dwelling unit (usually no more than two) under a condominium corporation or a rental agreement. Finally, the best method to maintain the integrity of an adult lifestyle community is to offer homes that are specifically designed for an older, childless demographic. The market will take care of the rest.

Some builder want to hedge their bets by offering large two storey homes in adult communities, imagining that they would be appealing to younger baby boomers that still have children at home. This fallacy results in pleasing neither the younger baby boomers that do not want to live in a community comprised largely of older people, nor the active adults seeking a childfree lifestyle.

As stated above, one of the most important considerations on the part of the purchaser in an adult community involves lifestyle. Many people in their 50s and 60s who are either retired or semi-retired have a lot of leisure time and a plethora of interests about which they are very passionate. Many are into golf in a big way and seek communities that are near golf courses. Many are into personal fitness and look for communities that provide exercise facilities. There are nearly as many interests as there are individuals seeking to live the adult lifestyle. Those communities that recognize this very important fact tend to do very well, while those that don’t, not so much.

Finally, active adults tend to be very social and seek to live in a community where they find others of similar interests and values. Many of these communities have organized activities, such as a bridge club, a golf group, round-robin tennis tournaments or group projects such as quilting or knitting. A sense of being a part of a community of like-minded individuals really is one of the most important aspects of a successful adult lifestyle community. These are the reasons why a community clubhouse is probably one of the most important amenities that any adult lifestyle community could provide. And the greater the variety of amenities and interests, the more people will be attracted to live there.

New study finds millennials are starting more small businesses than baby boomers – WAAY

Millennials sometimes get a bad rap for being young and lazy, however, a new study says that is far from the truth. 

Researchers for Nationwide show that Millennials are starting up twice as many small businesses than baby boomers. 

“I want it really bad,” Kayla Adams, who’s starting a fashion boutique in Downtown Huntsville tells WAAY 31. “Its my money it’s my investment an I want this to succeed.”

The study finds that the younger generation is more prepared to own their own business, and have more resources available. 

“They know how to work smarter,” Jason Greene, the Dean of the College of Business at UAH said. 

Greene says what this generation really understands is how to connect with people. 

“This generation is savvy about how to use social media,” Greene said. 

A resource Adams is already taking advantage of before her store, Elitaire Boutique, opens this fall. 

“We have access to hundreds of thousands of people on social media and that is instant marketing,” she explained. 

Researchers also found Millennials are doing better because they are protecting their businesses from natural disasters, and cyber attacks.