Sunday, March 23, 2008

Moving In With The Folks - At Age 52?

Well, we all know times are getting more challenging financially - but this is astounding!
After being laid off from her job as an events planner at an upscale resort, Jo Ann Bauer struggled financially. She worked at several lower-paying jobs, relocated to a new city and even declared bankruptcy.

After being laid off, Jo Ann Bauer struggled for four years on her own before moving in with her parents.

Then in December, she finally accepted her parents' invitation to move into their home -- at age 52. "I'm back living in the bedroom that I grew up in," she said.
Bauer was caught by surprise when her job at a resort in Kohler, Wisconsin, was cut four years ago, one year after she got divorced. The single mother bounced around to several lesser-paying jobs, declared bankruptcy and even moved 60 miles south to Milwaukee.

Her daughter, now 12, moved in with Bauer's ex-husband near her hometown.
What is even more amazing is this statistic:
A new survey by the retiree-advocacy group AARP found that one-fourth of Generation Xers, those 28 to 39 years old, receive financial help from family and friends.

The online survey of nearly 1,800 people ages 19 to 39 also found 57 percent believed they were "financially independent." But in a separate question, 33 percent said they received financial support from family and friends.
While it's nice to know parents aren't turning away their kids, it is disturbing to know that a growing number of adults seem to be unable to be self-sufficient. What does that say about us as a society? or about our inflationary economy? about personal responsibility? I don't think it bodes very well for us in general. When a mother opts to go back to live at home with her parents and sends her 12 year old packing and off to live with the ex-spouse I think that is a real shame in many ways. Of course I am not walking in this particular woman's shoes, but for myself after graduating college, the notion of going back to live with my parents has never been an option, and not because they didn't want me to come home.

This type of thing could be a growing problem for our retirees, who are already facing enormous financial strains due to rising costs.

Perhaps life would be easier if we didn't have to shell out so much money in taxes, and insurance and medical expenses. The effects of a disastrous monetary policy and the cost of government has certainly got to be a part of this phenomenon. On the other hand, we have become used to living beyond our means, and not having the patience to acquire the things we want.

The reality of independent living for many is simply becoming more and more challenging. Our ideas about personal responsibility are also becoming less urgent as we overspend and live beyond our means, while racking up debt, and failing to make proper financial adjustments, because we know that either the government or family members will ultimately come to our rescue.