Stacey Kirk: How have Boomers stuffed thee? Let me count the ways

Retirement for this couple looks rosy. How nice for them, with their mortgage-free homestead, zero student loan debt and ...
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Retirement for this couple looks rosy. How nice for them, with their mortgage-free homestead, zero student loan debt and multiple income streams.

OPINION: "A bloody disgraceful intergenerational transference of stupidity."

That came the comment from a colleague - incidentally, a baby boomer - as he watched statistics roll across the screen, highlighting the generational divide in the shock vote for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union. 

The UK's old - many retired, or careering towards it - decided on behalf of the young, that they didn't want Johnny Foreigner coming in to take their jobs. 

The future is far less certain for this couple however, whose generation - outnumbered by the older folk - will likely ...
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The future is far less certain for this couple however, whose generation - outnumbered by the older folk - will likely continue to lose out to the voting power of the baby boomers.

Firstly, let's not forget the irony in that.

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It should worry them the least, particularly when considering conversely the ones most affected by immigrant competition - the young - voted to remain.

And aside perhaps from the Polish, most of the immigration they object to likely comes from other non-EU countries - immigration that can be controlled by the UK Government.

Voting statistics showed 73 per cent of 18 to 24 year-olds voted to remain, as did 62 per cent of 25-34s. But an aging population meant that with a 59 per cent vote to leave, that group of pensioners outweighed the younger remain vote by around 1.3 million votes. 

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So the young, working population of Britain, and many in New Zealand, will lose their EU passports. And with that, the ease of travelling and working in destinations that will challenge their world view in ways that would have many Boomers choking into their cups of tea. 

The world will be worse off for it. 

But that's only the latest in a rather long history of that generation ruining it for future ones.  

HOUSING 

Auckland is all but closed off to the first home buyer, and other major centres are beginning to feel the effects of a market in which you need a cool $1 million to get a foot in the door. 

Little problem for the Baby Boomer, who can leverage that size mortgage off their portfolio of largely uninsulated rental properties. 

SUPERANNUATION

Led by Chief Boomer John Key, the age of superannuation will remain at 65 until a Government is sufficiently confident it won't have a hope of lasting another term, and so makes the responsible decision to raise it. 

The Government set aside $12.9 billion at this year's budget for Superannuation Payments - up from $12.2b the year before. It is not means tested, it is not income tested. 

A boomer does not have to be retired at 65 to begin claiming up to $770 a fortnight, a good number aren't. Some are millionaires.

And while many are retired, with no other source of income, it's questionable that they need to be at 65, when New Zealanders are now living to an average age of 81. 

It's unsustainable and drastic changes will need to be made well before those under 35 reach that age.

Meaning the younger generation has around 30-45 years to pay off student loans their forebears never had, save for a mortgage - in some cases more than triple the size boomers had to contend with at that age, pay off that mortgage, then save anything upwards of $400,000 for their retirement. 

FLAG

This has far less meaning than the previous two examples. Perhaps that's the point. 

We had a chance to change the flag to something that future generations of New Zealanders could get behind. New Zealand voted for nostalgia, and kept the symbol of a Kingdom that may be torn apart in years to come. 

But hey, what's one more stupid decision forced by the old onto the young? 

It's enough to leave a young voter apathetic.

*comments are closed

 - Sunday Star Times

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