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To think that the older retired generation have it too cushy ...

(288 Posts)
suebfg Sun 30-Jun-13 21:52:57

Nice holidays, large houses now worth £££, good pensions etc. (I know I am generalising her)e.

And the young/middle aged people can't rely on an inheritance as the elderly people may have to sell their homes to pay for care. Yet the elderly people did get an inheritance and are enjoying it on their holiday spending sprees.

MaybeBentley Thu 04-Jul-13 18:28:14

Anything my parents have will go on care home fees. They will end up in the same local care home (hopefully) as someone without a £250,000 house to sell to pay for it, so no luxury care home. They worked hard all their lives and should enjoy their home and a little travel while they can, as soon (already) they are too dependent to do it. If you begrudge hem that I am really disappointed at your attitude to others.

allmycats Thu 04-Jul-13 16:17:33

My father, who worked in a nationalised industry just does not understand that when your child is of a working age you cannot take them down to work with you, speak to the manager who will start them next week and then they will have a job for life.
he thinks that if you want a council house you put your name down when you are about to be married and by the time your wedding comes about you have been offered a flat/house - which you will then keep until you die.
He thinks 'it is all talk' and even when he sees his own grandchildren struggling to get work.
he was of a generation that left school, worked where their dad worked and then did national service, came out, went back to their previous employment and just carried on as if nothing had happened. he also cannot understand why people who work 'night shifts' don't do a bit of work on the side on the side during those days cos in his day 1/2 of them slept whilst them others watched out for them and the next turn around they returned the favour !

ARealDame Thu 04-Jul-13 15:12:03

Oh yes, they have it cushy. If they managed to keep a reasonably paid job, and buy a home, they're laughing.

Its just an historical blip, due to post-war boom.

I don't resent them for it, exactly. As a result, many "ordinary" people had comfortable lives and old-age, perhaps for the first time in history.

But sometimes it does feel wrong, compared to other groups. I'm not sure they're all that generous in return, which is the main question for me. Are they?

LessMissAbs Thu 04-Jul-13 13:29:06

I'm always surprised to hear that people used to expect jobs for life. I know so many people whove been made redundant, and not just once. so when I hear of men who were made redundant in the eighties as relatively young healthy men from traditional industries, I find it hard to concieve that some of them never worked again, and that some of them saw not wanting to move to another area a valid reason not to work.

I think the workplace is so different now. Did they have so much performance assessment then? I've got friends who were pushed out of their jobs, even though they did nothing wrong, because they weren't percieved as high flyers. You're on shaky ground now in a lot of jobs if you think you can get away with just working 9 - 5.

Badvoc Thu 04-Jul-13 08:28:38

My parents weren't left anything...other than my GM with Parkinson's to care for along with 3 young children.
They still live in council accommodation and therefore my siblings and I will get no inheritance. I would far rather my parents spend their money and enjoy themselves now.
My pils are comfortable and own their own home but they could both easily live for another 20 years and so any inheritance will be used for care I imagine.
I am not expecting anything from anyone.

McGeeDiNozzo Thu 04-Jul-13 05:50:58

It's not true that the older generation have it too cushy. But some of them do make assumptions about job-hunting and house-hunting that are, to put it mildly, fanciful.

The real problem is that artificial house price inflation has hugely outstripped wage inflation. That's not the boomers' fault, although some of them have been terribly lucky to have benefited from it.

thegreylady Wed 03-Jul-13 23:56:45

My parents didn't leave an inheritance. They were council house tenants from 1950 until Mum died in 1993. My dad was an invalid from 1955 until his death in 1990 (MS). Mum had two jobs, she worked in a factory canteen all week and on a market stall at weekends. I was an only child so never really knew hardship though many did in the pit village where I lived. I am 69 now and dh is 77, we are both grammar school educated. I think university fees were a big mistake as was abolishing grammar schools. I also agree that many of today's young people will never have the security that we have, however I feel YABU to resent what can't be helped.

storynanny Wed 03-Jul-13 22:42:07

"yet the elderly did get an inheritance"
not sure how many of the "older" generation inherited property or much money. Renting was the way most working class people lived pre war.
My parents are in their 80's, live comfortably but definitely didn't inherit money.
Inheritance is not a right. I don't expect to inherit from them as their hard earned money will pay for their care as they age. I don't expect to have much for my children to inherit and they don't expect it.
Just try your best to enjoy every day, those elderly people have earned the right to do what they please with their money.

CleverlyConcealed Wed 03-Jul-13 19:36:00

The 'older, retired generation' could be anything from 55 to folk in their 80s and 90s and there's a massive difference in how they are living.

You needed to be more specific in your rant OP.

lougle Wed 03-Jul-13 19:22:40

My Dad worked in Oil and Gas - 12 hour shifts in the desert in Egypt, or countries like Iran, Oman, Brunei, etc. Sleeping in cabins.

He had 3 months working 7 days per week, 12 hours per day, followed by 3 weeks at home. He would be regularly put at risk of radioactive isotopes and once had to be flown home for testing because someone took a cap off a canister that they shouldn't.

Job security was abysmal. Contracts offered by word of mouth and by phone with no notice at all - take it, or we move on to the next guy.

Once back in the UK, he was regularly made redundant, as job after job collapsed. He was in a critical role (quality assurance) and could sink any remaining assets if he so chose, so he was told his job was gone and escorted from the office within 30 minutes.

I remember Dad taking a phone call after a long period of unemployment. He was offered a job which would mean that we would have less money than on income support. He took the job because he wanted to work.

The 70s/80s were not the 'heyday' that people speak of, for everyone.

Salbertina Wed 03-Jul-13 16:37:20

True, Cory but demographics have changed dramatically- vast number of people are 65+ now compared to numbers of young people to support them. Far, far fewer people survived long into retirement way back when. This trend is unsustainable and unaffordable hence the current cuts which are only going to get worse! The above we DO know, sadly,

cory Wed 03-Jul-13 15:53:01

One problem is that we see the cushy lives of the older generation with hindsight.

And with hindsight, WW2 came to an end, austerity came to an end and a welfare system was put in place that my FIL's generation can hardly have dream of when they got married in the 1940's. They didn't know that.

With hindsight, England climbed out of the 1980's recession, the miners' strikes passed into memory and other industries were found which provided work, employment rose again. The young who were just setting out in life didn't know that.

I got married in the early 90's. The reason we got our house cheap was the recession- which meant that countless other families were repossessed when their mortgages could no longer be paid. Things got better after that but we didn't know that was going to happen.

And we have no idea what is round the corner for the youngsters setting out today either.

Latara Wed 03-Jul-13 15:43:28

My parents are 64 & 65 but they are divorced and therefore both have to carry on working despite health problems - to pay for accommodation and the bills.

JemimaMuddledUp Wed 03-Jul-13 15:27:21

I think the OP is making a huge generalisation, however there are some pensioners who have it very easy.

My inlaws were civil servants and took early retirement on very nice pensions. Shortly afterwards FIL's mother died and left them everything. They are now in their 70s and still living the life of Riley, taking their winter fuel allowance as spending money on their January cruise envy

OTOH I know a lot of elderly people who are struggling to make ends meet on pension credit and who would never leave the house if it wasn't for their free bus passes. So I realise that not everyone is like my inlaws.

oldwomaninashoe Wed 03-Jul-13 15:17:47

I am in my early 60's and even if I work till I am 65 my occupational pension together with my state pension will not cover my basic living expenses and pay my mortgage!
I will have to sell my home to live, moving area away from family and friends to get something considerably cheaper. The adult children that I still have living at home are on such meagre wages they will never be able to afford to buy and will only be able to rent with the help of benefits.
I don't have/cant afford foreign holidays now , like many youngsters do, and I certainly wont be able to afford them when I'm on my (public sector) pension.
I have worked all my life since I left school ai 18, commuting at my age and with age related health issues is increasingly difficult.
Sorry OP I deserve to retire, but I can assure you I won't be living in the lap of luxury!

curryeater Wed 03-Jul-13 14:50:02

I think the portrayal of the 70s as a dismal, doomy time is a deliberate strategy to glorify the Right who took over in the 80s. The unions had worked hard to gain some security and some comfort for the working classes and taking it away had to be justified. Actually the 70s was a great time to be a child. It was in the 80s (in the NW) where you started to really see, and suffer the effects of, real poverty. (In my case suffer vicariously: we did not get poor but we lived amongst broken windows, boarded up parades of shops, high crime, crappy school facilities, etc etc). It was not uncommon in the "loadsamoney" decade, where I am from, to see children without shoes. And yet this was the "solution" to the "problem" of the 70s. It is pure Orwellian doublespeak. the "wrong" people had money. Only a tiny bit - only enough for a house and a caravan holiday - but it had to be taken away.

Biscuitsareme Wed 03-Jul-13 14:10:18

great post, curryeater.

My parents were both teachers. They are now retired and have good pensions and nice houses. They fail to understand why OH and I 'don't take the kids on holiday' and are anxious about our (patchy) pension savings. They just assume that in a couple of years we'll be able to move into a bigger house and 'arrive'. It's frustrating.

Salbertina Wed 03-Jul-13 14:08:12

Less- interesting point about social mobility...

Indeed, successive govs esp Labour gradually eroded the very grammar school system which had given many ministers a leg up in the first place. Hypocritical and blinkered thinking at its worst!

I believe social mobility is less now than in the 1970s hmm

boschy Wed 03-Jul-13 14:07:49

we live in a house that is really too big for us and in which we have a reasonable amount of equity. however for various reasons it would be hard to sell (tho it is lovely).

we are now thinking that actually we need to hang on here, because we would have enough space for both DDs to stay here/move back in if they need to post school/uni/apprenticeships/whatever. and if they needed to come back with boyfriend/babies then it could be manageable.

this is not what I want to happen, I want them to forge their own paths and for DH and I to be able to enjoy life on our own terms.

however, I dont think the economic climate will be in their favour for a good few years.

Kat101 Wed 03-Jul-13 14:01:38

Its the non-understanding of the difficulties faced by the current younger generations that can be a problem. My ILs recently gave BIL a large deposit to get on the housing ladder, they "couldnt understand why he hadn't bought a house" and it "just wasnt the way they did it". Even when explained to them, they still didnt get it. This house will be far too small when BIL has kids, but ILs persuaded him that the house will rise in value short term and he can sell it on and make a profit to buy his next much bigger house. This is in an area of high unemployment and low static house prices.

Good luck to them, I think they're gonna need it sad

LessMissAbs Wed 03-Jul-13 13:57:02

I think its a shane that we now live in a country where, even if you are an intelligent high achiever who does well at school and university and succeeds in getting quite a good job, whether or not you that hard work buys you a nice house and lifestyle depends more on how much money your parents will give you to help.

It used to be that if you worked hard and were clever, it guaranteed a nice lifestyle. That is no longer the case.

That's pretty poor social mobility for a first world country.

I also find it ironic that the people who decided students must borrow to fund their tertiary education were those who not only got it free themselves but would also have got maintenance grants if they had needed.

Buddy80 Wed 03-Jul-13 13:47:09

Curryeater spot on!

frogspoon Wed 03-Jul-13 13:30:21

I think you're generalising, some older people really struggle. However almost everyone my age (mid 20s) is struggling, except those who are helped out by their parents.

House prices have gone up astronomically, way out of proportion with increase in salary.

I do the same job as my mum (teacher). My parents' first house (3 bed semi, outer London) cost the equivalent of about 3 years of my mum's salary 30 years ago.

To buy a an equivalent sized house in the same area would cost me about 10 years salary.

I accept that my parents have every right to enjoy their hard earned cash, they have both worked hard and deserve to spend it. But I do feel they genuinely did have it easier when they were my age.

digerd Wed 03-Jul-13 12:24:09


Do your parents have UK pensions and if so, which jobs get final salary pensions?

Viviennemary Wed 03-Jul-13 12:09:31

I think houses were a lot more affordable in the 1980's than they are now. And it was a lot easier to move to a better house then. Now the gap is so huge between the house you are in and a better house it's just not possible to bridge unless you move to a cheaper area. I think house prices are mainly to blame for people finding it hard when they earn a reasonable amount.

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