The Normal American Family: Googled, Facebooked, Tweeted, LinkedIn, Instagramed, Pinterested, You-Tubed, Blogged, Texted, WI-FI-ed, Algorithmed, Searched, Search engine optimized (SEO), Pluged-in, Smart Phoned, Multi-cultural, Bi-lingual, and "beats by DRE go on and on!
You Mean "Us" Support Our Parents?
Humor me for a second by considering the following. Pick three individuals from the list: Tom Cruise, Miley Cyrus, Kim Kardashian, Hillary Clinton, President George H. Bush and Morgan Freeman. Assume the three you picked are all members of a family (whatever your definition of family is) and please make sure they represent three separate generations. Ok, now put all three under one roof in a neighborhood here in the U.S. Sounds interesting doesn't it?
Now consider these points:
#1) A swell of 76+ million "Baby Boomers" are hurtling towards retirement, and a few more are added every time a sip of Starbuck's coffee is taken. (That's fast people!) The Baby Boomers are the largest cohort in the history of the United States that are beginning to retire!
#2) "Generation X", the Boomer's children, and most are presently in the primes of their careers. The (46+ million) Gen Xers also have children in grade school or higher education which could be the Achilles' heel for their own retirement planning.
*There are also the "Y" and "Z" generations which have been notoriously grouped in with the Gen Xers. (Perhaps a discussion for another time?)
#3) The largest generation in our great Country's history is born "the Millennials" which are (80+ million strong). Millennials are wiser beyond their years because they were born and educated during renaissance of computer age technologically savviness. They began competing with the Boomers and Gen Xers for similar employment for less money and benefits because of the deep economic abyss "The Great Recession" caused.
#4) The "Great Recession" erased a lot of working monies and assets Boomers planned on using for retirement and diminishing inheritance that could be passed on to their children the Gen Xers and to their grandchildren "The Millennials". History shows bank confidence, real estate investments, retirement plans, mic-mansions and big time dreams along with high paying jobs went poof in "the blink of an eye."
Currently, our economy is rebounding faster than most economists predicted mainly because as a country we are becoming increasingly energy independent. The American spirit is resilient. However, there is no doubt Boomers have felt the strongest negative economic implications from the "Great Recession."
Financial experts have pointed to all forms of their planned retirement possibly taking severe losses. Government statistics also point out that social security and Medicare (programs meant to subsidize retirement through taxes) won't be available in their current payout rate past 2037.
So what's the point of this article and my opinions about cohorts in America?
The "Great Recession" may have done one unexpected feat after all! By no other means than necessity, brought us closer together as families!
Consider this little known fact. During the "Great Recession" there were more second and third generational households created out of necessity than any other time in the previous 50 years! The family unit grew closer together if for no other reason than each generation's inter-woven living requirements (transportation, fuel, childcare, housing, groceries, healthcare, utilities, activities etc.).
Ironically, different generations' simultaneously all living under one roof like the turn of the 20th Century relearning how to socially interrelate in close living quarters, supporting each other and in my opinion the possibility of great grandmothers passing on family: ethos, mores, folklore, modeled practices and the oh so precious unwritten words of family traditions. Let's learn America and continue this unexpected gift that could serve us as a lesson and benefit to many grandparents and little ones alike.
Why the Intro?
Rethink the celebrities at the beginning of the article, consider not the notoriety of the individuals you chose, but them all under one roof. So imagine former Secretary Hillary Clinton saying, "Kim K. give Tom C. a chance at the mirror and go tell your sister to stop 'twerking' to the Michael Jackson music because Mr. Freeman and former President G.H. Bush are trying to watch "Top-Gun."