A 27-year-old reader caught up with a column I wrote recently about millennials showing an interest in socialism, and it set her off. It reminded her of what she sees as a tendency among baby boomers to blame the financial challenges faced by young adults today on a lack of money smarts. The problem, she argues, is that today’s economy is set up to protect the interests of baby boomers at the expense of her generation. What follows is a lightly edited transcript of her e-mail to me. Note: She asked to remain anonymous. She lives in southwestern Ontario.
I find it rather insulting that your generation keeps implying that our generation needs “financial advice.”
Here is some advice: Maybe employers could pay better wages from their deep pockets. I truly believe that the system absolutely operates to support and protect baby boomer interests.
I am getting sick and tired of making much less than what my baby boomer co-workers make. Plus, they receive benefits and six weeks of holidays. Of course, this was earned from years of service. But these people don't know how to rotate a PDF document, for goodness sake. And who do they come to for all of their completely ridiculous and absurd computer and tech questions? Me, the contract worker who makes $39,000 a year and has to pay $150 a month for parking downtown.
Not to mention, I have six years of completely related post-secondary education, including a bachelor of management and organizational studies degree specializing in HR, a business-insurance diploma and eight of the 10 required courses towards my Chartered Insurance Professional (CIP) designation – and I work in insurance.
I own a vehicle, which is a luxury. But let’s be real here – my family lives out of town and I am 27 years old. I think having a vehicle (a modest Chevy Cruz) should not be impossible. With my car expenses, student debt payments, rent plus utilities and my phone bill, I literally have $200 left after budgeting for groceries and my gym membership.
Woohoo, I love capitalism. It is so awesome. Really glad I busted my ass throughout my entire life and finished both college and university to live off of grilled cheese and live in a disgusting, unsafe area of town.
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Rob’s personal finance reading list…
How to flunk retirement
Here’s a quiz that will have you thinking about the amount of planning you’re doing to reinvent your life after retirement. How will you stay engaged and fulfilled after you leave the workforce?
A personal finance blogger gets married
Krystal Yee of the Give Me Back My Five Bucks blog wrote this fully costed post on her recent wedding ceremony. Her total expenses are just over half of this estimated average wedding cost. Here’s an interesting new option for an inexpensive wedding in the Toronto area: the pop-up wedding chapel. Cost: $1,999, plus HST.
It’s the CRA calling and you owe us money
I’ve heard from cyber-scammers using this con, and so have thousands of other people. According to a CBC report, about $10-million has been lost by people who got sucked in.
How to get negative items off your credit report, revisited
Here’s a revised version of an item I included in a newsletter earlier this month that fixes incorrect information.
Today’s financial tool
We’ve created a retirement guide for women that addresses their specific challenges – they live longer than men, they take more time out of the workforce to care for children and more. For Globe and Mail subscribers.
Q: How do you choose an executor and someone to take on power of attorney when you’re a solo senior? What alternatives are there when family is not available?”
A: I wrote a recent column to answer this exact question after realizing that this is a fairly common question. Many seniors are unmarried or have no children or relatives who can take on these duties.
Do you have a question for me? Send it my way. Sorry I can’t answer every one personally. Questions and answers are edited for length and clarity.
What I’ve been writing about
- Seniors and their growing mortgages are wrecking the good-news story of Canada getting its act together on debt
- Parents, are your kids away at university or college properly insured?
- Manulife Financial offers to pay people to leave a retirement product that was once a sensation (for Globe Unlimited subscribers)
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