1. Welcome to SportsJournalists.com, a friendly forum for discussing all things sports and journalism.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register for a free account to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Access to private conversations with other members.
    • Fewer ads.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

What an (economic) drag it is, getting old

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Bob Cook, Feb 7, 2011.

  1. Bob Cook

    Bob Cook Active Member

    Interesting story from Crain's Chicago Business looking at the graying of Chicago, but there's a lot of stuff application to the nation as a whole:


    Few industries will escape the effects as a graying population puts the brakes on economic growth.

    • Many retiring boomers will sell homes, increasing pressure on housing prices already depressed by the foreclosure crisis.

    • They will need more medical care and rely on government insurance programs to pay for it, cutting into hospital profits and adding to the state's Medicaid bill.

    • Their incomes will drop by about half, and their discretionary spending will shrink by about one-third. They'll spend more on prescription drugs but less on cars, appliances and restaurant meals.

    • They'll pay less in taxes, worsening the revenue crunch governments at all levels face, while they consume more government services.

    • Their retirements will cascade through the workplace, leaving employers short of skilled workers.

    For the first time since boomers appeared on the scene 60-odd years ago, long-term economic growth will decelerate dramatically in Illinois.

    And Illinois is generally in better shape, according to the article, because the ratio of people turning 65 to new residents is 0.9 (thanks to immigration). In Iowa, 7.8 people turn 65 for every new resident. Yowzers.

    So who gets blamed for the aging America -- Obama or Bush? :)
  2. Football_Bat

    Football_Bat Well-Known Member

    Note to self: Purchase stock in Golden Corral.
  3. BTExpress

    BTExpress Well-Known Member

    What bugs me about pieces like this is that they automatically take one "side" and don't bother with the "on the other hand . . . " perspective.

    For example . . .

    "Their retirements will cascade through the workplace, leaving employers short of skilled workers."

    Uh, what about giving unemployed people an opportunity to find work? Isn't THAT the single-biggest shot in the arm this economy needs?

    And while I can't speak for everyone else, I'm counting on my discretionary spending to rise after I retire. Right now I have $1,150 going to mortgage and principal every month. That expense will end for me in 15 months, and it has to go somewhere (I'm already putting $900/month into 401(k). Chances are much of that $1,150 will go toward discretionary spending.
  4. novelist_wannabe

    novelist_wannabe Well-Known Member

    If things are expected to deteriorate in Illinois, one can only imagine what will happen in Florida.
  5. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    This is a gross generalization, because things like this are never "one factor explains the world." But there is no shortage of skilled labor, and that will continue. What we have seen the last 15 to 20 years are productivity gains, largely spurred by technology, requiring fewer actual bodies in a lot of industries. Those industries are actually more productive and growing with less skilled workers. Plus, America is increasingly moving from a manufacturing economy, which is relatively labor intensive, to a tech and service industry economy, which is less labor intensive. America is indeed graying. Those people will net be a greater drain on the country than a boon of any kind.
  6. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    They'll contribute less in taxes? Hmmmm ... mortgage interest deductions will end for many of them if they haven't already, and minimum required distributions out of IRAs begin at age 70 1/2. Many people start drawing IRA money earlier than that. Seems like the government's cut will go up in those cases, of which there will be a lot.

    Regarding the $35 billion "shielded as "retirement exemptions," would that be Roth IRAs? Because that doesn't seem like a shield. That seems like a tax that the person made when they contributed to the IRA, counting that money as income, and the government was more than happy to take that money at that time.
  7. YankeeFan

    YankeeFan Well-Known Member

    Old people can be benefit to a place like Florida.

    The retirees there have money. They move there, pay property taxes, eat out (at 4:00PM), and use very little services.

    And, they make for a great market for doctors.

    A place like Chicago has poor retirees who depend on government services.
  8. Bob Cook

    Bob Cook Active Member

    One reason I'm glad my mother-in-law sold her condo in a massive complex in Bradenton (in early 2009 -- she got lucky) is because I've always thought, what if the next generation of oldsters don't want to live there? You end up with a massive ghost town.

    Heck, already, at the time of sale, there were two units in the 50-unit building (20 buildings in the complex) in foreclosure, and a lot of stores in the area, including the Albertson's grocery across the street, were shut down. Also, with the hassles and price of flying, who can get down there unless you're committed to living there? In the glory days of the mid-aughts, there were times we could fly down there for $120 a head, round trip.
  9. Bob Cook

    Bob Cook Active Member

    That's way too broad a brush. There are plenty of locals in Florida who get old. And there are plenty of Chicagoans with money who get old, and stick around.

    And they all use Social Security and Medicare, get discounts on property (and perhaps other) taxes, etc.
  10. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    As long as Florida has the best weather of all the zero-income-tax states, it will be a popular destination.
  11. Football_Bat

    Football_Bat Well-Known Member

    If they'd have moved to Texas, their property taxes would have been frozen. But, like in Florida, there's that pesky Medicare. (Like in Illinois too, come to think of it. Hmmmm.)
  12. Michael_ Gee

    Michael_ Gee Well-Known Member

    I'm over 60. I don't know about how much I'll spend in 5-10 years, but I sure as hell know I won't be living in Florida. New England winter might kill me, but the boredom of living with a bunch of people all around my own age sure would.
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page