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Baby Boomers, Millennials, Retirement and Student Debt

Looking at home ownership and the economy as a whole we can begin to see several key entities that are going to play major roles in the near future.  These entities are the Baby Boomers, Millennials, retirement, and student debt.  These four factors, if not prepared for could begin a major decline in housing and economic activity.  However, as with any obstacle, proper planning could make a potentially harmful situation beneficial.

First, let’s look at the housing market and see how these factors will play their separate but intertwining roles.  Baby Boomers make up the largest portion of home owners in America and as they are growing older the side effects of aging are leaving the Baby Boomers looking to downsize.  Some will stay in their homes but the trend has been showing that most wont.  So what is happening to these large empty homes?  At first glance it would seem likely that Millennials would swoop in and buy these recently vacated homes, but this is not the case.  Millennials are a very spending concise generation, mostly because of student debt.  Student debt is now at 1.3 Trillion and is the largest source of personal debt in this country.  Since 1989, also the year home ownership began its decline in America, the tuition for a four-year degree has risen 1200% while the purchasing power of the minimum wage dollar has dropped 25%.  Carrying this type of debt and trying to also juggle a median price home mortgage leaves the dream of home ownership in the dust for most Millennials.

How do millennials offset this issue?  What we’ve seen is that most millennials choose urban living and renting over homeownership and being land owners.  This trend has freed millennials from putting themselves into greater long-term debt, but lacking homeownership is hurting net worth potential and killing the middle class.  Affordable housing has been a hot topic issue in our nation, but affordable housing will not save us.  We need affordable home ownership.  Manufactured housing has proven to be an affordable alternative to site-built homes while having the equity building power that renters will never be able to take advantage of.

Moving on to the economy, Baby Boomers are retiring at a ferocious rate and as they do their disposable income is in decline.  We’ve already seen the Millennials are a spending conscious generation and as baby boomers hold 80% of the American wealth, they are also the largest portion of our consumer spending.  As they retire, and their disposable income declines, so will their propensity to spend.  Interest rates, supply, demand, trade tariffs, domestic policy, foreign policy, all of these have effects on the economy and how it performs, however 70% of economic function is based on the consumers desire to spend.  With one generation retiring and losing disposable income and another generation too burdened with debt to spend there needs to be some form of relief to keep people borrowing and keep people spending.  Affordable home ownership is a viable solution, and manufactured housing is affordable home ownership’s saving grace.

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August 1, 2015 - Posted by | General Information | , , , , , , , , , , ,

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