I’d like you to know about a book I’ve just read. In clear terms Harry Dent, the author of The Demographic Cliff tells how the U.S. and other nations are in what he call “A Winter Economy.” He anticipates the following:
. Unemployment to increase as the work pool shrinks and companies lean towards employing people who have experience.
. Housing prices fall again by as much as 40% over the next several years as mortgage rates rise and speculators lose their taste for the market.
. Personal bankruptcies and property foreclosures resurface due to high private debt. Economic hardship due to continued demographic decline, many state and municipal governments to be forced into default as was Detroit. Federal deficit to balloon to as high as $1.5 to $2 trillion.
. Crisis in Europe worse. Britain has left the European Union. The Spanish real estate bubble bursts again as more of the E.U. member countries go over the demographic cliff, too.
Just WHAT is the Demographic Cliff? Dent says The Baby Boomers, the biggest generational tsunami in our history came into the workforce en masse between l957 and l978 to set in motion a series of economic events. Without fanfare, now these folks are no longer in the market for fancier cars, big homes, furniture, appliances and all the stuff that fills them. Instead, we Baby Boomers are winding down and starting fewer businesses, stopping buying things that drive the economic growth . . . i.e. cars, boats, houses. We’re either retired or saving for retirement. Maybe buying an RV.
, Every generation has a known spending cycle. From the time we’re born to when we buy potato chips, baby diapers, to cars and homes to when we stop spending. Children are expensive to raise. Home purchase usually occur between ages of 27 to 41. Spending on cars peaks around age 53.
. When this demographic-economic reality with everything else happening in the economy – unprecedented debt levels, currency volatility, shifting economic and political power bases, and that we’re on the tail end of one of the greatest technological eras since the industrial revolution (computer and other technology), it points to troubles in the years ahead.
How fortunate, then, we Baby Boomers and those of the Bob Hope generation, can count ourselves. Our grandparents KNEW how to survive the deflation of the Great Depression. Dimes and nickels are going to be back in style again! Our grandparents taught lessons in not spending more than we earned. Perhaps we can remember how.