By Harvey Tobkes


I had a friend many years ago, who had a funny but morbid sense of humor. He had a one word metaphor to describe the passing of people from whom you were getting a nice inheritance; he called it a “Yippee.” When he told us somebody in our group just got a ‘Yippee’ we knew there would be a funeral. We also knew the inheritance would soon be used to buy some luxuries.

Economists have a more euphemistic way of describing the situation; they call it a wealth transference. Whatever you call it, it’s happening in great numbers. It’s easy to extrapolate the prodigious birth rate into the now massive death rate into a now whopping Yippee.

The Baby Boomer Generation, 1946 t0 1964, is a source for research, trends, and discussion. It follows that the parents of the Boomers are approximately 70 to 90 years old. Nobody escapes death, and that means that the aging parents of Boomers are dying at a rapidly increasing rate daily.

So conservative money investments (savings accounts, C.D’s, real estate, bonds, mutual funds) are moving to the profligate Boomers who are saddled with terrible expense burdens. High mortgages, college tuition, medical bills, credit card debt, car lease payments, alimony and what not confront them. Then all of a sudden here comes the passing of the bucks. “Hey honey!…Let’s move to a better neighborhood; how about a new Lexus; new electronic marvels… must have them; dinner out every night; private school for the kids, why not!. A vacation in Tahiti? Call our travel agent.” I’m sure you get the point.

Money is moving and driving our economy and it’s all happening below the radar. Sure, the real estate market has taken a whack, but a million dollars still only buys a tight 1000 square feet condo in N.Y.C. and that exposes the truth. Meanwhile, we all keep wondering, where is all the money coming from to be able to afford all this spending?” Think Yippees!

So thanks to the Boomers, the U.S. economy is getting lift from wealth transference… thank you, and the confidence index is still flying high in the sky.

About this entry