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The Generations of the 20th Century…

Books and articles abound about the Greatest Generation (1910 – 1924), the Baby Boomers (1946 – 1964), Gen-X, Gen-Y and now the Millennial Generation.

The Forgotten Generation-And What They Forgot…

But…what about my generation (1924 – 1945)? Why do the pundits and politicians ignore us? Why are most Americans totally unaware of our existence?

It’s our own fault. We failed to defend and pass on the economic principles and financial practices that our parents inherited from as far back as the founding of America. We were so busy rebuilding an economy that was decimated by the Great Depression and put into a wartime state by WWII that we lost sight of the turmoil that the entitlement thinking and the quick-buck-investment mentality that followed us was wreaking on America’s economic stability.

The Financial Management Challenge We Now Face…

Our inattention has allowed America to flounder its way to a measure of success unseen in the history of the world. This success is, however, also the foundation of our failure. Our economic house is built on sand. Baby Boomers and their progeny deny or are unaware of the Four Pillars of every financially successful and secure family and person

  1. Instead of Freedom from Debt-to-others they embrace debt as passionately as they would a lover during a first encounter – mortgages, lines of credit, credit cards, auto loans, furniture, appliances and home improvements financed “same-as-cash”
  2. In lieu of keeping three to five years of ready cash and maintaining high levels of equity in their homes, they hold tight to the shibboleth that six months of money reserves is enough to weather the storms they’ll encounter during a 90 to 100+ year lifespan and that home equity should be sucked into “investments”
  3. Rather than building a financial structure that delivers guaranteed income in good times and bad during their 30 or more years of after-work life, they expect the government, an employer, a union or often unrealistic investment returns to assure them security and peace of mind
  4. Perhaps most damning, many Boomers and Beyonds care not whether they leave a legacy to their heirs. Many of them received a legacy of money themselves but, having neither received nor embraced a legacy of understanding, knowledge and wisdom, they simply have nothing to give.

It’s time for the Forgotten Generation to step forward and reclaim its destiny as the protectors of the American values that were passed on to it but which will pass out of existence if the Forgotten Generation does not act to restore them and pass on the legacy of wisdom that it received from its forebears. It’s also time for the Boomers and Beyonds to discard the falsehoods and foolishness that can lead us to America’s ruin. Its time for them to put renewed faith in the finacial founding fathers who wrote, spoke and lived the Four Pillars.

The Opening Gambit-Become Aware…

The first move Americans need to make is simple. Americans must recognize that they have allowed themselves to be bamboozled by the Behemoths’ Madison Avenue messages–in short they have been misinformed and misled to believe that the Behemoths know better how to manage the personal economies of American families that the families themselves.

A Simple Formula-Build Equity First…

The fact is, American’s know how to manage personal finances but the Forgotten Generation has failed to keep the simple formula at the front of the mind of America…

I’ve been practicing for almost forty years and have met only a handful of people that started out with wealth.  Most Americans have gained wealth by struggling for years to…

  • educate ourselves about saving, investing, risk management, etc.
  • build equity in
    • our homes
    • our businesses
    • our whole life insurance policies and savings accounts

Almost every person and every insurance and financial advisor I have met can relate to this idea.  Why then would anyone suggest that everyday Americans follow any other path to wealth?

Follow the links in this post and you will begin to re-discover a more effective way to lay a financial foundation and manage finances…the way the Forgotten Generation forgot to teach you.

Jeffrey Reeves

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