What do you expect? Change?

A recent study commissioned by the AARP suggests that 28% of the foreclosures in the marketplace are from Americans 50 and older. HOLY MOLY!!! That is incredible. This study can teach us quite a bit about our current financial troubles, and more importantly our future financial troubles.

Here are some of the more notable findings of the study. Oh, and a little Pete the Planner analysis:

  • People who are 50 and older (labeled “Older Americans” in the study because…well…they’re old and American), and who have subprime mortgages are 17 times more likely to be in foreclosure than those of the same age with prime mortgages. This is insane for so many reasons. First of all, young Americans get subprime mortgages with the pipe-dream that they will be able to make more money in the near future; thus they will be able to afford the escalating mortgage payments. But, how in the world does someone in the twilight of their work career expect to constantly increase their income? The real big shock here is that a lending institution approved all of these loans.
  • Loan-to-value ratios that exceed 100% (thus meaning that the borrower is “underwater”) for Older Americans have resulted in twice the amount of foreclosures than the same ratios for people under 50. This again proves to be a bigger issue for the actual loan underwriters. Older Americans were in such trouble that they just kept borrowing until they completely tapped the equity in their homes.

It is what the study doesn’t come right out and say that is the most disturbing. Michael Bolton is a talented musician. Kidding. Sorry, that was personal. The study leads this blogger to the conclusion that my generation is in serious trouble. We are carbon copies of our parents in most instances. For example, when I eat pasta I use a piece of garlic bread to shove the pasta on to my fork. Where did I learn this stupid habit? My dad. When I lay in front of the TV and relax I twinkle my toes. Where did I learn this weirdness? My dad. So it is impossible to argue that we don’t pick up habits from our parents

Our money skills are formed through observation. So if the people that taught us our skills are the same people that are getting brutalized by not practicing basic financial management strategy, then we are in trouble. Fortunately, we are young and resilient, and don’t have to follow in our parents footsteps. Many of our parents have done a great job teaching us frugality. Kudos to them, but be honest with yourself. How are your parents’ money habits? The percentages will tell you that they aren’t good.

I will be discussing this further on Nov 27th on Studio B with Shepard Smith on Fox News. Tune in a 3:30 EST to see me live in studio.

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