Today's teenagers are the richest, most networked generation in history and,as every parent knows, they love to spend money. Their spending is a way to assert their independence, to socialize and to establish their identity behaviours that are embraced and encouraged by advertisers of everything from MP3 players to designer jeans.
On June 29, 2009, Bernard Lawrence 'Bernie' Madoff was sentenced to 150 years in prison for perpetrating what has been called 'the largest investment fraud in Wall Street history.' Actual losses have been estimated at $64.8 billion by prosecutors. Apparently, Madoff admitted to his sons that his company, Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC, was nothing more than a giant Ponzi scheme.
Maureen, age 20, figures she can save $325 each month; or she can keep frittering it away at the mall. She lives with her parents and they think she should save it. Dad says, 'Put it into an RRSP and get a tax break as well.' Her friends think RRSPs are for old fogies and she doesn't need to start thinking about retirement savings until she's 30.
The last year or so has been a very rude awakening for many. Too many people today are so busy living a lifestyle, they forget that emergencies may need to be dealt with. It's all too easy to take one's cash flow for granted and get lulled into the belief that it will go on uninterrupted. Those who are best able to handle the financial rainy days that inevitably come along are in the habit of living well below their means and paying themselves first.
Many people look to the 'empty nest years' as a simpler time with fewer life obligations. As couples enter these years, the kids have usually left home, and retirement is just around the corner. In this new life stage, there are many opportunities to encounter new and exciting experiences.
A New Life Phase
Uncertain economic times and rising rates of unemployment are creating a new breed of desperate people. Some are turning to frauds and scams as a way out of their troubles. Others are becoming more susceptible to schemes they had hoped would help but are being bilked out of their dwindling cash reserves instead. Hard times tend to bring more frauds and scams out of the woodwork.