x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Baby boomers for parents? You should have been born later

A survey of wealthy baby boomers by US Trust found that one in three respondents would rather leave their money to charity than to their kids, writes Felicity Glover.

Baby boomers - born between the years 1946 and 1964 - believe that each generation should create its own wealth. AFP
Baby boomers - born between the years 1946 and 1964 - believe that each generation should create its own wealth. AFP

Some would say that baby boomers are a selfish lot. Rather than staying at home and bonding with the grandkids and giving their grown-up, married children time out, they run around the world spending their hard-earned money and sport T-shirts that boast "I'm spending my kids' inheritance".

You can't blame them in a way. After all, you can't take your money with you when your time's up, so you may as well enjoy it while you can.

That's the theory, anyway.

So it comes as no surprise that a survey of wealthy baby boomers by US Trust, a division of Bank of America, found that one in three respondents would rather leave their money to charity than to their kids.

Ouch. That's got to hurt.

According to Reuters, the reasoning is baby boomers - born between the years 1946 and 1964 - believe that each generation should create its own wealth.

In other words, their kids don't deserve it and have to try their hand at working hard.

"Our survey points to a shift in generational behaviour and outlook, most likely shaped by personal experience and societal responses to economic realities," Keith Banks, the president of US Trust, told Reuters.

And the good news? Well, if your parents are Generation Xers, people born from the mid-1960s through the early 1980s, you have a lot to be grateful for. According to the study, which surveyed 642 people with at least US$3 million (Dh11m) in investable assets, it's a priority for such parents to "leave money for their kids".

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Investment-savvy monks in China have to pull the plug on any initial public offerings they might have been planning in a bid to raise money for their temples, which are fast becoming commercially viable enterprises thanks to their popularity with tourists and the Shaolin mystique.

Quoting Xinhua, the state news agency, Reuters said the "officially atheist" government had ruled that Buddhist and Taoist temples had no right to go public and list shares on stock exchanges.

The listing of companies linked to world-famous Chinese heritage sites is not new in the country's capital markets, but attempts to list at least one religious site have apparently crossed a line, Reuters said.

Three years ago, the Shaolin Temple in Henan province, which is renowned for its kung-fu monks, was reportedly seeking a listing, sparking a public outcry that it was becoming overly "money-minded".

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Remember Dennis Kozlowski, the corrupt former chief executive of Tyco International?

He's languishing in jail now, having been sentenced in 2005 for "misappropriating" more than $100m from the firm to fund an extravagant lifestyle that included a multimillion-dollar toga party for his wife's birthday and, bizarrely, a $6,000 shower curtain.

Anyway, that infamous gold-and-burgundy shower curtain, which used to hang in a maid's bathroom in his ritzy Fifth Avenue, New York apartment, has found a new home. A judge ruled recently that it should be released to Tyco International.

Unfortunately, the value of the shower curtain has failed to retain its value, with "experts" saying it is worth a fraction of its original price.

Gary Zimet, who sells rare documents and other memorabilia on his website Moments In Time, told Reuters that the drapery probably wasn't worth much on the market.

"Very, very little," he was quoted as saying "If he paid $6,000, it probably wholesales for $500. This is designer crap for people who have more money than brains."

Well, it wasn't his money, but he's got the brains bit right.