The West of American myths is the High Plains. The early explorers and settlers had to cross it on their way to better-known destinations. Many tried to settle there and failed. The bison massacre occurred largely on the High Plains, and Indian wars spanned decades in the 1800s. Continue reading
Many retirees are having a ball. They receive pensions and Social Security, own their homes, live in the moment, indulge hobbies, travel, and worry only a little about the future. Of course there are some who are struggling, some still working, but on the whole, seniors are doing better than at any time in modern history.
On the other hand, our working children are facing hard times, even though many don’t fully appreciate it.
A transformation is occurring in American life—middle-class Americans are taking more active responsibility for their financial futures. The change is good and probably profound, yet it appears induced by worry over a weak economy.
Last week the Federal Reserve published a study that made the news: between 2007 and 2010, Americans experienced a 39% decline in median net worth and an 8% decline in median income. The report is one of a series going back to at least 1989, but the new report shows an unprecedented decline in economic well-being.
Although the data are dismal, there is a lesson for Americans willing to fight: it’s time to return to the working and saving habits of American mythology where strong families work together toward common goals. Families will want to pull together into larger, more integrated economic units to help those affected recover and move forward.
As multigenerational families grow, more people are dealing with the difficult task of incorporating a new member into an existing household. There are important generic differences between needy parents joining families of their children, and young adults returning home. Also, each case will have a unique family history. Still, it seems possible to build a framework that will help families chart successful futures.
Here are three elements of such a framework:
- Outside help