Baby Boomers: Poorer in Old Age Than Their Parents

Lee Manchester scrimps while her father travels the world
“Timing is everything, and my dad’s timing with jobs, real estate, and retirement benefits was better”—Lee Manchester Photograph by Kevin Ma/Bloomberg

Eighty-seven-year-old Lew Manchester has just returned from a three-week trip touring Buddhist temples in Laos and cruising the Mekong Delta in Vietnam. His 61-year-old daughter Lee lives year-round in the basement of a friend’s cottage on Cape Cod. Both worked all their lives, both saved what they could. Yet Lew, a son of the Great Depression and former company man, and Lee, a baby boomer who has pursued careers as an entrepreneur and a midlevel manager, ended up in different economic strata. “Timing is everything,” says Lee, who now works at an inn, “and my dad’s timing with jobs, real estate, and retirement benefits was better.”

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