Forbes: Millennials Aren't Having Kids Heres Why That's a Problem for Baby Boomer Real Estate and Retirement

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Cycle
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Re: Forbes: https://www.forbes.com/sites/josephcoughlin/2018/06/11/millennials-arent-having-kids-heres-why-thats-a-probl

Post by Cycle » Wed Jun 13, 2018 10:57 am

khadijahchi wrote:
Wed Jun 13, 2018 10:34 am

I live in Chicago. The real estate taxes in surrounding suburbs are over the cost of my rent in the city. RE prices are higher in the city but taxes are *slightly* lower. All in all, it doesn't make sense to live in the burbs as an empty nester even if you have no mortgage.

I know the 'estate' houses they are so tacky now, its mind boggling how much the owners want for them.
We have some Tennants moving out. I found their house on Redfin that they just purchased, which was a flip with many exterior deficiencies. The unit they were occupying was much nicer (gut rehabbed in 2017) and according to my calculations they are going to be spending an extra $10k per year to have home ownership.

The tennant doesn't have a spouse or kids. Home ownership decision is more emotional than financial. I think many still believe that renting is throwing money away, but the situation needs to be looked at on a case by case basis.

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Re: Forbes: Millennials Aren't Having Kids Heres Why That's a Problem for Baby Boomer Real Estate and Retirement

Post by getthatmarshmallow » Wed Jun 13, 2018 11:04 am

I think an alternate title could be "The 'Me' Generation Needs to Recognize that the Market Sets the Price of Their House." More seriously, I think the popular press is all too quick to conclude that because millennials face different conditions than their parents faced, they have radically different values, when what they have often are very similar values, but different constraints. E.g., why do millennials wait to have kids? Maybe because they internalized values that said they should be settled and stable before reproducing, and given the costs of college, daycare, and a recession that spiked most of their 20s, it took a little bit longer to get settled? Is that a sign that they have different values or that they actually listened to their parents?

I'm right in between Gen X and millennial, in an area where there is a lot of new construction and a booming housing market. And we recently decided to commit to our smaller, older starter home. We'd like to upgrade, but the local market doesn't offer anything that really grabs us -- it's either too big or too tacky or too similar to the perfectly fine house we already have. I'm less willing to commute than my parents were, and less enamored with cars; but part of it is also that college education is practically a necessity for a middle class existence, and it's shot up in cost. So we're choosing a more fiscally responsible path (which again, means we share values with the boomers, but different means due to different circumstances.)

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Re: Forbes: Millennials Aren't Having Kids Heres Why That's a Problem for Baby Boomer Real Estate and Retirement

Post by GAAP » Wed Jun 13, 2018 11:48 am

I remember reading a WSJ article that made the same points 20+ years ago.

"Sell and downsize for your retirement" has been pushed for decades. However, same-house prices can't rise much faster than inflation or nobody can buy them. Older houses need significant investments to bring them up to the level of newer houses. The majority of the population trying to sell sounds like a buyer's market to me -- once those sellers get desperate enough.

I think the Real Estate industry has promulgated a Ponzi scheme that is beginning to fall apart.

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Re: Forbes: Millennials Aren't Having Kids Heres Why That's a Problem for Baby Boomer Real Estate and Retirement

Post by remomnyc » Wed Jun 13, 2018 12:03 pm

Another issue is jobs. I know companies that relocated outside of the city for tax benefits and then discovered it was hard to attract workers to the suburban location. As a result, once the tax benefits expired, they closed up their offices and moved back to the city. If the people want to be in the city and the jobs are in the city and both partners are working, suburban living only makes sense if one partner works in the suburbs and/or one stays at home. I think two-worker households are also dampening demand for baby boomer real estate. It is grueling to have two parents commuting to the city with children in the suburbs. Anecdotally, most (not all) of the families I know in the suburbs have one stay-at-home parent. If both work, they have a live-in or a family member nearby providing childcare.

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Re: Forbes: Millennials Aren't Having Kids Heres Why That's a Problem for Baby Boomer Real Estate and Retirement

Post by denovo » Wed Jun 13, 2018 12:14 pm

Preferences in housing change. Perhaps suburbs aren't as popular anymore, but they could have a revival.
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Re: Forbes: Millennials Aren't Having Kids Heres Why That's a Problem for Baby Boomer Real Estate and Retirement

Post by Cycle » Wed Jun 13, 2018 12:57 pm

denovo wrote:
Wed Jun 13, 2018 12:14 pm
Preferences in housing change. Perhaps suburbs aren't as popular anymore, but they could have a revival.
Once augmented reality becomes mainstream and we can be rendered in high def, there will be no point for many people to go into the office, so long commute times won't be a barrier to sprawl anymore. Same thing with autonomous vehicles, who cares if you have to work in the car for 2hrs on the way to the office for 4hrs of face to face time.

Of course the issues seen with conference calls through WebEx are a sign that this is probably decades away.

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Re: Forbes: Millennials Aren't Having Kids Heres Why That's a Problem for Baby Boomer Real Estate and Retirement

Post by Wellfleet » Wed Jun 13, 2018 1:19 pm

The WSJ posted an article countering the idea of the Millenials/cities trend here: https://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2017/03 ... counts-wsj citing census data.

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Re: Forbes: Millennials Aren't Having Kids Heres Why That's a Problem for Baby Boomer Real Estate and Retirement

Post by SouthernCPA » Wed Jun 13, 2018 1:23 pm

I suppose that's the risk of planning on house equity to be used as a retirement source. You carry the risk of having an undesirable product that takes a haircut on price as demand shifts. Welcome to real estate investing, Boomers. Stop blaming millennials for inadequate retirement planning. We can't afford to both bail out your personal retirement by paying for houses we don't want in addition to bailing out the failing social security system that your elected officials raided because poor decisions loaded up the government with debt.

It's easy to blame the next guy rather than taking ownership. Boomers took a risk by counting on home values to continue to rise and assuming someone would want to buy the same product they would be listing. That's poor planning and not accounting for changing tastes in the market.

Millennials get blamed for everything from "killing retail" to not having enough babies. I love the irony when I see these rants by Boomers posting on popular social media platforms created by Millennials.

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Re: Forbes: Millennials Aren't Having Kids Heres Why That's a Problem for Baby Boomer Real Estate and Retirement

Post by MI_bogle » Wed Jun 13, 2018 1:26 pm

SouthernCPA wrote:
Wed Jun 13, 2018 1:23 pm

Millennials get blamed for everything from "killing retail" to not having enough babies. I love the irony when I see these rants by Boomers posting on popular social media platforms created by Millennials.
I always re-write the headlines in my brain as I read them

For example
"Millenials are killing X-business" --> "X Business fails to adapt to client base"

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Re: Forbes: Millennials Aren't Having Kids Heres Why That's a Problem for Baby Boomer Real Estate and Retirement

Post by Engineer250 » Wed Jun 13, 2018 1:36 pm

Psyayeayeduck wrote:
Wed Jun 13, 2018 9:19 am
As one of the oldest millennials out there (born in 1981 according to the Pew Research Center and known member of the Oregon Trail Generation), there are so many combinations of factors out there that it is hard to quantify the reasoning behind the Forbes article. From a strictly financial point of view, there are factors that play a role on why Millennials are not buying housing with enthusiasm.

- Debt: This is a big killer here. Student loan debt, credit card debt, car loan debt, etc. IMO, student loan is the deadliest as it rarely discharged through bankruptcy except for extreme cases. If you don't have the salary to pay off your debts in a reasonable rate, this will follow you everywhere you go no matter what you do. That will always take a chunk of your take home pay no matter what until the student loans are paid off or the monthly payments are deferred in some way.

- Stagnant pay: All the news about unemployment being low is great but if your take home pay can't keep up with inflation, then you are effectively getting a pay cut every year. While expenses increase, your buying power become less powerful. Millennials know this. Loyalty is rarely rewarded these days. The days of being with a company for 10, 20, 30 years are as rare as pensions. There is an accepted paradigm that one needs to change jobs every 2-5 years to get proper salary increases.

- Increased Costs: Related to my previous point, expenses are great at keeping up with inflation but the pay does not. So now things that cost $X today would cost $X+$Y next year. A great example is the medical costs of just having a kid. I'm not even including the other necessities in the first few years of raising a kid.


I have yet even touch the social aspects and the paradigm shifts Millennials embrace versus the Baby Boomers and the Gen Xers (which is worthy of a separate post in itself).
The truth.

I'm just another older millennial. All my same-age friends are buying or trying to buy in my HCOL area. Some might buy townhomes closer to downtown, many are moving further and further out because it's all we can afford. I find it amusing how anti-house this board can be sometimes or anti-HCOL. But if millennials aren't raising expensive kids, what's wrong with them I guess?
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Re: Forbes: Millennials Aren't Having Kids Heres Why That's a Problem for Baby Boomer Real Estate and Retirement

Post by Leesbro63 » Wed Jun 13, 2018 1:38 pm

This doesn't really address the issue of whether Millennial patterns are good or bad. But it's interesting to note that the generation born before The Great Depression often was to large families with lots of kids/siblings. But the birth rate dropped after 1929 thru the end of WW2. Many of us babyboomers have parents who are only children or only have 1 sibling, while our grandparents had lots of sibs. Times change. Birthing patterns change.

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Re: Forbes: Millennials Aren't Having Kids Heres Why That's a Problem for Baby Boomer Real Estate and Retirement

Post by MittensMoney » Wed Jun 13, 2018 1:38 pm

Consider it payback for the social security benefits none of us may be receiving in 30 years time!

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Re: Forbes: Millennials Aren't Having Kids Heres Why That's a Problem for Baby Boomer Real Estate and Retirement

Post by Glockenspiel » Wed Jun 13, 2018 1:47 pm

Cycle wrote:
Wed Jun 13, 2018 12:57 pm
denovo wrote:
Wed Jun 13, 2018 12:14 pm
Preferences in housing change. Perhaps suburbs aren't as popular anymore, but they could have a revival.
Once augmented reality becomes mainstream and we can be rendered in high def, there will be no point for many people to go into the office, so long commute times won't be a barrier to sprawl anymore. Same thing with autonomous vehicles, who cares if you have to work in the car for 2hrs on the way to the office for 4hrs of face to face time.

Of course the issues seen with conference calls through WebEx are a sign that this is probably decades away.
I love this comment. It literally takes people 10-15 minutes to get a Webex call up and running in my office. Even if VR/AR "can" be done, small companies will take a decade or three to implement it.

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Re: Forbes: Millennials Aren't Having Kids Heres Why That's a Problem for Baby Boomer Real Estate and Retirement

Post by ray.james » Wed Jun 13, 2018 1:55 pm

I am a millennial who crossed 30. As other have echoed debt and child care costs are the key. Many friends stopped with 1 kid and some probably not gonna have even that.

To simplify, the problem is given a "budget/pay" its a musical chairs between 1) debt from student loans 2)home buying 3)raising kids. They can only pay for two and often just one. This is coming from a double engineer family and friends who are mostly engineers/equivalent professions.

Someone posted spouses/women career are important for independence and paying back debt. One thing folks miss is how important HCOL are for couples to have decent career. The career options often diminish for one person in rural/lower tier cities. This leads to migration to HCOl cities and then ends up in the musical chair scenario mentioned.
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Re: Forbes: Millennials Aren't Having Kids Heres Why That's a Problem for Baby Boomer Real Estate and Retirement

Post by david » Wed Jun 13, 2018 1:56 pm

I'm a Millennial on the older side of the generation. I see my friends and acquaintances really split.

There are a number of my peers who are going gung ho with the boomer model:
* family + suburban life
* Another number are embracing a more minimalist lifestyle: city living, possibly with roommates or a significant other, possibly kids. But preferring the freedom from renting, liking the short commute (or no commute if they work from home), or taking the time to do a lot of travel. People are really embracing spending on experiences over things.
* Some I can tell are just squeaking by. Retail/temp jobs, college loans for a degree that doesn't appear to have paid off, just trying to make ends meet.

Many are living in areas far from where they grew up. Some because of a desire to leave the nest and others because of work opportunities.

For my family it's really a blend of all three. My wife has large student loan debt that we are slowly but surely tackling, while living relatively minimally. I work from home and my wife is currently staying at home with our kid after being unable to find a job with her law degree. We rent because that gives us a lot of flexibility, allows us the ability to rightsize our living situation to what we need now, and I'm currently paying less than half a percent of the value of where I live a month. I can also switch jobs much easier than if we had to sell a house, and with an economy that reward job hopping, it makes sense to be flexible. We are likely to settle a bit more when my kid gets to be school aged for stability. Though, settling down is relative. We've moved within the same condo complex because of needing an office and having a kid and have lived in the same general area for about 7 years now.

I really think it's people responding to differing incentives. Debt + high costs of housing make people apprehensive to buy. Job instability and rewarding workers for job hopping similarly rewards renting.

But, people have to live somewhere. When you go to sell your home, it may be a person looking to buy it and rent it out vs. living in it themselves. I think smaller walkable cities are definitely going to boom and some of the mcmansions out in the sticks may lose value. But overall, I think boomer's are going to be just fine.

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Re: Forbes: Millennials Aren't Having Kids Heres Why That's a Problem for Baby Boomer Real Estate and Retirement

Post by Texanbybirth » Wed Jun 13, 2018 2:08 pm

I didn't really sense a lot of animosity between millennials and boomers in the article, aside from the poor woman's lament who wanted some "grandbabies" - a purely natural desire. I feel bad for the boomers who only had 1 or 2 kids, but expect 4 or 5 grandkids. It just doesn't seem like that's gonna happen!

However well or poorly the article got at it, I could sense the theme throughout made explicit in the last paragraph: "the bigger problem of our widespread unpreparedness for the costs of living in retirement." As with a lot of things in real estate: location, location, location. We could sell our house for a significant profit this weekend with almost no work (I probably would cut the grass), probably for a cash offer. It would probably be a fellow millennial couple with some kids. Problem for them is we love our house and neighborhood. :twisted: I also don't financially consider our house (beyond being a place to live, which is a biggie of course) as an "investment" toward our retirement.

Who knows what the market will be like in 30 years, but we've got a lot of time (and hopefully a few more babies, for whom our parents are thankful!) between now and then to save, invest, and hopefully figure it all out as the time comes.

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Re: Forbes: Millennials Aren't Having Kids Heres Why That's a Problem for Baby Boomer Real Estate and Retirement

Post by bearcub » Wed Jun 13, 2018 2:19 pm

No social safety net in U.S. Pensions gone. Healthcare exspensive unsustainable with diabetes + obesity. No more job security. S.S. + Medicare won"t be fixed cause congress afraid of losing a vote. College cost going off the charts. Can"t blame folks for not committing to a house or kids. Not our fathers america anymore. It"s everyman for himself. They only say united we stand or we are all in this together when they want a war.

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Re: Forbes: Millennials Aren't Having Kids Heres Why That's a Problem for Baby Boomer Real Estate and Retirement

Post by Meg77 » Wed Jun 13, 2018 2:30 pm

I think there is always a leap to conclusions/generalizations when it comes to these topics, but as an older Millennial I do think there is some truth to this. Trends and values are changing, if not dramatically.

1. Fewer people are having kids, and those who are having kids are having fewer of them.

Statistics show that fewer people of child-bearing age are married. Those who do marry get married later, shortening the natural fertility window. (Obviously having kids outside of marriage happens too, but those households are even less likely to fuel the market for large suburban estate homes). It's more acceptable today for married people of child-bearing age to simply opt out of parenting.

For some anecdotal evidence:
I'm 34, married, an affluent urban dweller, and "childfree." (The emergence of that term alone speaks volumes.) I have MANY childless female and male friends, both single and married, who are in their mid/late 30s and even 40s. Some of them are happily career focused; others long for marriage and family but find modern dating challenging. Some with partners plan to have kids "some day," but a subset of those will find themselves unable due to age by the time they start trying. Those who do have a child (often through expensive IVF or other procedures) will often have fewer kids than past generations, due to preference, cost or just timing. My own mother doesn't even give me a hard time about having kids; many older women I know who have kids (and who don't) openly caution me that raising kids isn't all it's cracked up to be or joke that it's a trap. More often than not when I tell people I don't have kids, they nod approvingly or knowingly. Obviously this is anecdotal, but in short the pressure/expectation to have kids has lightened tremendously over the last generation.

2. Housing preferences are changing.

It's definitely true that many Millennials will form families, and many of those families will prefer traditional suburban homes. But there are a few trends that I think may dampen the demand.
--Two-career households. When just the dad had to commute into the city it was one thing, but with more women in the workforce and more married couples consisting of individuals who both have a career, commuting becomes much more of a drag both in terms of cost and time. In my urban neighborhood I'm seeing a lot more strollers and young kids. Often people move to the burbs for schools when the kiddos hit elementary or middle school age, but many couples are delaying as long as possible, both to save money and commuting hours.

--Modern and minimalist style. Many millennials prefer and have invested a lot in more modern and minimal designs when it comes to furniture, art, and other household belongings which don't translate well to large suburban homes. Rooms devoted to single activities (formal dining, library/study, breakfast room, media room, sunporch, etc. ) don't make a lot of sense, especially when they require large investments in new, often oversize furniture to fill the space. Even stuff we can get for free from our downsizing parents isn't appetizing: multiple sets of china and crystal (and pantries or cabinets to house it all), heavy bookcases, beds, end tables and bedside tables, and so on just seem pointless. My husband has twice insisted that we don't have room for a grand piano when various relatives tried to give us one upon death or downsizing. I would have squeezed it in, but the truth is it wouldn't get played and would dominate our townhome's living area. Unless you're one of the few Millennials having 3+ kids, you just don't need all the space in a huge suburban home.

3. The decline of community ties.

Many people don't know their neighbors anymore anyway - so what does it matter who they are? Kids fill their summers and afternoons with classes and camps and scheduled activities; no one is allowed to play outside freely so who cares which kids live on your street?

Sure, location matters in terms of proximity to the things you plan to drive to and aesthetics, but with fewer stay at home parents and more in-home technology, there are also fewer ties to specific communities and neighborhoods and even cities. Bowling leagues, civic and volunteer groups, political action committees, even churches in many areas - to the extent that they still exist, they are increasingly comprised of older/retired members. So rather that stretch financially to get into a neighborhood and "put down roots" and stay for decades, some younger families may opt to save money and stay in urban areas or opt to live in smaller homes in the suburbs.
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Re: Forbes: Millennials Aren't Having Kids Heres Why That's a Problem for Baby Boomer Real Estate and Retirement

Post by bligh » Wed Jun 13, 2018 2:37 pm

david wrote:
Wed Jun 13, 2018 1:56 pm
I really think it's people responding to differing incentives. Debt + high costs of housing make people apprehensive to buy. Job instability and rewarding workers for job hopping similarly rewards renting.
I think that is a very insightful observation. Well said.

Wage growth has not kept up with the cost of housing. I dont know the exact numbers, but if I was a boomer facing long term stable employment into my 60s, a house that with mortgage will basically require me to work for for an extra two years of my life, Kids education that can be cash flowed easily. Where a dual income household is just a bonus..... yeah I'd be fine doing the whole big suburban house with 2.5 kids etc.

If I was a millennial, facing little job stability, a house with mortgage that will basically require me to work for an extra 6-8 years of my life, Kids education that will require me to work for an additional 2-3 years for each kid Where a dual income household is almost a necessity.... I can see why many millennials would say "You know what, I dont want the house and kids THAT bad.. I'd rather just be free of all these encumbrances and respond to the uncertainty of the future with agility on my part"

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Re: Forbes: Millennials Aren't Having Kids Heres Why That's a Problem for Baby Boomer Real Estate and Retirement

Post by MP123 » Wed Jun 13, 2018 3:17 pm

It's worth mentioning that Millennials are projected to inherit something like $30 trillion dollars in assets from aging Boomers.

I wonder if that might change some of their plans for housing, kids, and so on?

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Re: Forbes: Millennials Aren't Having Kids Heres Why That's a Problem for Baby Boomer Real Estate and Retirement

Post by bligh » Wed Jun 13, 2018 3:24 pm

MP123 wrote:
Wed Jun 13, 2018 3:17 pm
It's worth mentioning that Millennials are projected to inherit something like $30 trillion dollars in assets from aging Boomers.

I wonder if that might change some of their plans for housing, kids, and so on?
Not if you get an inheritance after you are past child bearing age.

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Re: Forbes: Millennials Aren't Having Kids Heres Why That's a Problem for Baby Boomer Real Estate and Retirement

Post by Cycle » Wed Jun 13, 2018 3:38 pm

MP123 wrote:
Wed Jun 13, 2018 3:17 pm
It's worth mentioning that Millennials are projected to inherit something like $30 trillion dollars in assets from aging Boomers.

I wonder if that might change some of their plans for housing, kids, and so on?
Not likely. We'd need the expiration date for the knowledge of an inheritance to be useful. I'll probably be retired before receiving any inheritance, hopefully.

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Re: Forbes: Millennials Aren't Having Kids Heres Why That's a Problem for Baby Boomer Real Estate and Retirement

Post by Texanbybirth » Wed Jun 13, 2018 3:46 pm

Cycle wrote:
Wed Jun 13, 2018 3:38 pm
MP123 wrote:
Wed Jun 13, 2018 3:17 pm
It's worth mentioning that Millennials are projected to inherit something like $30 trillion dollars in assets from aging Boomers.

I wonder if that might change some of their plans for housing, kids, and so on?
Not likely. We'd need the expiration date for the knowledge of an inheritance to be useful. I'll probably be retired before receiving any inheritance, hopefully.
Agreed. Any possible inheritance did not factor into our decisions to marry, have kids, and buy a house.

I know it's not my choice, but I'd rather pick $0 inheritance and see my parents stay healthy, playing with their grandkids (and possibly great-grandkids) and traveling the world, than design my life choices around mom and dad kicking the can when I'm 45 to help pay off our second mortgage or help with college. Not even a close call.

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Re: Forbes: Millennials Aren't Having Kids Heres Why That's a Problem for Baby Boomer Real Estate and Retirement

Post by Glockenspiel » Wed Jun 13, 2018 3:56 pm

MP123 wrote:
Wed Jun 13, 2018 3:17 pm
It's worth mentioning that Millennials are projected to inherit something like $30 trillion dollars in assets from aging Boomers.

I wonder if that might change some of their plans for housing, kids, and so on?
Yeah, I'll be retiring myself by the time I expect to receive any inheritance. And I'm not counting on any inheritance whatsoever, even though my spouse's parents are quite wealthy.

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Re: Forbes: Millennials Aren't Having Kids Heres Why That's a Problem for Baby Boomer Real Estate and Retirement

Post by LadyGeek » Wed Jun 13, 2018 4:04 pm

I removed an off-topic post regarding the freedom of choice to have children. This thread has run its course and is locked (derailed in several directions, no added value to continue). See: Locked Topics
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Also see: A reminder that non-investing general comment threads are OT
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