Barron of Blog Wife, Kids, and the Pursuit of Happiness

2Aug/060

Men (not) At Work

Men not at workA recent NY Times article, "Men Not Working, and Not Wanting Just Any Job", talks about a growing subset of 30-55 year-old men who are not returning to work. Most have decided to live off of savings and wait for a job that fits their expectations for salary, benefits, and respect. Some have been waiting for 5 years or more:

“I have come to realize that my free time is worth a lot to me,” he said. To make ends meet, he has tapped the equity in his home through a $30,000 second mortgage, and he is drawing down the family’s savings, at the rate of $7,500 a year. About $60,000 is left. His wife’s income helps them scrape by. “If things really get tight,” Mr. Beggerow said, “I might have to take a low-wage job, but I don’t want to do that.”

Is this the new hippy? Are we experiencing an inverted social pyramid from the 60's, only this time it's the parents who are loafing on existing wealth (and hoping that the government will bail them out if things get really tough)?