‘Transfer of wealth’ won’t save housing

Dire straits forces consumers to make tough choices

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There are those who believe that housing markets will soon recover and that the reported "transfer of wealth" from more frugal (and thus more affluent) parents will pull the baby boomers -- and their children -- through all financial difficulty. It most likely will not be enough. Foreclosures continue to rise; more lurk just under the surface; and the transfer of wealth will probably help only the wealthy. In addition, people are living longer (including parents) and assets will be stretched further into their lifetime before being left to the kids. And, the folks' house probably isn't worth what it used to be. Another factor that has entered the big picture is the tug of monthly expenses other than for housing. The cost of living has risen exponentially in recent years despite the recession. Although baby boomers have experienced the highest income growth of any generation, the level of expenses has grown for all age groups, including: Health care: Cost of new...