English lesson with china232 – Baby Boomers

Posted on May 1, 2010
Filed under Intermediate, Listening, Vocabulary |

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Hi! Lori here with a very special episode for you. Andrew and Add from China232.com publish an English learning podcast with conversations, vocabulary, idioms, business English and other cool stuff that I know you’ll like. I really like what Andrew and Add are doing with their show, so in just a minute (as soon as I shut up) you’ll hear an example China232 episode. The full transcript and vocabulary list is also available for download, so you can read along as you listen. If you like what you hear — and I think you will — I encourage you subscribe to China232 through iTunes or your favorite podcatcher. Just search for China232 in iTunes or Google, and you should be able to find it, no problem! OK, without further ado, here is the China232 guest episode. It’s called “Baby Boomers”.

FULL TRANSCRIPT
All right we’re here for lesson number 79 already in the VIP room at
China232.com and we’re talking about some investing, ways to hopefully make
money for all that hard-earned money that you make. You want to invest and get
some more hopefully and not lose it and we’re also talking about how that
combines with older people and why it’s good or it could be good to invest some
money in what older people are doing. We’re going to explain the situation.
There’s a lot of really cool terms and phrases that go on this and if you watch the
news, especially the business news you’re going to see this kind of stuff all the
time. All right, that sounds pretty interesting. We may as well just hit the
dialogue and see what we’re talking about.

A: I heard you’ve been investing some of your nest egg.
B: Ya. I had it in the bank and I finally realized that it wasn’t doing much better
than stuffing it under my mattress.
A: Where are you thinking of investing it?
B: I’m buying a lot of health care stocks. The baby boomers are entering their
twilight years and they are going to need a lot of medical treatment.
A: That makes sense. Are you putting your money anywhere else?
B: I’m also investing in leisure activities for all those empty nesters with money
to burn. They’ve got a lot of time on their hands and want to enjoy the fruits of their labor by doing stuff like golfing and going on cruises.

DISCUSSION
I wouldn’t mind going golfing or going for a cruise. I’m definitely up for a vacation
right now. We’re going to be going on a nice vacation that we go on every year
to Thailand in a couple of months and if you haven’t done that I highly
recommend it because if you don’t like the cold and I hate the cold, spend it on a
sunny beach. It’s a lot of fun doing that in Thailand and Thailand is awesome all
year-round.

Well that was a nice advertisement for Thailand, and I’m convinced
and I will be going again this year. And if you spent a lot of money on trips when
you’re young unfortunately it doesn’t help you save up a “nest egg” and a nest
egg is a common and slang way of talking about somebody’s savings and this is
really the money a person or a married couple saves for retirement. So it’s not
saving like a few hundred dollars so you can buy yourself a new iPod.

This is talking about all the money that you saved when you retire and hopefully if you
don’t go too crazy on your credit cards, you’re going to have a pretty big nest egg
that you can enjoy when you’re older. Well if you work for a long time you usually
do save up a nice nest egg and for example I could say, he’s got a huge nest
egg. He doesn’t need to work for the money anymore. I think he should retire
now because it seems work is really stressing him out.

I know a lot of people in this situation. I’m sure we all do. They work and they work and they work and
they just get addicted to it. They just keep saving a bunch of money. They’ve
got this huge nest egg and they don’t want to retire even though they’re stressed
out of their minds. Sounds like a pretty weird position to be in. It’s a lot better
than being totally poor and broke I guess, but they should kind of relax and enjoy
a little bit of that money.

And if you want to make money and you want to do
investments it’s a good idea to get a lot of money and a terrible investment is
stuffing it under your mattress. If you “stuff your money under your mattress” and
a mattress is your bed, if you put your money literally under your bed instead of
in the bank or instead of in the stock market you’re really going to lose out over
time, and someone’s probably going to steal it and honestly the phrase came
from the old days when people were actually afraid of banks failing and they
couldn’t get their money back. So when some kind of scared people had a
bunch of money they would not put it in the bank, they would not invest it, they
would just save it at home and put it under their bed and I guess they thought
when they were sleeping nobody would bother stealing it.

Yeah, it sounds like a pretty weird idea to put a lot of money under your bed, but I guess if you have a
couple bucks maybe not the worst idea. It’s better than spending it all on nothing
and going into debt with your credit cards and having to lose your house, which a
lot of people have certainly done and some baby boomers have done it and
some of them haven’t and a “baby boomer” is an excellent phrase, and it’s a
common term used to describe a whole generation in America and these are all
the kids born in the years after World War II and in that time many people were
born in America and many other Western countries because the men would
come home from the war they’d be kind of lonely and bored. Their wives would
be there waiting for them and they’d have nothing to do except for start a pretty big family. So for the years between 1946 in 1964 there was this huge baby
boom they called it where a lot of people had babies and there was just a lot of
babies born during that time.

Yeah, and at that time people had really large
families, which also contributed to the boom. Right and that’s why it’s a good
idea to invest in the baby boomers because there’s so many of these people and
now they’re getting older and they’ve got a lot of money so you want to kind of
think about what these people are doing and sell stuff to them and they’re either
going to get sick hopefully not or they’re going to want to blow their money on
some fun activity like going on a cruise.

All right and a lot of baby boomers are
around 60 years old now and they’re also “empty nesters” which is another really
interesting and commonly used slang term and this is for a couple who had kids
and the kids grew up and moved out of the house and this is quite normal for
families. It’s just the normal way that things go in life if you have a family and if
you’re a couple and you only live with your wife or husband because your kids
moved out then you are what is called an empty nester. You don’t have any
people in the nest. You’ve got this big house kind of like a birds nest and the
little birdies, your kids, they flew away and they’re unfortunately not coming back
except for holidays and now you’ve got this big house to yourself and you can
argue about who’s cooking dinner.

Yeah our parents are in this situation and we
are the kids that left the house or the nest and we flew all the way to China and
haven’t looked back. No we haven’t and a lot of parents hate this situation
because they feel lonely. Our parents I think actually love it because it saves
them a lot of money, especially our father. He likes to spend the money that he
made and now because we are not spending their money, he’s got a lot of
“money to burn” and if someone has money to burn it means they have a lot of
extra money. They can spend it on many kinds of fun and enjoyable activities
and don’t really need to worry about money for basic needs of life like buying
food and stuff. They can buy new cars just for the fun of it or go on kind of
expensive holidays and to expensive restaurants and just kind of do the fun stuff
that’s really enjoyable in life, that’s if you have money to burn, you have this extra
money that you could almost burn it.

Sounds like a pretty great position to be in.
I wouldn’t mind having a big nest egg and a lot of money to burn and a lot of
“time on my hands” which is the next term and if you have a lot of time on your
hands it just means that you have a lot of free. Right, so if someone has a lot of
free time you could say, what you doing with all that time on your hands, you
must be so bored and I hear this all the time. I don’t understand it at all because I
think free time is great. You can choose to do whatever you want.

Some people I guess they’re not very creative and they’re bored with free time. I personally
love it but I guess it’s just different personalities but that’s what it means if you a
lot of time on your hands, you’ve got a lot of free time and someone could ask a
friend, what are you going to do with all that extra time on your hands when you
retire. What are you going to do when you quit work and you don’t have any
responsibilities for the whole day, what are you going to do with all that time on
your hands. Yeah a lot of people that work their whole lives in a company really
don’t know what to do with their time and I find this very strange, but I guess it
does make sense if you’re used to being in that routine for so long.

Right and the last term we have here Add is “enjoying the fruits of your labor” and this is what I
think everybody wants to do at at least some point in their life and this is a set
phrase in English and your labor is your work. It’s all the hard work you put in
during your whole life and the fruits are kind of like the money that you saved up
during that time. So if you work hard all your life and you save money you can
finally enjoy the fruits of your labor and our father’s been saying this to us for
years, he can’t wait for the day that he can enjoy the fruits of his labor and finally
our parents are at that stage where they can enjoy the fruits of their labor and I
think that was a pretty interesting lesson Add and I’d love to hear your comments
on the website as always. We’ll be here again next week at China232.com.

VOCABULARY LIST
Nest egg: Someone’s “nest egg” is a common slang way of talking about their
“savings”. This is really the money a person, or a married couple, saves for
retirement.
He’s got a huge nest egg. He doesn’t need to work for the money anymore. I
think he should retire now because it seems work is really stressing him out.

Stuffing it under my mattress
: In the “old days” people were afraid of banks
failing. When they had a lot of money, many people would “stuff it under their
mattress”. A “mattress” is someone’s bed. They would put it under their bed
because they didn’t want anyone to steal it and they thought it was safe there. Of
course, these people never made any interest on their investments.

Baby boomers
: “Baby boomers” is a common term used to describe a whole
generation in America. These are all the kids born in the years after World War
2. In that time, many people were born in America, and many other countries,
because the men would come home from the war and start large families. The
“baby boomer” generation was born in the period between late 1946 and 1964.
This represents a huge population.

Twilight years: Someone’s “twilight years” is a polite way to describe the last
several years of their life. It’s a way of saying old age.

Empty nesters: An “Empty nester” is a slang term for a couple who had kids
and the kids grew up and moved out of the house. This is normal for families. If you are a couple and you only live with your wife or husband because your kids
moved out, you are an “empty nester”.

Money to burn: If someone has “money to burn” it means that they have a lot of
extra money. They can spend it on many kinds of fun and enjoyable activities
and don’t need to worry about money for the basic needs of life like food.

A lot of time on their hands
: If someone has “a lot of time on their hands” it
means they have a lot of free time.
Someone might ask a friend, “What are you going to do with all that extra time on
your hands when you retire?”

Enjoy the fruits of their labor
: This is a set phrase in English. Your “labor” is
your work. The fruits are the money. If you work hard all your life and save
money, you can finally “enjoy the fruits of your labor” by spending money on fun
stuff when you retire.