We used to go out to work at 16 and pay tax straight away but today this seems to mark someone out as a failure unless they are at university until they are 21.
here in Germany i know of only one guy that was working in his teens. all the others stayed at school until 19/20 and then had a further 4 years at uni. i know of some people that have only just started work at the age of 31(!).
as in the UK, the population here is shrinking (BR of 1.3), aging and living longer.
my landlord profited from the war, inheriting five or six flats from uncles that fell in the war. i know of one guy, a cobbler, that sits in his little 10sq ft shop six days a week despite owning over 100 flats in Munich (and Munich rents being the highest within Germany).
my folks are both retired and are ok. they have a decent sized, paid for house and can afford their bi-annual holidays, a cleaner (as if they don't have time for that!), car each, golf club membership, pub lunches, etc.... but as many have said above they have worked for it, well, my old man has worked for it, mum has spent it.
i'm one of those that didn't go to uni and end up with a desk job. i'm a self-employed chippy who doesn't contribute to a state pension (i have to opt in to the system here). i can't imagine doing the work and hours that i do now in 15-20 years time.
i can't see how i should afford heating bills on top of the rent when i've no longer got money coming in. even if i changed direction and had a small workshop knocking out little odd jobs i'd still need a large amount of capital to set it up and then enough money coming in to cover costs.
fortunately i've got about 60K in shares/funds that i was wise enough to stuff away a few years back when i had a few successful years. if what i was told turns out to be true that should be worth 200k-ish (pot roughly doubles every ten years....true?) which together with half the proceeds from the sale of my folks house should be enough to fund my hobo lifestyle.
planning on buying a big sprinter/camper and chasing the sun. i can't see how i should afford heating bills on top of the rent when i've no longer got money coming in.
have said in the past that my/our parents generation have been able to milk it and that we'll not have it so good.