Generation X Fares Poorly During Recession, Says Study

ABC News Blogs
Generation X Fares Poorly During Recession, Says Study
.

View photo

Generation X Fares Poorly During Recession, Says Study (ABC News)

Members of Generation X, the so-called slackers weaned on Saturday morning cartoons, divorce and cynicism, are now in their late 30s to late 40s. And according to a recent report, they really do have something to complain about.

A Pew Charitable Trust study, titled "Retirement Security Across Generations," examined the savings behavior of five age groups before the Great Recession hit and found that Gen Xers - the group of Americans following the baby boomers that range in age from 38 to 47 - fared especially poorly during the recent economic down swing. As a result, their retirement years will likely be more tarnished than golden.

The study, using data from 1989 through 2010 collected by the Federal Reserve Board and the University of Michigan, found that between 2007 and 2010, Gen Xers-which the report defined as those born between 1966 and 1975-lost nearly half of their overall net worth, an average of about $33,000, and also had higher levels of debt than previous generations.

A large part of the reason their debt is so high is because of student loans and credit card debt, Erin Currier, who directs Pew's economic mobility project, told ABC News. "They're younger in their professional career relative to other cohorts," she said. "Wealth is a mixture of all kinds of things - savings, personal accounts, investments."

What's more, although Gen-Xers (who earned their moniker from Douglas Coupland's 1991 novel, " Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture"), did see high financial gains as a result of the housing boom, their overall rate of home ownership is lower than that of previous generations.

And while "early" baby boomers (those born between 1946 and 1955) and "late" baby boomers (those born between 1956 and 1965) also suffered during the recession, they lost only a small percentage of their median net worth: 28 and 25 percent, respectively. The report expects them to replace 70 to 80 percent of their pre-retirement income. Gen-Xers, on the other hand, will replace only about half (assuming they retire at age 65), according to the study.

So, should an entire generation quit working, move to Goa, and truly earn their slacker wings?

Not so fast. Currier believes policy changes are in order first. "As policymakers focus on Americans' retirement security, particular consideration should be paid to how younger generations of workers can make up for these losses and prepare for the future," she said.

"We know from past research that saving and assets are huge piece of the puzzle, that when families have financial capital they are in better positions to take advantage of possibilities that are mobility enhancing for them and their children.

Dan Schwabel, a generational expert and author of the forthcoming "Promote Yourself: The New Rules for Career Success," believes that members of Generation Y (or millennials, born between 1976 and 2000) are the real victims. "Almost 60 percent of millennials have a bachelor's degree, but the most common jobs are in retail," he told ABCNews.com.

Schwabel will, however, allow Gen Xers their frustration. Since boomers haven't retired, "it puts a lot of pressure on Gen X, because they want to be the executives of these companies, but they're not getting the opportunities," he said. "Gen X is stuck in the middle right now."

View Comments (6145)

Recommended for You

  • FBI Investigating Potential Hack of Some Clinton Campaign Computers

    The FBI is investigating a potential hack on at least some of the Clinton campaign's computer systems. The investigation comes on the heels of two other FBI investigations into hacking of the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic National Convention Committee. "The FBI is aware of…

    Good Morning America14 mins ago
  • Zika Cases Spike in Puerto Rico as Virus Spreads 'Silently and Rapidly'

    The Zika virus is rapidly spreading though Puerto Rico, leading to more than 5,500 infections, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported today. Puerto Rico has been dealing with the Zika outbreak for months, and Zika infections have spiked recently, rising from 14 percent…

    Good Morning America57 mins ago
  • Meryl Streep Admits she Once Thought her Career Would End at age 40

    In an interview with WSJ Magazine following the premier of her latest movie, 'Florence Foster Jenkins', Streep opened up about the age barriers for women in Hollywood that once seemed more impenetrable than now.

    Good Morning America57 mins ago
  • Heartbroken Family Hopes Baby’s Death From Whooping Cough Raises Awareness

    A California couple grieving the loss of their infant son from whooping cough is vowing to raise awareness of the disease.Ty'Ree Rodgers of San Diego told ABC News that his 3-week-old, Jaxon Rodgers, died July 15 from the effects of whooping cough. Rodgers and his girlfriend, Jonalyn Lema, both 24,…

    Good Morning America57 mins ago
  • Clinton Embarks on Bus Tour Courting Anti-Trump Republicans

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, fresh off her historic week in Philadelphia, kicked off the last 100 days of her campaign by embarking on a bus tour that will be part of a concerted effort by the Clinton campaign to court anti-Donald Trump Republican voters. The three-day tour…

    Good Morning America57 mins ago
  • Teen Battling Bone Cancer Marries High School Sweetheart in Hospital

    When Swift Myers and Abbi Myers, nee Ruicker, wed on Sunday, it was from the bed at an Oklahoma hospital where Swift Myers, 18, has spent the last month battling cancer. "I was in shock," Abbi said of the outpouring of love.

    Good Morning America57 mins ago
  • $536 Million Jackpot Finally Claimed by Indiana Couple who Forgot They Bought Tickets

    A couple from Hamilton County, Indiana, with two children has come forward and been confirmed as the winners of the $536 million jackpot, Indiana's Hoosier Lottery officials announced at a news conference today. The prize is the largest ever won by a single ticket holder in Mega Millions history. …

    Good Morning America57 mins ago
  • San Diego Police Investigating After Cop Killed, Another Injured in 'Gut-Wrenching' Shooting, Chief Says

    Police are searching for more potential suspects after a police officer was killed and another cop was injured in a "gut-wrenching" shooting last night in San Diego. San Diego Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman, who called the shooting "gut wrenching" today in a press conference, explained that police…

    Good Morning America57 mins ago
  • 4-Year-Old Whose Prosthetic Leg Was Stolen Gets New 'Ghostbusters'-Themed Limb, Free Trip to Disneyland

    A 4-year-old California boy whose prosthetic leg was was stolen at a beach this past weekend was surprised on Wednesday with a new "Ghostbusters"-themed limb. The custom-designed prosthetic was created and donated by Michael Metichecchia, owner of Essential Orthotics and Prosthetics in Palmdale,…

    Good Morning America57 mins ago
  • What to Know About First Local Zika Outbreak in Continental US

    For the first time in the continental U.S. the Zika virus has been spread locally through infected mosquitoes. Florida Gov. Rick Scott announced the first local Zika outbreak today, saying that four people have been infected. Here's what you need to know about the latest Zika outbreak.

    Good Morning America57 mins ago
  • Haitian Band Entertains Plane Passengers Delayed 6 Hours

    When a United Airlines flight in Chicago was delayed for nearly six hours earlier this month, a Haitian band on board took it upon themselves to be the in-flight entertainment. On July 23 members of Port-au-Prince-based band Lakou Mizik treated their fellow passengers to an impromptu performance. …

    Good Morning America57 mins ago
  • After Historic Democratic Convention, Celebrities Take to Social Media

    What's a historic night without celebrity Instagrams and tweets to follow?Hillary Clinton accepted the Democratic Party's presidential nomination Thursday night in Philadelphia, making history as the first woman nominee for a major party. As the star-studded Democratic National Convention came to a…

    Good Morning America57 mins ago
  • Son Replaces Family Photos With Steve Buscemi to Prank Parents

    It took five days and a really good eye for Kevin Manion’s prank to reach its full effect, but it got better with each passing day. “If you’re not expecting to see [Steve Buscemi's] face, it’ll catch you off guard,” Kevin joked. “Dad pulled me aside one day and was like, 'Alright Kevin, why is…

    Good Morning America57 mins ago
  • Missing London Cat Found 8 Years Later in Paris

    When Marna Gilligan's cat slipped out of her London home during a New Year's party eight years ago, she thought she'd never seen her again. That was until she got a call, saying that her cat, known as Moon Unit, had been found thanks to her microchip. Moon Unit, a domestic short-hair, had…

    Good Morning America57 mins ago
  • Jenna Dewan Tatum Talks the 'Balancing Act' of Motherhood

    Actress Jenna Dewan Tatum says she's still mastering the "balancing act" of motherhood and marriage. Dewan Tatum has a 3-year-old daughter, Everly, with husband Channing Tatum. Although she and her husband both appear pretty flawless most of the time, Dewan Tatum admits she has her good days and…

    Good Morning America57 mins ago
  • California Inmates Care for Deaf Dogs Evacuated From Shelter Due to Sand Fire

    A group of inmates at a California state prison are providing shelter, care and love for dozens of deaf dogs that were recently forced to evacuate a nearby shelter threatened by a wildfire. Nearly 50 dogs at the Deaf Dogs Rescue of America in Acton, California, were evacuated this past Sunday…

    Good Morning America57 mins ago
  • The Post-Convention Bounce: What to Watch for in the Race for the White House

    For decades, political conventions have marked one of the best moments to plead your case to the American electorate and generate momentum headed toward November. The convention bounce is a small -- or sometimes not-so-mall -- bump in a candidate’s support after the forceful messaging and…

    Good Morning America57 mins ago
  • Bear Cools Off With Dip in Backyard Pool

    A bear in California found relief from the heat in a local resident's swimming pool, as shown on a video released by a California police department."A resident shared this video with us of a bear cooling off in the family pool this morning. ...

    Good Morning America59 mins ago
  • Donald Trump Says Hillary Clinton ‘Doesn’t Know How to Win’

    Trump defended himself in an interview with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos and blasted Clinton as dishonest and weak. “I think I have a great temperament, I have a temperament where I know how to win,” Trump said. He also accused Clinton of being dishonest about his abilities as a campaigner.

    Good Morning America
  • 13-Year-Old Dog Up for Adoption After Waiting Months Outside for Deceased Owner

    An Australian Cattle Dog was rescued this month in California after waiting in the yard for his deceased owner, officials said. Ricky Bobby, 13, was found outside a boarded-up home in Mojave, according to Zach Skow, founder and executive director at Marley's Mutts Dog Rescue in Tehachapi,…

    Good Morning America