Not Doing Better Than Their Parents: The Stunning Fall Of Generation X

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Generation X reflection
Alamy
By Mandi Woodruff

For the most part, generations in America have followed a similar storyline: Kids grow up to earn more and become more financially secure than their parents and grandparents before them. But that story ended with those born between 1965 and 1981, known as Generation X.

In just about every regard, Gen X has fallen behind financially. Even before the recession, they were earning less and saving less for retirement than previous generations did at their age, while taking on unprecedented debt. They were hit hardest by the recession, losing half of their wealth from 2007 to 2010.

Where do they go from here?

Assuming the U.S. isn't on track for another recession anytime soon, as long as Gen X finds a way to crack down on spending, get ahold of their debt and find ways to further their careers, they can bounce back. At the very least, Gen X has one thing on their side that older generations would kill for –– time.

Using charts from recent studies on generational wealth gaps by the Pew Research Center and the Urban Institute, we've put together a clearer picture of what's gone wrong for Gen X.



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whackobachmann

I'm really sorry folks but I'm retiring as the tea party Queen. After the devastating loss in the 2012 elections the tea party is dying. It's bad enough I lost in the presidential primaries and I almost lost my seat in the house!

Your Tea Party Queen, Michele Wackobachmann

May 31 2013 at 10:31 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
whackobachmann

I'm really sorry folks but I'm retiring as the tea party Queen. After the devastating loss in the 2012 elections the tea party is dying. It's bad enough I lost in the presidential primaries and I almost lost my seat in the house!

Your Tea Party Queen, Michele Wackobachmann

May 31 2013 at 10:31 AM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
whackobachmann

I'm really sorry folks but I'm retiring as the tea party Queen. After the devastating loss in the 2012 elections the tea party is dying. It's bad enough I lost in the presidential primaries and I almost lost my seat in the house!

Your Tea Party Queen, Michele Wackobachmann

May 31 2013 at 10:31 AM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
thejackcomeback

Woah, don't blame us. Although I felt many of my fellow generation were way to liberal. What do you expect with all the books we had to read in school, like Black Boy. Decades of illegal and legal immigration depressed wages and killed opportunity for us.
Had we politicians like those in Switzerland or Japan. who keep free loaders out, we would be doing very well.
I think the mainly white baby boomers are in for a shock if they Jose from down south or Jamal from overseas is going to pay and try to save social security in the future. The Baby Boomers threw us under the bus but they will have to pay for the consequences too.

May 31 2013 at 7:19 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to thejackcomeback's comment
sam54ct

Illegal, and legal immigrantws had nothing to do with the fal lin income, unless you believe minimum wage jobs are the path to prosperity. The fall is due to NAFTA and the loss of middle class manufacturing jobs, and middle management jobs at factories.

May 31 2013 at 8:23 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
toosmart4u

Only thing one can say, you get what you vote for and you keep voting for the republicans which does not have your best interest at heart. President Obama has a tough job cleaning up the mess left by 8 years of the bush administration. The truth hurts.

May 31 2013 at 4:56 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to toosmart4u's comment
maryweinstein

Did you miss the results of the last presidential election? Remember who's been in office, eating away at the ecoonomy, passing myriads of job-killing regulations, including the whammy of them all, Obamacare, that last 4.5 years?

And who the MSM claims to have voted for their Idol, as "though their lady parts depended on it"? Yup, the truth hurts, elections have consequences ( infortunately, even for those who didn't vote for the clown..) and every other trite saying that applies here. .

May 31 2013 at 5:54 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to maryweinstein's comment
sam54ct

Did you attend school? If so, you should know, Presidents are Figureheads, and cannot pass any policies. Fault lies with our Congress & Senate the ones who appropriate ALL aspending, and determine ALL policy.

May 31 2013 at 8:24 AM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down
pattyhar

"...that Gen X is riddled with a lot of crap work ethic." THAT IS TOTAL BS!!! My GEn Xers are both professionals with advanced degrees from TOP schools, but are eaten up by college loans, high unemployment rates (STILL, from 2008 on!!), rotten salaries and even worse benefits. Even though they are both early 30s, both have had to move several times to get better jobs (spending MAJOR $$$$ on moving because few employers pay for that, or even SOME of the expenses incurred!). Neither can afford to have children, neither has decent health insurance--the list goes on and on, AND applies to their college graduate friends too. The US's horrible economic mess is due to one person--Obama--and his unbelievably idiotic self-aggrandizing economic, immigration, political, and soon, health care policies. The US may NEVER recover, and he will go down in history as the worst American President ever, which is saying a LOT!

May 31 2013 at 12:03 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to pattyhar's comment
sam54ct

Nice rant, too bad Presidents do not, and cannot pass policy. That job along with spending appropriations is 100% the reponsibility of the Congress & Senate. And guess what, during the Bush Years, the GOP controlled the House & Senate until 2006, and the recession began in 2005.

May 31 2013 at 8:26 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to sam54ct's comment
taxmom

Lets not forget BArney Frank and Chris Dodd who wanted anyone and everyone to own their own home. And made it so easy to buy a home that everyone who couldn't afford a home overpaid for their house, which pumped up the price, overinflated the entire constructions industry to the point the bubble couldn't resist the "pop". That's where we need to look for the "blame"

May 31 2013 at 8:44 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down
Larry

Anyone paying attention & hiring knows that Gen X is riddled with a lot of crap work ethic. Not all, but many. It's too easy to be given things; either by mommy & daddy or gummunt.

May 30 2013 at 11:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
3 replies to Larry's comment
nikin78

Alot of hate on Obama. Stock market is up, but no jobs? Well not crap jobs for stupid people. I am an engineer, I have a job, and I am also looking for a job. Plus I am finishing up my MBA with a concentration in Information Assurance (IT Security). I see tons of jobs out there. There aren't that many in New Mexico my home state, but per capita there are plenty. I am very competitive and I have a lot of experience. After I finish school I will probably move to a different state where there are even more jobs. Everybody talking about jobs have got to be talking about blue collar jobs. Sorry you are stupid and there aren't any jobs for people who can't think past the next minute. Stop B*tc4ing and get an education you stupid hicks.

May 30 2013 at 11:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
sigmastef

Im gen x and I'm fine.

May 30 2013 at 10:54 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
loefflerfive

We're doing just fine. Life is hard, wear a helmet.

May 30 2013 at 10:17 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply