Generation X Has the Most Financial Stress
BOSTON (MainStreet) -- The news has been saturated with reports of high unemployment, stagnant wages and worker dissatisfaction since the Great Recession. Even though the economic recovery has improved things overall, most demographics in the United States still seem to be suffering from considerable financial struggles and anxiety -- and none more than those in Generation X.
A report by the financial information and education think tank Financial Finesse found people from Generation X polled as having the most financial worries and suffering the most significant economic setbacks. Generation X -- which includes people 35 to 44 years-old -- lost nearly half its members' savings, or an average of $33,000 per person, after the economic collapse, according to a Pew Charitable Trusts study .
Generation Xers are also the age group that has the most to lose as compared with baby boomers and millennials, as they are the most likely to be maintaining the delicate balance between saving for the future while trying to care for young children and make mortgage and student debt payments -- with more than 60% being married, owning homes and having underage children.
This profile fits George, a 36-year-old insurance industry worker from Ohio, to a T. A married homeowner and father to two young children, George can't contribute fully to his pension due to large student loan and mortgage payments. He lost nearly half his 401(k) in the economic meltdown and his wife, a teacher, had her retirement fund raided by the state.financial wellness program Financial Finesse offered one of its Fortune 500 clients experienced a 4.5% decrease in health care costs; those who didn't experienced a 19.4% increase. Larsen also believes reforms in federal policy could be very helpful in easing some of the financial burdens of Gen Xers and other generations, giving them more leeway to invest in savings and retirement. This includes an expanded child tax credit for parents of younger children and a requirement for all states to offer long-term care partnership programs to help all generations as they reach retirement age. "It's scary to think of it all at once," says 40 year-old Heidi, a veterinarian from New Hampshire who is married and has both a mortgage and six-figure student loan debt. "Long-term planning is definitely a concern of mine. We have a little stashed away for an immediate need. There's a little in retirement funds, but I worry that it won't be enough."
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