Bloomberg dealt out some harsh reality in an article titled Lean Retirement Faces US Generation X as Wealth Trails. Generation X is of course the demographic group ranging from birthdays in the mid 1960’s to around 1980 (the article actually cites two different definitions for this group).
Essentially Gen X-ers have been unlucky multiple times because of the dot com blowup, the timing of the recovery from the dot com and then the housing crisis/great recession. The article contends that the timing of these events in relation to the age Gen X-ers were when they happened have hit the group harder than Baby Boomers, Generation Y or the Millennials.
There are so many moving parts to this that it is difficult to know where to begin. The article offers statistics to back up the assertion that Gen X-ers are the worst off but obviously many people are hurting.
When I posted the Bloomberg link on Facebook someone who is 32 commented on the extent to which he has struggled since 2007 with not having a job that he considers to be in his career track. I recently heard about a couple in their mid-late 40’s (so the front end of Generation X) facing serious trouble because of a balloon payment situation (how many of those are lurking out there?).
The big picture discussion of these things have been evolving on this site for many years. When the blog started in 2004 there were still people adversely affected from the tech wreck and now, per common sense and the Bloomberg article, there are people adversely affected by the great recession and will be adversely affected for many years to come—maybe forever?
The pursuit of digging out from under has many paths, none of which should be expected to be easy but this is a challenge to solve individually; people will have to craft their own solutions that they can live with.
Someone who is working in a job that could be reasonably defined as a career (even if not their full income potential) but with no meaningful savings needs to figure how to cut back now or cut back later—cutting back later would refer to cutting back on retirement by working longer.