Some baby boomers have spent their entire life working at a single job, only to see health and retirement benefits slashed or even find themselves laid off in middle age. But their children, 20-somethings burdened with unprecedented student loan and credit card debt, often fear they will be the first generation in American history not to do better financially than their parents.
A recent online survey of 1,752 members of generations X and Y, those between the ages of 19 and 39, asked, "To the best of your knowledge, do you think it is easier or harder for people in your generation to do each of the following than it was for your parents 'generation'?" Their answers:
|Buying a first home||28||25||47|
|Finding good employment||24||32||44|
|Getting an education||54||24||22|
|Supporting a family||14||31||54|
|Saving money for the long term||20||29||51|
|Saving for a child's college education||23||27||50|
Source: American Savings Education Council and the Divided We Fail [dividedwefail.org] coalition (AARP, Business Roundtable, National Federation of Independent Business, Service Employees International Union)
Interestingly, young people think it's easier to get an education today than it was for previous generations. It's just more difficult to pay for it.
Do the kids have it right? Is it harder than ever to support a family and save for retirement? Or have things always been this tough for working families? Please leave your thoughts below.