Generation X Fares Poorly During Recession, Says Study

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.

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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.

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