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

AlamyBy 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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