Gen X Reality (Bites) Check: Why 40% Feel Financially Behind

Gen X Reality (Bites) Check: Why 40% Feel Financially Behind

Millennials and Baby Boomers tend to make the most headlines, but stuck in between are Gen Xers—and it turns out they face the most financial pressures.

According to Northwestern Mutual’s new 2015 Planning and Progress Study, 37% of Gen Xers say they “don't at all feel financially secure,” and 38% have more debt than savings. That’s more than any other generation.


Get started with a free financial assessment.

“Generation Xers are the forgotten middle child generation,” Faith Popcorn, a trend consultant who advises companies on generational differences, told Bloomberg Businessweek. “They’re worried about both the present and future.”

A number of factors contribute to this tough financial reality. First, this group of about 65.7 million—born between 1965 and 1980—has weathered a failing economy during the traditional wealth-building years. Many entered the workforce during the 1990s recession with an uphill battle to build a career as the dot-com boom went bust.

Some Gen Xers who bought homes in the early 2000s saw their value plummet during the financial crisis. And while many Americans lost wealth during the crisis, Gen Xers fared the worst: From 2007 to 2010, this demo lost 45% of its wealth, according to a Pew Charitable Trusts survey.

Gen Xers also often find themselves needing to spend time and money on care for other generations. Almost 45% are raising children under the age of 18, and more than 20% also have a parent or an in-law living in their homes, according to the Northwestern Mutual study.

But it’s not too late for Gen Xers to build retirement savings and a financially secure life. And at least those financial goals are on their radar: two-thirds of Gen X respondents acknowledged their financial management needs improvement.

RELATED: The Real Financial Deal for Gens X, Y and Z


Financial planning made simple.

Get your free financial assessment.

Related Tags

Get the latest in your inbox.

Subscription failed!

You're Now Subscribed!