Monday, 5 March 2018
If you were born between 1965 and 1980, chances are you watched a fair share of MTV, can recite every line from The Breakfast Club, and can remember what life was like without the Internet and cell phones.
As a Gen Xer, you or one of your close friends was more likely to be a latchkey kid with two working parents who may have been divorced. Those early experiences helped shape you into a savvy, self-reliant, and entrepreneurial adult with a healthy dose of skepticism.
But this generation had to overcome an unusual number of hurdles along the way, which left them trailing behind the pack financially, according to studies. While about 75 percent of Gen Xers make more money than their parents did at the same age, studies show Gen Xers face far more finance stressors than Boomers or Millennials.
The debt totals are nearly six times greater than that of their parents when they were the same age. Upwards of 28 percent have dipped into their retirement plans as a source of cash. Nearly 40 percent of college-educated Gen Xers who earn more income than their parents did at the same age also carry student loan debt, with a median amount owed of $25,000.
The reasons are several-fold:
“Stagnant incomes, large mortgage balances, and providing for their children in an environment with a higher cost of living all contribute to this," says David Bakke, a finance expert with personal finance blog Money Crashers.
If you fall into this demographic and can relate to these financial hardships, don't despair. Here are three things you can do to improve your money situation:
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