Generation X has more debt to the point that some call it “Generation Debt.” A recent article by Market Watch outlines the 10 things Generation X won’t tell you. I’m skeptical that my generation is in as much of a money mess as experts claim. I know I’m not the only Gen-X’er who is working hard to avoid the financial missteps of older generations.
Like many Gen-X’ers I don’t have as much saved for retirement as I’d like, but I already have more than a lot of baby boomers I know who are already retired.
Poorer than our parents
Experts say in 2010, Gen-X’ers had assets that equaled twice as much as their debt. Meanwhile, the Silent Generation (some of our parents) had asset levels 27 higher than their debts. It only makes sense that people in their 70s would have more assets because they are at the prime age to inherit money from elders of the super-saving Greatest Generation. Besides, other data shows the median income for Gen-X’ers is $71,100 versus the inflation-adjusted $63,100 for our parents at the same age.
Buying during the bubble
Many people from my generation are in bad financial shape because they bought homes before the housing bubble burst. I don’t regret my home purchase at all. Although my the negative equity in my home didn’t help my net worth during the recession, things have changed. Because I paid down my mortgage and home values are rising, I have $100,000 equity in my home. That’s not too shabby for a poor Gen-X’er. Market Watch points out that the number of people with negative equity has dropped to 6.3 million from 9.8 million last year.
Earning more than my husband
It’s true I sometimes earn more than my husband, but he’d never know since he allows me to do our taxes. The truth is, he would be happy being married to a female breadwinner. Usually, though, my husband out-earns me. A 2011 survey showed one-fifth of Generation X men earn less than their spouses compared to 14 percent of men from the baby boomer generation. Most Generation X families have fewer children, which will help their finances. I grew up in a family of four children, but only had two.
Dealing with boomers at work
As for the workplace, a study cited by the Market Watch article pointed out that 70 percent of workers said Generation X is the best generation equipped to manage effectively. Although boomers may be standing in the way of millennials from getting jobs, they aren’t affecting my colleagues in the workplace.
One thing the article got right is that most Gen-X’ers are jaded about the American Dream. A survey showed only 64 percent of us believed in the American Dream of home ownership, education and doing better than previous generations. Seventy-three percent of boomers and 71 percent of millennials still believe in the dream. More power to them.
More from this contributor:
I Stopped Trading Stocks
I Should Have Saved Cash
How I Recovered After Losing $100,000