YORK — A research report by the Pew Charitable
Trusts says younger baby boomers and Generation Xers
face an uncertain retirement because of reduced
savings, high levels of debt, and losses during the
study found that members of Generation X, who are now
between 38 and 47 years old, lost almost half their
wealth between 2007 and 2010. Young baby boomers, who
are between 48 and 57, lost more money but a smaller
portion of their overall wealth. The report says both
of those groups are struggling to save enough money
for retirement and are lagging older groups in terms
of their savings. They also hold more debt than those
groups did at similar points in their lives.
boomers may be the last cohort on track to retire with
enough savings and assets to maintain their financial
security through their golden years," said the
report is based on the Survey of Consumer Finances,
which is conducted every three years by the Federal
Reserve, and the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, which
has followed a group of families since 1968. It takes
into account financial assets like savings accounts
and retirement accounts, nonfinancial assets like
business properties, and home equity minus debt.
of Generation X were born between 1966 and 1975. The
report divides the baby-boom generation into two
groups: early boomers, who were born between 1946 and
1955 and are now 58 to 67, and late boomers, who were
born between 1956 and 1965. They were compared to
people who were born between 1926 and 1935, around the
time of the Great Depression, and people who were born
from 1936 to 1945, closer to or during World War II.
to the report, Gen Xers lost 45 percent of their
wealth during the recession, as their median net worth
dropped to about $42,000 in 2010, from $75,000 in
2007. Early baby boomers, lost 28 percent of their
wealth, falling to about $173,000 from $241,000, and
later boomers lost 25 percent of their wealth, to
about $111,000 from $147,000.
boomers were approaching retirement in better
financial shape than older groups because they
benefited from the dot-com boom in the 1990s and the
housing bubble of the last decade.
on the theory that people should have enough savings
and wealth to replace at least 70 percent of their
income in retirement, late baby boomers and Gen Xers
appear to be falling short: late baby boomers are on
track to replace about 60 percent of their income in
retirement, and for Generation Xers, that figure falls
to about 50 percent.
report also found that baby boomers and Gen Xers have
also been accumulating debt over the last two decades,
and baby boomers are approaching retirement age with
more debt than people who were born during the Great
Depression or around World War II.
the five generational groups tracked, "Gen Xers
are the least financially secure and the most likely
to experience downward mobility in retirement,"
the report concluded.