June 21, 2012
Though everyone seems to be feeling sorry for millennials, who are experiencing one of the highest unemployment rates and boomers, who are delaying their retirement due to the economy, the generation in between, Gen X, deserves their own time in the recession limelight.
What the Recession Really Cost American Families
A Census report released on Monday found that people between 35 and 44 saw a 59 percent decline in median household net worth between 2005 to 2010, the largest drop of all age groups. Those 55 to 64, only saw a 25 percent drop, though they had a larger decline in actual dollar amount.
Gen X, a generation that's relatively small at 46 million and known for their political apathy and trends like grunge in their heyday, has largely stayed out of the headlines; but they're also a generation that has tried to do everything right financially. Most worked at a stable job for years, built a comfortable savings, and likely just bought their first home at the market's peak. Then when everything came crashing down, they were stuck with an underwater mortgage, young kids in the house, possibly a job loss, and unlike boomers, they never had a chance to diversify their portfolios, potentially losing a lot of what they had in stocks.
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The chart below shows that although all age groups lost net household worth during the recession, Gen X felt the brunt of it: