We have seen in recent years the stoking of Generation Y’s agitation in how financially rough they’ve got it – and how the previous generations (probably their parent’s) had it easy. In fact, while Generation X – generally deemed to be those born between 1960 and 1980 – did have some advantages that are now largely unavailable, such as final salary pensions – this wasn’t available for most of the population – just more than today! Unfortunately, they’re hardly laughing their way to the bank. Instead, the reality is much different. They’re not only being blamed for this new generation’s problems, they’re also facing the brunt of them as well. Here’s what you need to know about the real issues facing Generation X.
It’s not all rosy
Yes, Generation X benefitted from access to affordable housing at points but they also faced the credit crunch and times of negative equity. Some dealt with endowment misselling and tech bubbles bursting, for others it was the credit crunch. It’s true that they did have sturdy career paths and reasonably cheap living expenses during their younger years (although unemployment was much higher at points), but unfortunately, it’s been tricky for them since these times. They’re living through the anguish of increased uncertainty concerning their pension and having to work longer than many hoped or expected. The State Pension age has steadily risen and, in particular, women of this generation who when they started work looked forward to a retirement age of 60 now face a retirement age of 67 at least. This is a generation that was not auto-enrolled to pensions and who were not encouraged to put long term savings first. According to Royal London last year, squeezed family finances see a third of people aged 35 to 44 struggling to deal with day-to-day expenses. Retirement planning and saving were at the bottom of people’s financial priority lists*
Divorce in this generation is another big financial problem. In 2014, it was revealed by the Office of National Statistics that while the overall number of divorces had fallen in the country, men and women aged between 40 and 49 (Generation X) amounted for the highest percentage of marriage failures.
They’re relied upon
Generation Y are facing tough times trying to break into the housing market but Generation X are often alongside them in this battle. In particular, mums and dads see their children saddled with student debt from tuition fees and inflating living expenses. With a degree now costing in the region of £9,000 a year just for tuition, most have been tucking into their savings and income to help their offspring with living expenses and outgoings. Generation X worry about this along with the thought of Brexit uncertainty, the expectation of interest rates rise, lack of enough pension provision, their own living costs, job security and probably their parents. The parents of Generation X are now enjoying a life expectancy well into their 80s but can also be in need of physical and sometimes financial help. This creates yet another set of dependents for Generation X. This is one of the reasons why more and more people from Generation X are using more credit and accumulating expensive debt in the process. This really doesn’t help their overall financial plans.
They don’t have to suffer alone
Luckily there’s help for every generation. We love getting the new generation of graduates and apprentices on their way, but we also love explaining credit scores, help to buy schemes and the mortgage process to Generation Y. We help Generation X work out where they should put their efforts. We don’t forget those facing retirement either. Better with Money inspires people of all generations to work towards their financial future in times of uncertainty, so get in touch for help today.