The financial crisis may have hit the ’80s generation the hardest. Americans who were born in the 1980s, otherwise known as “millennials,” are finding themselves struggling financially more than generations before them. Following the Great Recession, which began in 2007, individuals born in the ‘80s are at wealth levels which are 34 percent below where they would be had the financial crisis not occurred. Most millennials have to save longer to buy a home, struggle with student loan debt and rising home prices.
The generation known as “millennials” is categorized as being born between 1981 and 1996. According to a report issued by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, people in this generation are at risk of being termed “the lost generation.”
“Not only is their wealth shortfall in 2016 very large in percentage terms, but the typical 1980s family actually lost ground in relative terms between 2010 and 2016, a period of rapidly rising asset values that buoyed the wealth of all older cohorts,” the report says.
This can be attributed to a number of factors. One major setback this generation faced was entering the workforce as the financial crisis was beginning. In fact, this generation seems to have been hit the hardest for this very reason. Entering the workforce at the time of a recession put these young workers at an immediate disadvantage for earning an income, as well as saving money towards big purchases or retirement.
Once the recession passed and the economy began to improve, these individuals faced difficulty in recovering from the hard hit.
Millennials have been on the receiving end of a 67 percent increase in wages since 1970, but this increase in pay has not kept up with the rising costs of living, including rent, home prices, college tuition, costs for childcare, healthcare, and entertainment.
This generation also has to deal with large amounts of credit card debt, on top of six figure student loan debt. After graduating from college at a time when jobs are not as prevalent, these individuals have had to resort to credit to pay for these expenses.
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