According to a new Bankrate study, 78% of Americans suffer from stress-induced insomnia, which is a 9% increase since the last time Bankrate conducted a sleep survey back in 2018. In both reports, financial issues proved to be one of the principal concerns keeping people tossing and turning at night. Do I have enough money saved for retirement? What am I going to do about my credit card debt? What am I going to do about my student loans? Rent? Mortgage? And the list spirals on and on. Generation X was found to be the most vexed by their money issues, which ostensibly defies conventional wisdom, but this actually makes perfect sense.
It’s in vogue to saddle Millennials with the ‘Woe is me? I’m an incompetent that can’t stop blowing my money on coffee and heelies’ persona, though the popularity of this viewpoint is due to conflation, I think. It’s true, a larger portion of Millennials are narcissistic, and they carry the brunt of student loan debt, however, it’s also true that Millennials are a lot more prudent than previous generations when it concerns their finances.
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Dispelling the generalizations
One in three Millennials upped their retirement savings last year, which is the highest of any generation. A modest 26% of Gen Xers did the same, followed by 20% of baby boomers. Of course, no generation is perfectly sagacious about retirement savings. The canonized rule of thumb suggests you start saving 10% of your income by the time you reach your twenties-most people aren’t making that cut. In fact, 25% of Americans adults aren’t saving anything at all for their golden years. Surveys dating all the way back to 2015 have singled out Generation X has the least likely to gain financial security in addition to being the most likely to experience stress over it.
“Devising a plan and starting to execute against it – piece by piece – is the best way to get things done,” explains Bankrate industry analyst Ted Rossman. “Simply getting started should help you begin to feel better and settle your racing mind. That holds true whether you’re worried about health, money, relationships, work or anything else.”
Financial optimism is a bit of an uphill battle for Xers, the generation sandwiched between two famously wallet draining responsibilities: taking care of their children and their aging parents. These two obligations make fiscal flexibility nearly impossible. A recent TD Ameritrade’s Financial Support Survey., reports that 39% of the Generation X community feel that they will never have as secure a financial life as their parents’ generation.” Conversely, Millennials and Gen Zers came up in a time wherein taking action is culturally encouraged, irrespective of gender, race, sexual orientation, etc.
A recent Bank of America study revealed that millennials are also more proactive when it comes to asking for higher wages. Forty-seven percent of millennials demanded raises in 2017, compared to 39% of baby boomers and 36% of Gen Xers who reported doing so.
Eight in ten Generation X members are in some form of debt, specifically credit card debt. Gen Xers have the highest credit debt of any other generation. Value Penguin reports, “Millennials and individuals over 74 years old held the least credit card debt. These two groups are also among the least likely to have a credit card, which can serve as a potential explanation behind the trend we are seeing here,”
Bankrate’s latest survey highlighted credit card debt as the financial woes that everyone is the most pessimistic about-in fact more than half of the sample studied occasioned this.