Generation X (Gen X): between Baby Boomers and Millennials (2023)

What is Generation X (Gen X)?

Generation X, sometimes shortened to Gen X, is the term given to the generation of Americans born between the mid-1960s and early 1980s.

The exact years that make up Generation X vary. Some researchers – demographers William Strauss and Neil Howe, for example – place birth years exactly from 1961 to 1981, while Gallup places birth years between 1965 and 1979. But everyone agrees that Generation X follows the Baby Boom generation and precedes millennials or millennials.

The central theses

  • Generation X, or Gen X, refers to the generation of Americans born between the mid-1960s and early 1980s.
  • Generation X, which is between baby boomers and millennials, numbers about 65 million.
  • Members of this group are approaching mid-career and potential peak earnings years.
  • The generation is on track to become the first generation less prepared for retirement than their parents.

Understand Generation X

The name "Generation X" comes from a novel by Douglas Coupland,Generation X: Stories for an Accelerated Culture, published in 1991.While more useful to marketing than sociology, generational theory—the assumption that people born in the same time period can be seen as a group with similar views, values, preferences, and habits—and the idea of ageneration gapgained wide acceptance in the United States

The American generations addressed in the theory are:

  • Greatest Generation(born circa 1901 to 1924)
  • Silent Generation (ca. 1925 to 1945)
  • baby boomers(around 1946 to 1964)
  • Generation X (ca. 1965 to 1985)
  • millennialGeneration (ca. 1985 to 1996)
  • GenZ(postmillennial) (ca. 1997 to 2012)

Generation X numbers around 65 million, while baby boomers and millennials each have around 72 million members. Generation X is sometimes referred to as the "key generation" because they were often left home unsupervised after school until their parents got home from work.

Like the silent generation, Generation X has been defined as an "in-between" generation. The purchasing power and savings of the group were initially compromised by thedot com bust, and secondly by2008 financial crisisit's atthe great depression🇧🇷 In terms of social and political power, Generation X is squeezed between the Baby Boomers who came of age during the Vietnam and Reagan eras and the Millennials of the Obama era.

(Video) The Truth About Generation X

Generation X overlaps with another group calledsandwich generation🇧🇷 Each modern generation has its time in this range, which is used to characterize middle-aged individuals who - due to longer lifespans and children later in life - find themselves supporting aging parents and growing children at the same time.

Generation X vs Baby Boomers and Millennials

The 20th Annual Transamerica Workers Retirement Survey, launched in 2020, compares Generation X, Baby Boomers and Millennials. About their discoveries:

  • Gen Xers believe they will have a much harder time achieving financial security than their parents (80%) compared to millennials (77%) and baby boomers (73%).
  • Across all three generations, Gen Xers are significantly more likely to have credit card debt (52%), Millennials are more likely to have student loans (26%), and Boomers are more likely to be debt free ( 25%).
  • Generation Xers are less likely to use a financial advisor (37%) compared to Millennials (42%) and Baby Boomers (45%).

The financial situation of Generation X

Over the next few decades, there will be a huge transfer of wealth – about $48 trillion in all – from baby boomers to younger generations, including their Generation X children.And they will need it.

According to the latest Federal Reserve data, Generation X accounts for just 29% of the nation's wealth, while Baby Boomers own just over half (51%). In 2008, with an average age of 35, Generation X owned just 7.4% of the country's wealth, less than half of what baby boomers had at age 35.

Notable members of Generation X include Jeff Bezos, Tiger Woods and the late Kurt Cobain.

(Video) Generations X, Y, and Z: Which One Are You?

retirement provision

Nearly 60% of Generation X respondents to the Transamerica survey “strongly agree” or “strongly agree”.Creating a large enough nest egg🇧🇷 Generation X has an average of $64,000 in retirement savings. It's not surprisingbaby boomershave the maximum of $144,000 and millennials have the minimum of $23,000. Nine percent of Gen Xers have no retirement savings.

This is far below what each generation expects for retirement. Generation X and Baby Boomers estimate they need $500,000 and Millennials $300,000 to feel financially secure.

Impact of Market Timing on Generation X

On average, Generation X families started working, saving and investing at a time of lower investment returns than baby boomers. Many Gen X families began hoarding their savings during periods of high market valuation, such asTechnologieblaseand dot-com bubble in the late 1990s and leading to the 2008 global financial crisis.bear marketsstill weigh heavily on their wallets.

According to the Transamerica survey, only 44% of Generation X workers said they fully recovered from or were unaffected by the Great Recession, compared to 50% of baby boomers.

In addition, Generation X experienced a particularly low interest rate environment that negatively affected their ability to increase the value of their financial assets. Meanwhile, Generation X investors' early experiences with big market dips seem to have made them morerisikoscheu.

Other challenges for Generation X

Gen Xers' relatively lower wealth makes it difficult for them to sustain their parents' spending patterns, increasing education, health and property costs. And then there is the sandwich syndrome – the fact that this generation has reached the age where they are supporting and raising children while caring for aging parents.

According to Experian's research, Generation X now has the highest average debt of any generation. They increased their average debt by about 3.5%, or $4,802, to $140,643 between 2019 and 2020. Mortgage debt accounted for the largest proportion, followed by HELOC loans, student loans, auto loans, personal loans and credit card debt.

Reinventing retirement for Generation X

The retirement landscape is different for Generation X than it was for their parents. Previously common, old-age provision in the private sectorare rare and have been replacedthrough defined contribution plans, such as401 (k)🇧🇷 And Generation X doesn't expect Securityto fund your retirement.

Baby boomers (37%) are verymore likely to expect social securityto be the main Source of retirement income, compared to just 26% of Gen Xers, according to the Transamerica survey. In fact, 41% of Gen Xers "strongly agree" that Social Security may not exist when they retire, while 26% of Baby Boomers see the same thing."

(Video) Generations X/Y/Z are much poorer than Baby boomers, Data Show.

Transamerica found that workers across all three generations share healthy aging and financial motives for working past age 65. But baby boomers are more likely to do this than other generations because they want the income. Generation X will keep working as they can't retire because they haven't saved enough.

Financial planning for Generation X

The potential for financial stress can be significant, but steps can be taken to reduce stress, balance budgets and mitigate the impact of unplanned life events. Here are some recommendations for Generation X to get their financial lives in order and engage with all layers of this generational sandwich: kids, parents, and themselves.

Create an estate plan

This is crucial if you have dependent children and don't already have a will or other necessary documents. You don't want a judge to decide the fate of your loved ones or property.stateBlock. So now it's time to make an appointment with areal estate planningLawyer to draft your will, living will, medical and permanent powers of attorney - and perhaps a living foundation - to ensure the smooth and speedy transfer of all your dependents, assets and liabilities to your heirs.

And because liquidating an estate can be an emotionally sensitive process,do it nowit can allow you and your family to think about how this should be done from a calm and logical perspective.

Get a comprehensive financial plan

When you were in your 20s, managing your finances was a very easy thing to do by adopting good financial habits such as: B. Saving and budgeting. Now you've reached the point where your finances are probably a little more complicated, and a financial variable such as, for example, the amount you contribute to your organization's 401(k) plan can affect a number of other areas in increasingly difficult ways. to calculate or predict with any degree of accuracy.

These variable implications likely mean it's time to hire a professional financial planner or advisor who can put a stop to your cash flow.balance sheet, risk tolerance, investment objectives, time horizon andRate Classto a sophisticated financial planning program. This can at least give you a rough idea of ​​where you really are financially and what you need to do to be where you want to be at retirement age. Be prepared to see some strange numbers at the end, numbers that might indicate that you won't becan retirejust as you expected

manage your debt

If you're considering buying a home, it's probably wise to look at a 15-year term first.fixed rate mortgage🇧🇷 Interest rates may never be that low again, at least not for the lifetime of a Gen Xer, and a 15-year loan only costs one-third the interest of a 30-year mortgage. If your debt load has become unmanageable then find one of the reputable debt management companies that will help you deal with it.

Get a head start on college planning

While most experts caution parents against siphoning retirement savings into their children's college funds, now is the time to start one.Coverdell Educational Savings Accountor onePlano 529funds, if none exist. Your children can contribute to these funds, as can you, and money inherited from deceased parents or other relatives can also be a source of college funding. Opening an individual retirement account for them can be another good option as long as you are sure they are not deducting contributions for other purposes.

Get a Financial Picture of Parents

Admittedly, parent-child conversations about money can be uncomfortable. But if you haven't already talked to your parents about their health and finances, it might be time to kick things off in that area. If your parents' health is failing and they don't have an estate plan, it might be wise to pay the money yourself to do this if they're okay with it.

(Video) Gen X, Stuck Between Self Absorbed Baby Boomers and Gen Y

Consulta senior lawyerfor advice if you need help dealing with managed care issues and select a designated sibling to be the point of contact for these matters. A common mistake made by children of aging parents is to overestimateMedicare, Medigap eMedicaidTo cover. Having an understanding of what to pay out of pocket can determine the purchasecare insurance(if still viable) and additional insurance.

Allow returning children to contribute

The pressure of caring for aging parents can be multiplied by the cost of supporting adult children. Requiring descendants to come home after college to help with household expenses — including paying rent, shopping, or helping care for the elderly — can alleviate some of the pressures associated with multi-generational support. It can also teach children some life and fiscal responsibility.

Why is Generation X sometimes called the lost generation?

Generation X, also known as the "lost generation", "forgotten generation" or "invisible generation", was created due to changing societal values ​​during their rise, which included an increase in divorce, single parent families and loneliness. Today, GenX is again considered "lost" because it is squeezed between Baby Boomers and Millennials.

Is generation Z or X older?

Generation X predates Generation Z by several decades.

What does the "X" in Generation X mean?

The letter "X" refers to an unknown variable (as in math) or the generation's desire not to be defined.

Correction - Dec 2, 2022: This article was corrected from an earlier version that listed the year range for Gen Z as 2001 to 2020 and the end date for Millennials as 2000. The correct year range for the former is 1997 to 2012, while the correct end date for the latter is 1996.

(Video) What is the parenting style for Gen X? How does it differ from their baby boomer parents?


What's the difference between boomers millennials and Gen X? ›

Generation X is anyone born from 1965 to 1980. Baby boomers are anyone born from 1946 to 1964. Millennials are anyone born from 1981 to 1996. Generation Z is anyone born from 1997 to 2012.

What is between baby boomer and Gen X? ›

The term Generation Jones was first coined by the cultural commentator Jonathan Pontell, who identified the cohort as those born from 1954 to 1965 in the U.S., who were children during Watergate, the oil crisis, and stagflation rather than during the 1950s, but slightly before Gen X.

What is the generation between Gen X and millennials? ›

Xennials are the micro-generation of people on the cusp of the Generation X and Millennial demographic cohorts. Many researchers and popular media use birth years from 1978 to 1983, though some extend this to include those born up to 1985.

What is Generation X mostly known for? ›

Generation X is known as the “middle child” generation because of its small size in comparison with the baby boomer and millennial generations. Gen Xers are typically described as resourceful, independent, and good at maintaining work-life balance. They were the first generation to grow up with personal computers.

What is the current generation called? ›

Generation Alpha are defined as those born from 2010-2024. More than 2.5 million are born globally every week.

What is Zillenial? ›

What is a Zillennial? Zillennials are smack in the middle of Millennials and Gen Z. They were born between 1993 and 1998, the last three years of the Millennial generation and the first three years of Generation Z, and take on characteristics of both generations.

What are the 7 living generations? ›

Generation Names and Dates
  • The Greatest Generation (GI Generation): Born 1901–1924.
  • The Silent Generation: Born 1928–1945.
  • Baby Boom Generation: Born 1946–1964.
  • Generation X: Born 1965–1980.
  • Millennial Generation or Generation Y: Born 1981–1996.
  • Generation Z or iGen: Born 1997–2010.
Dec 28, 2022

What generation is Mark Zuckerberg? ›

With the second-highest average net worth after the Silent Generation, millennial billionaires are seen predominantly in tech and finance. Roughly 100 billionaires worldwide fall into this category overall. Mark Zuckerberg is the only millennial billionaire among the top 10 richest globally.

What are 2000 babies called? ›

Generation Z (or more commonly Gen Z for short), colloquially known as zoomers, is the demographic cohort succeeding Millennials and preceding Generation Alpha. Researchers and popular media use the mid-to-late 1990s as starting birth years and the early 2010s as ending birth years.


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