"Retirement Security Across Generations: Are Americans Prepared for Their Golden Years?" compared the financial well-being of five generations from "Depression babies" born between 1926 and 1935 to gen-Xers who were born between 1966 and 1975. The study was done for The Pew Charitable Trusts.
Researchers compared the net worth or assets minus debts, the financial net worth or financial assets alone and home equity of each cohort. They found that the group born between 1946 and 1955, the "early boomers," are entering their retirement years in better shape than the depression or war babies while "late boomers" and gen-Xers had fewer assets and more debts than their older siblings or parents.
"Late boomers and generation-Xers lost significant amounts of wealth during the Great Recession, eroding their already low levels of assets," said Erin Currier, director of Pew's economic mobility project. "As policymakers focus on Americans' retirement security, particular consideration should be paid to how younger generations of workers can make up for these losses and prepare for the future."
John Gist, research professor of public policy at George Washington University, headed the research effort. The data in the report came from the Survey of Consumer Finances, collected by the Federal Reserve Board, and the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, conducted by the University of Michigan.