Salient to Investors:

Pew Charitable Trusts said:

  • 82% of American Gen Xers – those born between 1965 and 1980 – with at least a bachelor’s degree earn more than their parents did, yet only 30% have greater wealth.
  • 70% of Xers without a college education earn more than their parents did but almost half had higher wealth.
  • College graduates in Gen X have far more debt than their peers without degrees.
  • 40% of upwardly income-mobile college grads hold education debt, with a median balance of $25,000.
  • College graduates tend to come from families with more wealth, so have a higher bar for surpassing the prior generation than those with lesser education.
  • 75% of Gen X households had family incomes higher than their parents did after adjusting for family size, but only 36 percent had exceeded their parents’ wealth.

Diana Elliott at Pew’s Economic Mobility Project said to the extent that Gen Xers are still paying student-loan debt and do not have the wealth accumulated to invest in themselves, they also do not have that money to invest in their children.

Lauren Asher at the Institute for College Access & Success said student loans have become and more and more of a necessity because the costs that students and families are expected to cover outpace family incomes and available grants.

Neil Howe said the youngest workers have time to build wealth and right the ship, but that may not be true of their older counterparts, who are well into their economic life-cycle, especially Gen Xers.

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