Baby boomer struggles overblown?

New research from Elevate’s Center for the New Middle Class suggests that, when compared to other generations, baby boomers are struggling less than many believe.

Baby boomers are most likely to have steady employment and run out of money less often, executive director Jonathan Walker said.

“These findings come as a surprise, as they are counter-intuitive to many of the trends we have seen widely covered around baby boomers. Recently, it was reported by the Federal Reserve that baby boomers are leaving the workforce in such large droves that they are skewing employment numbers, but we’ve found that 60 per cent of non-prime boomers have had no employment change in the last 12 months, compared with 59 per cent of Gen-X and 43 per cent of millennials.”

Jonathan Walker

Jonathan Walker

That doesn’t mean the generation is struggle-free, especially those considered non-prime. Non-prime baby boomers are more likely to hold more than one job and are 10 times more likely to run out of money every month.

Compared to their prime-rated friends, non-prime baby boomers are also:

  • More than twice as likely to say their finances cause them significant stress
  • Four times as likely to live paycheck to paycheck (one out of six use payday loans)
  • 14 times as likely to express difficulty predicting monthly income
  • 2.5 more likely to overdraft on a bank account
  • Three times as likely to take a loan against their 401k
  • 46 per cent less likely to go on vacation
  • More likely to be living in households with three or more working adults

“The struggles that non-prime boomers continue to face, despite their relative stability when compared to other non-prime generations, illuminates just how tough things are for non-prime people of all ages,” Mr. Walker added. “The struggles of other generations have a direct impact on the struggles of baby boomers. For example, with non-prime millennials unable to make financial progress despite their best efforts, fewer are buying homes, and more are living with their baby boomer parents for longer, putting additional strain on boomers’ finances.”