Philadelphia Inquirer: Series on Gen X (Vexed and Hexed)

The Philadelphia Inquirer has published a series of articles on Generation X. I really enjoyed this series, but I don’t agree that we have to put the happy ending on hold. Nobody is going to tell me that I’m not going to have a happy ending. My happy ending is my choice and it is not contingent upon my job, my retirement account, how much money I make or don’t make or how much I owe or don’t owe on my mortgage.

Gen X and Retirement

On December 29, Maria Panaritis wrote Gen X and Retirement.

On December 30 she wrote about how Gen Xers make less than their fathers did (according to a study conducted by the Pew Charitable Trusts, which they called alarming.)

Here is an excerpt from that story:

“If you are a man born between 1964 and 1974, you were earning 12 percent less in 2004 than your father was when he was your age three decades earlier, according to a study by the Economic Mobility Project of the Pew Charitable Trusts.

Let’s attach a dollar figure to that — so that we truly register the generational grand larceny here.

Fathers were making $40,000 as thirtysomethings, compared to $35,000 for their Gen X sons. With help from an Inquirer colleague, I tabulated that Gen Xers lucky enough to continue making that meager $35,000 for the next 30 years without a single pay raise (but at a 2.2 percent annual inflation rate) will have pocketed $227,680 less than the dad who told them to believe in the American Dream.

And that was before the stock market crash of 2008.”

Maria’s other stories are Xers Burden: Housing Debt, Xer Retirement? Dream On and Happy Ending for GenHexed?
Hat Tip: Whisper in the Muse.

Finally, OETA recently aired a PBS special, which I’m sure has aired on many other public television stations across the nation. It’s called This Emotional Life. If you’re wondering how you can be happy, I highly recommend watching this. I really enjoyed the last segment, which aired last night. It featured a Wall Street investment analyst – a Gen Xer, of course – who lost his job and became a stay-at-home-dad for several months. He and his wife even live in an RV for awhile and traveled around the country. (I so wish I could do this!!)

Back in 2006, the L.A. Times wrote an article on Gen Xers hauling RVs out of the slow lane. This trend always makes me smile.


  1. says

    @GENXPERT – That is so true – Happy Xers aren’t news. Sometimes, I wish I’d started a blog on baton twirling. hahahahahaha!

    @JUNKDRAWER67 – Money – the root of all evil. I believe it, and I believe that generation stuff from Howe and Strauss about the high in old age and younger generations worshipping us as iconic human beings! =) They better not have gotten it wrong! =)

  2. says

    I am still baffled as to where are these Gen Xers? I’m a woman and I make more money at 38 than my dad made at 58 – let alone 38. Plus, I don’t know know anyone who makes $35K who is over 30 that works full time. And I live in the most depressed state in the union (Michigan).

    Also, if you do believe the data, what does not seem to be mentioned is that those “poor” Gen X dads and usually married to Gen X moms who make at least as much as they do. Therefore, the family income is higher.

    However, happy Gen Xers really aren’t news. Oh well.

    Still love your blog.