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Maria Panaritis: Series on Gen X (Vexed and Hexed)

Maria Panaritis

Maria Panaritis

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.

What do you think of the Gen X series by Maria Panaritis?

Gen X Blog Jennifer Chronicles

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  1. jen

    @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. GenXpert

    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.

  3. junkdrawer67

    I’m with you, Jen. Why are so many people hung up on this idea that money will make for a happy ending?


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