For the average America, the notion of retirement is a sick joke. A sick, sick joke. Just forget it. It's making me sick. All I'm going to ask is: Are you a member of "Generation X?" If so, you should feel sick as well.
Everyone spends a lot of time making fun of the "Millennial" generation, and while that is completely fair, necessary, and frankly an insufficient punishment for their existence, it should not distract us from making fun of the generation that preceded them. The Gen Xers, all grown up now. How you like being all grown up, Gen Xers (speaking to myself in the mirror?) You like your house and your car and your family and whatever? Well how is that RETIREMENT ACCOUNT doing? Eh? Eh?
(Bad). Bloomberg today takes a look at the retirement prospects of the Gen X generation. They're poor! Everyone worries about how the people who are old now are going to make it through retirement, or how the people are young now are going to do down the road, but nobody stops and worries about poor old Gen X, probably because we are generally insufferable. But think about it: lots of Gen Xers were old enough to catch the tech bubble collapse and the Great Recession of 08, but not old enough to have built up some financial savings that could cushion those blows. Instead, they just blow (financially speaking). From Bloomberg:
Good timing is not the age group's forte. Many took out mortgages just before prices plunged, making them the most disadvantaged by the housing crisis, while the 2008 stock-market slump dealt them a further setback. Only one-third of Generation X households had more wealth than their parents held at the same age, even though most earn more, The Pew Charitable Trusts found.
They went in the job market... then the tech bubble burst. They bought houses... then the real estate bubble burst. They like Kurt Cobain... you know how that turned out.
On top of that, one expert notes that "Gen-Xers are going to live longer than the current generation of retirees, and the major source of retirement income is going to be smaller."
Get your shit together, Gen X. You only have a couple of decades to figure out how to suck the millennials dry, before it's too late.
[Photo of Kurt Cobain's retirement message: AP]