Why 20-Somethings Aren’t Doomed to Be Poor but 30-Somethings Might Be | The Atlantic

As we’re all too aware by now, it’s been a raw decade for young Americans. The job market still has a giant, recession-shaped crater in it. A college degree is more expensive yet more essential than ever. Wages are stagnant.

All of this adds up to a single sad possibility, according to the New York Times’ Annie Lowrey: Today’s twenty- and thirty-somethings may never end up as rich and financially secure as their parents. Lowrey’s story points to a recent study by the Urban institute, which suggests that Americans under forty, financially wracked by student debt and the housing bust, have saved up much less wealth than the generations before them. Because wealth compounds over time, there’s a strong chance they won’t ever catch up.

But the Times misses something key, I think, which is that not everybody under 40 is in the same boat. As this graph from Urban Institute’s study shows, it’s mostly Americans in their thirties in red who have seen their net worth collapse compared to 30 years ago. The quarter-life set are actually doing a bit better….

via The Atlantic.

4 thoughts on “Why 20-Somethings Aren’t Doomed to Be Poor but 30-Somethings Might Be | The Atlantic

  1. genomega1 03/16/2013 / 9:35 AM

    Reblogged this on News You May Have Missed and commented:
    Why 20-Somethings Aren’t Doomed to Be Poor but 30-Somethings Might Be | The Atlantic

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  2. aurorawatcherak 03/18/2013 / 12:18 AM

    It seems that many of my daughter’s generation are postponing college to save money for college, so they won’t have debt when they get out. I’ve talked to a few of them who are working two or three minimum wage jobs and living in their parents’ basement (or their high school bedroom). They all tell a story of how their older brother/sister is $50,000 in debt and having living in the bedroom next to theirs, probably working (this being Alaska there are jobs), but overwhelmed by debt and playing catch-up. So you may be right. These kids are going to start college late — or maybe go to trade school instead, but be in a financial situation where, when they graduate, they can get started on life rather than digging out of a money hole. It will be interesting to see what happens in the next couple of decades a long these lines.

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  3. aurorawatcherak 03/18/2013 / 12:20 AM

    Reblogged this on aurorawatcherak and commented:
    I think the 20-somethings may have learned from their older siblings that getting into debt to go to college does not guarantee a job that will allow you to pay that debt when you graduate. It will be interesting to see what the long term results of this turn out to be.

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