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Generation Stress℠: Gen X and Gen Y Report Financial Frustration Well Beyond Other Age Groups

Satisfaction Gap Not Only Attributed to Length of Time in Workforce

NEW YORK, May 9, 2013—Younger Americans report substantially more stress related to their finances than their parents and grandparents–with half of Gen X and Gen Y unhappy with their financial situation, compared with far fewer Baby Boomers and members of the Silent Generation.

How Satisfied are You With Your Financial Situation?
Satisfied Dissatisfied
Gen Y 49% 51%
Gen X 51% 49%
Baby Boomers 68% 32%
Silent Generation 82% 18%

These findings are part of a series of announcements from the Keep Good Going Report, sponsored by New York Life, a survey of more than 2,000 Americans exploring attitudes and expectations about how they can cultivate goodness in their lives.

“The Keep Good Going Report findings align with other research that confirms that Gen X and Gen Y are keenly aware of how the economic slowdown has put stress on their long term financial futures. These generations are concerned that the financial goals that Baby Boomers and the Silent Generation took for granted, such as home ownership, rising incomes and a secure retirement, will be much more difficult to attain,” said Paul Horrocks, vice president, New York Life.

“Even further, these results may be reflective of the impact the jobs crisis has had on Generation Y, which has struggled to find its footing in the post-recession economy,” he continued. “But what’s surprising is that Generation Xers, in their prime working years, aren’t more satisfied with their financial situation than Gen Y. So if it isn’t more time in the workforce, what is the answer? We believe this suggests a need among many members of both generations to take a more active role in understanding and managing their personal finances so they can feel more confident about their financial future.”

Notably, Americans across generations reported that their personal financial situation is an essential part of living their lives as good people. For instance, more than half of Americans say that to live life as a good person, it is extremely important to have enough money to be financially self-sufficient in retirement (56 percent), to protect their family against life’s uncertainties (56 percent), and not to have to worry about bills and other day-to-day expenses (54 percent).

Brian Perlman, Mathew Greenwald & Associates, who conducted the survey behind the Keep Good Going Report, explained, “To feel better about their financial standing, people may think that they need to experience a more vibrant economy and build up wealth by spending more time in the workforce. Yet, the research shows that the ability to simply accumulate more things is not how most people find financial satisfaction nor real life satisfaction. Americans, including Gen X and Y, want their finances to offer protection for the future, not just the ability to snap up the latest gadgets today. This highlights a great opportunity for people to cultivate goodness in their own lives just by taking some steps to feel more financially prepared.”

About New York Life
Committed to helping people perpetuate the good in their lives, New York Life Insurance Company, a Fortune 100 company founded in 1845, is the largest mutual life insurance company in the United States* and one of the largest life insurers in the world. New York Life has the highest financial strength ratings currently awarded to any life insurer by all four of the major credit rating agencies.** Headquartered in New York City, New York Life’s family of companies offers life insurance, retirement income, investments and long-term care insurance. Please visit New York Life’s website at www.newyorklife.com for more information.

* Based on revenue as reported by “Fortune 500 ranked within Industries, Insurance: Life, Health (Mutual),” Fortune magazine, May 20, 2013. See http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune500/2013/faq/?iid=F500_sp_method%20 for methodology.
**Source: Individual Third Party Ratings Reports as of 2/1/13.

Generation Stress is a service mark of New York Life Insurance Company.