Younger Americans More Stressed About Finances

May 10, 2013 ( – Younger Americans report more stress related to their finances than their parents and grandparents.

Half of Generation X and Generation Y are unhappy with their financial situation, compared with far fewer Baby Boomers and members of the Silent Generation. When surveyed by insurance company New York Life, 51% of Generation X and 49% of Generation Y respondents said they were satisfied with their financial situation, compared to 68% of Baby Boomers and 82% of the Silent Generation. 

“The … 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,” said Paul Horrocks, vice president, New York Life. “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.”

Horrocks added that 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. “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?,” he asked. “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.”

The survey also found that Americans across generations reported that their personal financial situation is an essential part of living their lives as good people. 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%), to protect their family against life’s uncertainties (56%), and not to have to worry about bills and other day-to-day expenses (54%).

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