Millennials feel they face more financial woes than other generations

A majority of Millennials between the age of 23 to 38 believe they have faced more financial hardships than previous generations.

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According to a new survey released Monday by GoBankingRates.com, a whopping 68 percent of millennials polled either “agree” or “strongly agree” that they have had more – and tougher—financial obstacles than past cohorts.

What’s more, nearly half of those polled feel their generation has not only faced “the worst overall economic environment” but also the toughest job market compared to the so called Silent Generation, Baby Boomers and Gen Xers.

The personal finance website surveyed close to 1,000 millennials about their financial troubles compared to others through a phone questionnaire.

Here are the results.

Survey Question: Which of the following generations do you think has faced (or is currently facing) the worst economic environment in the U.S.?

Generation (age range)             % of Responses

Millennials (ages 23-38)            49.2%

Silent Generation (ages 74-91) 29.3%

Baby boomers (ages 55-73)      13.7%

Generation X (ages 39-54)         7.7%

The Reality:  According to researchers, every generation has experienced periods of financial hardship as well as long stretches of rapid economic growth. While the Great Recession of 2008 is still fresh in the minds of Millenials, it pales in comparison to the Great Depression in the 1930s which happened when the Silent Generation were children. Also, Baby Boomers lived through an extended period of unemployment while the economy was suffering through stagflation in the early 1980’s.

Survey Question: Which of the following generations do you think has faced (or is currently facing) the toughest job market?

Generation (age range)                 % of Millennial Responses

Millennials (ages 23-38)                53.9%

Silent Generation (ages 74-91)     16.4%

Baby Boomers (ages 55-73)          16.0%

Generation X (ages 39-54)             7.7%

The Reality:  Older Millennials, who were hitting the job market just as the Great Recession started may have more of a case than younger Millennials, who have been experiencing record gains in employment for 118 straight months. But researchers conclude that Baby Boomers might have actually had it the worst.

“For boomers, the 9.7% unemployment rate in 1982 was the highest since 1947, and the 9.6% rate in 1983 ties the level in 2010 at the peak of the post-housing crash slump,” the report said.

Survey Question: Which of the following generations do you think has (or had) the hardest time buying and owning a home?

Generation (age range)                % of Millennial Responses

Millennials (ages 23-38)                74.1%

Generation X (ages 39-54)            11.1%

Baby Boomers (ages 55-73)          7.9%

Silent Generation (ages 74-91)    6.9%

The Reality:  Researchers concluded, based on Zillow’s mortgage affordability index, Millennials are completely off base on this one. According to the numbers, a mortgage averaged 15.1 percent of a median income from 2008 to 2018, which is lower than any quarter going back to 1979.

“Boomers searching for a starter home in Q3 of 1981 could expect to pay a whopping 42.2% of their income to their mortgage,” the report said.