FORT WORTH, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Members of Generation X (those born between 1965 and 1980) now sit at the age where they anchor the country’s economic and social structure. Yet, new research from Elevate’s Center for the New Middle Class shows that Gen-Xers face a slew of economic challenges that perpetually keep them off balance. Worse still, that lack of balance means they can’t plan for the future or get back on track.
“These findings offer an alarming peek at the instability of America’s middle class and middle generation,” said Jonathan Walker, executive director of Elevate’s Center for the New Middle Class. “According to social norms, Generation X should be at a stable point in their lives, buying homes, sending kids off to school, becoming empty nesters. This time should mark a shift when the generation starts to refocus financially on their foundation and the future. Instead, these individuals are wavering.”
Non-prime Gen-Xers, in particular, lack stability – in their employment as well as their income. They have difficulty predicting their monthly income, and consequently act like cash accountants in managing their day-to-day finances. Non-prime Gen-Xers are thus the least likely generational cohort to be able to save money—an important aspect of financial planning. Compared to their prime counterparts, non-prime Gen-Xers are:
- 4x as likely to be living paycheck to paycheck
- 4.5x as likely to worry about meeting monthly expenses
- 2x as likely to have been laid off in the past year, and almost 3x as likely to be laid off in the last 5 years
- 5x as likely to feel “significant stress” over finances
- 5x more likely to say that in the prior 12 months they were never able to plan for a major expense
The planning gap between prime and non-prime Gen-Xers is wider than any other generation, and 1 in 5 reports running out of money every month. When it comes time to pay for unplanned or unexpected expenses, such as medical bills or car repairs, only 13 percent feel confident they could come up with $1,200. This lack of confidence may be due to lack of reliable options. Though 80 percent of prime Gen-Xers have a solid option – savings, credit or turning to family/friends – only 44 percent of their non-prime counterparts have a solution for coming up with the funds.
“With aging parents and school-age children, Generation X is the most likely generation to support others. They’re also entrepreneurial, which is exciting but can also lead to financial difficulty. For these reasons and others, Gen-Xers struggle more financially than other generations. Those pain points are magnified multiple-fold for non-prime individuals, who lack stability in income, and aren’t able to plan for the future to try to get back on track,” continued Walker.
About the Research
The Center’s research compared the responses of 1,217 Americans with prime and non-prime credit scores using interviews conducted December 6-14, 2016. For more details on the study, click here.
About Elevate’s Center for the New Middle Class
Elevate’s Center for the New Middle Class conducts research, engages in dialogue, and builds cooperation to generate understanding of the behaviors, attitudes, and challenges of America’s growing “New Middle Class.” For more information, visit: http://www.newmiddleclass.org
Elevate (NYSE: ELVT) has originated $4.5 billion in credit to more than 1.7 million non-prime consumers to date. Its responsible, tech-enabled online credit solutions provide immediate relief to customers today and help them build a brighter financial future. The company is committed to rewarding borrowers’ good financial behavior with features like interest rates that can go down over time, free financial training and free credit monitoring. Elevate’s suite of groundbreaking credit products includes RISE, Elastic and Sunny. For more information, please visit http://www.elevate.com.