Cast as idle and anti-establishment,
marketers didn’t have high hopes for Generation X when it started entering the workforce over 25 years ago. As new research shows, however, U.S. consumers born between 1965 and 1976 are now as
affluent, stable and responsibility-ridden as their parents were at the same age.
Now approaching or in middle age, Gen Xers have an average of 2.5 children, while most (70%) live with a spouse or partner, according to a new study from the MetLife Mature Market Institute.
A full 82% of Gen-Xers own their own home, although 17% of those report that the value of those homes is less than the debt attached to them.
“Because [Generation X] followed the baby boomers, it took a while for them to make their mark,” said Sandra Timmermann, director of the MetLife Mature Market Institute. “That was also due to the fact that they’re small in number -- just 50 million compared to 77 million boomers -- and entered the workforce later than their predecessors."
Regarding the careers, 43% of Gen Xers have remained in the same type of career throughout their working years, while just over 40% have been with the same employer for 10 years or more. Today, 75% are working full or part-time, and most are part of a dual-earner household.
According to Timmermann, the economy has not been too tough on the group -- now ages 36 to 47 -- as just 19% earn less than $35,000 per year and fully 29% earn more than $100,000.
What’s more, just 50% of Generation X says it is behind on its retirement savings, with relatively high ownership rates of 401K plans (66%).
Also worth noting, the majority (63%) of Gen Xers still have both parents living, and almost two in 10 regularly provide care for their aging parents.
As for their own futures, most Gen Exers would like to retire at age 62, but believe working until at least age 67 is inevitable.
For the study, GfK Custom Research North America interviewed 1,000 Gen Xers by phone on behalf of the MetLife Mature Market.