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AARP Bulletin, Last updated April 7, 2009
Generational tension or conflict can arise in the best of times. An economic crisis, then, can provide fertile ground for intensifying these woes.
But it also has the potential to bring the generations together.
It provides those in the older generations, those who have seen this kind of thing before, a chance to impart their wisdom to the young—insights they’ve gleaned from doing things right, lessons they’ve learned from doing things wrong.
For the young, especially millennials (born after 1981) who’ve known only boom times, the downturn may prove especially jarring. But it may also provide fresh opportunities to learn; to save; to reinvent their own relationships with money, spending and investment; and to redefine their conceptions about work, financial policy and the economy.
Take a look from an intergenerational perspective at some of the issues that are cropping up during this economic downturn. Check back throughout March for new articles about the ways the recession is shaping how the generations connect.
New! Young Adults React to Parents’ Saving Struggles
Many in their 20s and 30s are beginning to see their parents struggle with money, debt and retirement savings—and it’s influencing the way they view investing and saving.
New! Tough Job Market Forces Families Into Multigenerational Living: It's no surprise that many college graduates are moving back home becuase of the brutal economy. But here's the twist: Many Boomers are are doing the same.
Recession Lessons: Like their elders, Gen-Xers and millennials who have lost their jobs may feel a mix of fear, anger, resentment and a sense of loss. Older adults can show their support by reaching out.
Social Security Still Troubles Young and Old: The economic crash of 2008 may have temporarily pushed Social Security reform largely off the national agenda, but scratch the surface a bit and you’ll see that the same fears, issues and generational tensions about the system still exist—and may even be exacerbated by the current economic climate.
Stress Levels About the Economy Vary Among Generations: For the most part, it's only senior citizens who have a clear idea of just how bad an economy can get. Oh sure, most of us have read about the Great Depression, but we didn't see the endless bread lines or the Hoovervilles full of the homeless.
Savers vs. Spenders: The Difference Is Generational: Is there a difference in the way boomers and their parents view money?
Mixing Generations in the Workplace Can Be a Challenge: For perhaps the first time in U.S. history, four generations with differing values and habits are jostling against one another in the workplace. Much of the friction has been spawned by the newest and largest generation, the millennials, who thrive on technology and carry high expectations.
Boomer Narcissism, Ageism Debunked: The boomers aren't half as fake, annoying and self-absorbed as their collective public image might indicate, according to a Harris Interactive Poll.
Are Retirees Breaking Their Social Contract? More than 68,000 people live in The Villages—a retirement community in Sumter County, Fla.—and it is only one of many “active adult” retirement communities throughout the nation.
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