Proof! Baby Boomers really did have it tougher than today's youth

Baby Boomers are enjoying their wealth now, but it wasn't always so easy. Source: Getty

Sick of hearing how Baby Boomers have had it so easy, what with their rocketing house prices making them all ‘property millionaires’?

Well, now there’s research to back you up when you explain that it actually wasn’t that easy to get where you’ve got.

The Economist has published a interesting article that compares Millennials with Baby Boomers in the financial stakes.

The data does show that Baby Boomers have accumulated much more wealth in the form of property, shares and savings than Generation Xers and Millennials, because they’ve had longer to do it.

But “comparing generations at a similar stage of life paints a different picture,” the story says.

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People in their early 30s living in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s 35 countries, which include the US, Australia, and the UK, actually have much more disposable income than previous generations had at the same age – 7 per cent more than Gen Xers and a whopping 40 per cent more than Baby Boomers.

“Youngsters may sigh with impatience when an old codger tells them how life was tougher ‘when I was your age’,” the article notes. “But it was.”

The so-called ‘Millennial privilege’ is less pronounced when singling out the US, however, where Americans in their early 30s actually have less disposable income now than Gen Xers did at the same age.

But the gains Gen Xers made their 30s are over; while Baby Boomers made big wealth improvements in their 40s, the generation that followed them is seeing their incomes stagnate, most likely due to the hangover of the Global Financial Crisis.

Do you feel that you had it harder in your younger years than the new generation does? Why do you feel things are easier now?

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