3 Generations Face the Retirement Crisis in America

Clockwork Orange scene

Retirement can be scary for every generation | Source: Warner Bros.

The retirement crisis in America is not contained to any one generation. Across the country, people of all ages are struggling with stagnant wages, rising living expenses, and an overall sluggish economy. Some are closer to their golden years than others, but one thing is clear: There are three unique generations with very different retirements ahead of them.

While retirement is on people’s minds, many workers are still trying to recover from the financial meltdown of yesteryear. According to the 17th Annual Transamerica Retirement Survey, one of the largest and longest-running national surveys of its kind, 61% of workers say they have not fully recovered from the Great Recession. Included in that figure are 41% who have “somewhat recovered,” 13% who have “not yet begun to recover,” and 7% who believe they “may never recover.” Only 20% say they have fully recovered.

“Although the Great Recession ended years ago, millions of Americans are still regaining their financial footing,” says Catherine Collinson, president of the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, in a press release. “As each year passes, people’s fears about our current retirement system come more sharply into focus. Amid retirement savings shortfalls, American workers are attempting to prop up our system’s three-legged stool by adding a fourth leg: working during retirement.”

Not your parents’ retirement

Each generation receives its fair share of retirement worries, but the majority of millennials, Generation X, and baby boomers all say they’ll have a much harder time achieving financial security than their parents. Although, some generations are more upbeat and better prepared for their golden years than others.

Let’s take a look at the current state of retirement affairs for the three major generations.