This article is the second in a series of three that explore what one generation has to teach other generations about money and managing their financial lives. The series began with an article discussing what we can learn from Millennials about managing our money. It continues here with a look at what we can about financial responsibility from members of Generation X.
As a generation of people who during their adult lives have endured a financial market crash and subsequent deep recession, stagnant job growth, the bursting of a tech bubble, corporate accounting scandals, criminal behavior by Wall Street banks, an ever-more volatile and unpredictable stock market, terrorist attacks on their own soil, and various other peaks and valleys on the economic, political and financial rollercoaster, members of Generation X (born 1965 to 1980) have seen and experienced plenty as they approach their 40s and 50s. Add to that the sandwich situation in which many Gen Xers find themselves, where they must juggle their own financial priorities with the needs of their aging parents as well as their children, and it’s clear why members of this generation profile as skeptical of financial institutions but hungry for sound, unbiased financial advice.
Given this mindset, what does Generation X have to teach us about how to handle our money and our financial lives? At the risk of making sweeping generalizations, here are a few Gen X qualities worth applying to our own lives: