Generation X Hits A Mid Life Crisis?

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Generation X Hits A Mid Life Crisis?


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December 09, 2014

With only 46 million people in generation X (1965-1980), this generation can often be forgotten sandwiched between the massive baby boom generation and generation Y. As the first Gen X'er rapidly approaches the age of 50, we could soon start to see the mid-life crisis among parents crossing the half century mark when it comes to their money.

The fact is that Generation X absolutely gulped down the Kool-Aid of the American Dream. They were shoved into the notion that getting a great college education and securing an excellent corporate job would give them all the assurance in the world of being all set with their financial future. They were told that real estate and the stock market were great investments and should be excellent for long term savings. They were convinced to follow their dreams, move around the country for a better job, and never compromise. And as Generation X (the most educated American generation yet) approaches the age of 50, they will achieve a first. They will be the first group not doing better than their parents on an inflation adjusted basis.

I thought I would have more money at this point? I never realized that children could cost so much money with activities, schooling, and day to day costs? When will I be able to really afford the red Ferrari? Will I ever really get ahead with the stock market? Will my property ever make me any significant money? Why do vacations cost so much money? Do any of these in generation X sound like you? You work harder and harder, but it feels like you are gaining no ground at all while you get older and older?

With 98% of you having no pension from the workplace, massive uncertainty around how much you will get from social security, and your 401(k) balance languishing far behind where you thought it would be, it is no wonder that gen X'ers are truly having a mid-life crisis. You aren't a kid anymore and retirement is sneaking up behind you at light speed— no, take that back, at ludicrous speed. So here are three simple ideas that I can share with fellow gen x'ers to get you through the next 10 years of crisis management.

  1. Pay off your house- Trust me on this one. I tell all of my clients this. Heck, I can't make any money telling you to pay off your house. Most certainly I could make more managing your money. However, experience tells me that when you lighten your backpack, you will help reduce your overall financial stress, plus give yourself more options if you are incredibly burnt out from the corporate grind.
  2. Take the kids off of payroll- I'm being facetious when I say this, but do what you CAN do for your children and not more than that. If you are piling up debt and borrowing from your retirement to pay for school or activities for your kids that you cannot afford, you must stop it today. They have to learn the hard way just as you did clawing your way to a six figure income. Anything you can do is better than nothing, but overextending yourself will leave you with ill harbored feelings toward your kids and make you burnt out during this mid-life crisis.
  3. Make your REAL bucket list- My guess is you may be having fun without ever really crossing off the real things you want to do in life off your bucket list. You are about to take the kids to a great vacation in Cancun over Christmas, but is this really what you want? Make sure you know what your bucket list is to be able to balance having some fun today while you save for your future tomorrow. Otherwise, deep down inside you won't really be satisfied for working as hard as you do every day.

The moment is coming soon where you might face your mid-life crisis. You've had it with the job. You are tired of paying bills and never seeing the day of light. You can't even stomach opening up your 401(k) statement because you are so far away from having a million dollars let alone enough money to retire. Don't fret. Follow these three simple smart money moves to get you off to the right start and then come see oXYGen Financial ( when you want to make a game plan to make work optional!

Written by: Ted Jenkin
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