More Accounting Tomorrow Posts

Dealing With Financial Stress

March 8, 2009

Multiple generations are handling the economic crisis in very different ways.

Investment firm Scottrade released its 2009 American Retirement Study, which exposed the grim finding that fewer than one in three Americans believe they will be able to fully retire. Boomers (67 percent) and Gen Xers (64 percent) are the generations most concerned about having enough money for retirement.

I wasn't surprised that Gen Yers are less concerned, since they are younger and 65 may seem ancient to them.

What was interesting, however, is how they are dealing with financial stress.

Across all generations, the top way they are addressing concerns is spending less. But check out the breakdown.

Gen X is taking the most action and leads the generations in using coupons (66 percent), cutting back on entertainment (65 percent), paying down debts (57 percent) and reducing credit card spending (55 percent).

Boomers lead the pack in comparison shopping (70 percent), and Gen Yers lead when it comes to focus on increasing income, with 30 percent working more to earn more and 29 percent looking for a higher paying job.

"Spending less is a normal reaction in this type of economic environment, but the saying 'Pay yourself first' has never become more valuable or meaningful," said Kamie Zaracki, CEO of BetterInvesting, a nonprofit organization dedicated to investment education. "Maintaining a prudent, disciplined and non-emotional approach to investing will prove successful as this economy begins to right itself."

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