A recent survey by Harris Interactive conducted for Charles Schwab and Age Wave asked some 4,000 Americans ages 21 to 83 what they thought of different generations. It was broken down into Generation Y (ages 13-31), Generation X (32-43), Baby Boomers (44-62), the Silent Generation (63-83), and the Greatest Generation (ages 84 and older). Some of the findings show that Baby Boomers (35 percent) are most widely viewed as having a positive effect on society followed by Generation X (25 percent), the Silent Generation (33 percent), and the Greatest Generation (30 percent). These are considered the most widely admired generations. Actually, the Silent and Greatest Generations are viewed as the most generous while the Bay Boomers and Generation X are deemed the most productive. Interestingly, Gen X is considered the most self-indulgent followed by the Baby Boomers and Gen Y. There is no consensus as to which generation is most socially conscious although Baby Boomers and Gen X appear at the top of the list. One fascinating aspect is that the results show that Gen Y would like to rename themselves the Internet Generation. The survey shows that 53% of respondents view Gen Y as the most self-indulgent generation. They really dislike being called Generation Y or Millennials. And Gen X says that it would rename to Generation Tech. From the survey, some 41 percent view Gen X as the most innovative generation. Only the Baby Boomers seem to like the name given to them. In fact, 45 percent of the respondents view them as the most productive, and The Silent Generation would re-name themselves the Responsible Generation. They strongly dislike being called Silent or Invisible. I can affirm that because it’s my generation. I was certainly not silent or invisible, and was downright responsible. Some 33 percent of respondents view them as the most admired. I like that. The survey is entitled “Rethinking Retirement.” For more information, see http://rethinkingretirement.schwab.com/survey.
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