According to a February article in the Huffington Post, Millennials in the Millennial Generation (also known as Generation Y, those born in the early 1980s through the year 2000) are the most stressed out demographic group. A competing article, however, in The New York Times, also published in February, crowned Boomers as the demographic group most injured by the current recession and its aftermath.
As a Baby Boomer with Millennial children, I was curious as to what my peers thought about this issue. I was fascinated by the findings of a new BoomerOpinions survey asking the following question: Which of these two generations (the Boomers or the Millennials) do you think are undergoing the most stress as a result of the recent economic crisis? Fifty-one percent of the Baby Boomer respondents said they believed both generations were experiencing equal amounts of stress.
The data from this survey revealed Boomers are experiencing considerable anxiety about their adult children. Don’t forget these are the parents of the kids in the Millennial Generation, and Boomer parents tend to only be as happy as their saddest child. 41% say they consider it at least a somewhat serious problem that their children have incurred student loans; 45% say their adult children have been unable to find a job of their choice. Baby Boomers haven’t been labeled “Generation Squeeze” for naught. Thirty-one percent (31%) are caring for aging parents, while 33% are supporting adult children.
Admittedly I’m a little biased given my status as a Boomer, but in a stress competition, I would have to say Boomers win. They not only have to worry about their own financial plights, but those of their children as well. No matter how much our kids love us, they generally will assert their own needs before anyone else’s. Thus, their stress is focused on their own individual situation while Boomer anxiety is divided between themselves and their children. But, even if Boomers win in this contest, I don’t think the prize is one worth coveting.