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Millenials More Likely Than Boomers to be Financially Strapped and Stressed

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Originally posted on February 19, 2015.

Soapbox alert: An earlier post expressed one of my pet peeves: the favoritism shown today’s senior citizens over more economically challenged Millennials and their children. A half century ago, I noted, it made good sense to give often-impoverished seniors discounts at restaurants, at movie theaters, and on trains. Today, the percent in poverty has flipped—with under-35 adults now experiencing twice the poverty of their over-65 parents.

Since 1967, seniors’ poverty rate, thanks to economic growth, social security, and retirement programs, has dropped by two-thirds. (Social security payments have been inflation-adjusted, while minimum wage, dependent tax exemptions, and family assistance payments have not.)

So, should it surprise us that new data from an APA national stress survey reveal that “Parents and younger generations are less likely than Americans overall to report being financially secure”?

And should we, therefore, consider instead giving discounts to those who, on average, 1) most need it (perhaps custodial parents), and b) are the most stressed by financial worries?

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About the Author
David Myers has spent his entire teaching career at Hope College, Michigan, where he has been voted “outstanding professor” and has been selected by students to deliver the commencement address. His award-winning research and writings have appeared in over three dozen scientific periodicals and numerous publications for the general public. He also has authored five general audience books, including The Pursuit of Happiness and Intuition: Its Powers and Perils. David Myers has chaired his city's Human Relations Commission, helped found a thriving assistance center for families in poverty, and spoken to hundreds of college and community groups. Drawing on his experience, he also has written articles and a book (A Quiet World) about hearing loss, and he is advocating a transformation in American assistive listening technology (see www.hearingloop.org).