Younger baby boomers hit most by recession in US

New research conducted by Mintel shows 45-54-year-olds (younger baby boomers and older generation X consumers) will take longer to recover from recession.

Nearly half (47%) of this group (versus 33% overall) say they, “have only been spending money on necessities” for at least a year.

Furthermore, 51% of this age demographic, compared to 44% overall, state they intend to permanently decrease the amount of unnecessary stuff they will buy in the future. This group is also greatly concerned about their retirement, with 39% saying they worry more about retirement now than they ever have.

“This last recession has definitely not treated everyone equally,” said Susan Menke, vice president and behavioral economist at Mintel. “One reason could be the younger boomers are the age group that was just getting started when the severe double dip recessions of the 1980s hit, and they have never fully recovered. Another reason may be this is the ‘sandwich’ generation, burdened with educational expenses for their kids and, for some, healthcare costs for ageing parents.”

There is some good news in the data, however. Forty four per cent of those aged 18-24 and 34% of those in the 35-44 age range say they intend to permanently increase the amount of money they save (versus 28% overall). And they are backing it up with actions, says Mintel. About 10% of 18-44-year-olds have actually increased the amount they are saving in their retirement accounts in the last year.

“We continue to see numbers indicating that the recession was a wake-up call across age groups, just in different ways,” said Menke. “Everyone is more concerned about having adequate funds to retire after this recession. Unlike the baby boomers, however, younger age groups are able to do something about it, which offers a potential opportunity for financial services firms.”