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The “Boomerangst” Generation

First published: The Globalist, 03/02/2009

Boomerangst” is often applied with tongue-in-cheek to the angst and insecurity felt by middle-age baby-boomers as they march in legions towards retirement — but the term can also apply to their descendants.

In the immediate future, there are at least three issues that the boomerangst generation will have to confront. First is rising personal debt — incurred as a result of longer periods in, or higher costs of, education — ease of access to credit, and, possibly, the cost of buying a home.

Adjusting financial behavior

This is not to say that younger people cannot or will not reboot their ideas about personal debt and financial behavior. Some sources of personal financial pressure, such as running up mobile phone bills and the use of credit and store cards, may be excessive.

But these would be the easier ones to adjust to compared, say, with buying an apartment or a house, financing higher education and providing for adequate retirement savings.

Although it is widely believed that younger people regard as necessities things that their parents see as luxuries or options, it is undoubtedly true that they face a far more financially challenging environment than their parents did.

The kiss of debt

In the United States, it is estimated that about two thirds of people in their 20s have some kind of debt, and those who do have been accumulating it more rapidly in the last five years.

The average …more