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Younger Americans Face Even Greater Gaps in Personal Wealth


In the “new economy,” full of novel financial realities, we often hear a lot about how cash-strapped kids are often coming home to live with and borrow from their better-positioned parents. And now a new report tells us why.

According to a report from the Associated Press, the wealth gap between younger and older Americans has stretched to the widest on record, “worsened by a prolonged economic downturn that has wiped out job opportunities for young adults and saddled them with housing and college debt.”

Based on analysis by the Pew Research Center, the AP says “The typical U.S. household headed by a person age 65 or older has a net worth 47 times greater than a household headed by someone under 35, according to an analysis of census data released Monday. While people typically accumulate assets as they age, this gap is now more than double what it was in 2005 and nearly five times the 10-to-1 disparity a quarter-century ago, after adjusting for inflation.”

In short, “kids today” — from college-age to middle age — are struggling, putting aging parents in a precarious position to aid their offspring at, quite literally, their own expense. But this isn’t all the fault of young adults themselves: this group has been hit particularly hard by these tough economic times, as more are pursuing higher education and taking on high-interest student loan debt in the process. Others bought into the American dream of home ownership, only to find themselves underwater in their mortgages — owing more than the house is worth —  and facing foreclosure in the wake of the real estate reckoning and an uncertain job market.

According to the AP, “For young adults, the main asset is their home. Their housing net worth dropped 31 percent from 1984, the result of increased debt and falling home values. In contrast, Americans 65 or older were more likely to have bought homes long before the housing boom and thus saw a 57 percent gain in housing net worth even after the bust. Older Americans are staying in jobs longer, while young adults now face the highest unemployment since World War II. As a result, the median income of older-age households since 1967 has grown at four times the rate of those headed by the under-35 age group.”

If you’re a younger American who’s facing skyrocketing college tuition costs, the perils of home ownership, and a tough job market, you may be questioning whether the basic tenets of the American Dream — the idea that each generation does better than the one that came before — will ever be your reality. Instead, you face a new reality: that the benefits of bankruptcy, often considered taboo by older generations, is exactly what the doctor ordered in curing the ills of the recent economic Recession. In reality, there has been a steady stream of bankruptcy filings during the economic downturn, and we can realistically expect 2011 to be no different, with yet another 1.5 million people expected to file for bankruptcy in 2011, with many of these debtors representing those 35 and under.

So, if you’re a younger American who’s been affected by the economy, and are now considering new ways out from underneath ever-increasing debt, and get back on track, knowing a qualified bankruptcy attorney can also help you to conquer your creditors and face your financial fears, yielding the right kinds of support, information and insights—at a low cost. The bankruptcy professionals at the Law Offices of John T. Orcutt offer a totally FREE debt consultation and now, more than ever, it’s time to take them up on their offer. Just call toll free to +1-919-646-2654, or during the off hours, you can make your own appointment right online at Simply click on the yellow “FREE Consultation Now” button.

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