How the Shutdown Threatens Gen X’s Financial Future

Paul Hair

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Regardless of when our governments decide to end the Chinese virus lockdown, lasting damage has been done to the financial lives of millions of Americans. And while the damage will affect people regardless of age, it might be particularly tough for anyone in Generation X who suffers catastrophic loss. After all, how do you recover from the destruction of your life’s work when you’re middle aged?

On April 13, Ezra Klein tweeted about how tough Millennials have it. I responded by noting they aren’t the only generation that has experienced difficulties.

And that got me to thinking about our governments shutting down entire sectors of the economy for weeks—for what will be months—because of the Chinese virus. When this is all over, there will be millions of Americans who will have suffered devastating losses, with some of us being hit harder than others.

That in turn got me thinking about Gen X—my generation—and our financial future. We’re middle aged now. We’re at the time in our lives when we’re supposed to be at the height of our income potential; when we’re supposed to be earning a lot of money and socking it away for retirement. We don’t have that much time left to do so. Yet now we’re out of work. Some of us may have lost entire businesses that we’ve spent years, or even our lives, building. Others among us may have experienced similar financial loss. What do we do now? How do we recover from this? These aren’t rhetorical questions. I really don’t know the answers to them.

But I do know that our governments shutting down America over the Chinese virus means that the financial future of Generation X is a lot less secure than it was before.

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