Did The Boomer Generation Really Have It Tougher?

In terms of owning a home, debt, and retirement, boomers really did have it easier when you’re comparing them to millennials and Gen X. Gen X aren’t as likely to own a home or have any type of retirement savings when compared to boomers. The same applies when comparing boomers to millennials, with student debt being one of the main reasons why they can’t get by.

So, did the boomer generation really have it tougher? We’d say no, but we’ll get more in-depth as to why we’ve found this to be true. 

1. Housing Market

401(k) plans
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When it comes to the housing market, it really has always been better for boomers. Back then, you could buy a large house in the suburbs, have a 401k, and a wife with children all while living on one income. Now, both partners need to work in order to afford an overpriced home, and that’s just for the basics.

2. Social Security Benefits

Social Security form
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Boomers continue to have more confidence when it comes to the future of their social security benefits. However, the growing number of boomers leaving the workforce could have a tremendous impact on the amount of available workers in the United States workforce as Social Security is funded by payroll taxes. Retired boomers can maintain their standard of living with fewer benefits because they have saved more, have lower expenses, mortgages paid off, and lower taxes.

3. Less Competition 

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Back then, degrees were a new thing, and not many people had them, so there was less competition. With not many boomers having degrees, this made the job market less competitive and made it easier to get a job. Now, with so many people attending college and getting their degrees, the job markets are so competitive that even if you have a degree, sometimes it doesn’t matter – finding a job is much more difficult these days.

4. Benefit Plans

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Believe it or not, many boomers were able to have pension plans, which have become rare with new generations. Over several decades, employers have frozen or closed pensions, and instead have retirement savings, which puts more responsibility on the employee to work and save up for retirement.  Access to pension plans has dropped tremendously, and they aren’t making a comeback any time soon.

5. Easier Technology

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While technology continues to advance, Boomers never had so much technology to keep up with every year. Instead of so much technology boomers prefer newspaper ads, property auctions, offline dealings, and flyers. Boomers lived a life of simplicity, and adding so many different types of technology to keep up with just makes things much more difficult.

6. Affordable Education

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One thing is for certain, boomers sure didn’t have it as hard as our current generation does when it comes to education. Growing up, boomers had access to an affordable education or even a free education at that. And if you want to talk about student loans, they were less of a burden and easier to pay off than they are today.

7. Political Climate Stability

Gun control concept. Young armed man holds pistol in hand in public place near high school.
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Even though there may have been tensions worldwide, retired boomers today grew up in a more stable political climate. In the West particularly, there was never an ongoing threat of worldwide unrest or a potential terrorist attack. Now, more generations, especially millennials, are more aware of how the government operates and its distractions.

8. Cultural Shifts

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Regarding the boomer generation, they experienced some of the most significant cultural shifts that remained in their favor. Everything beginning from the Civil Rights era to the revolution of sexuality created a more inclusive environment. Although they didn’t contribute much to the society changes, they absolutely consumed them and identified with them, whether they kept it in secret or in the open.

9. Economic Prosperity

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After World War II, there was significant economic growth which gave Boomers a lot of job opportunities and increased mobility. This is where boomers got their name, from the “baby boom” as more were returning home and wishing to start a family. The GI Bill gave boomers great pay, great jobs, and affordable homes that made it possible to raise a family and help the economy.

10. Career Choices

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Where do we even start with career choices, because Boomers had so many job opportunities to pick from. As a boomer, you could get a job down the local grocery store and still afford to purchase a home, without the need of getting a second or third job. Now, even if you find a suitable job position, you’ve mostly likely considered a side hustle at some point just to manage getting by.

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