It seems that a lot of issues in the news are defined generationally these days. But I’m not sure we’re always really clear about the generations they’re referring to…, other than our own generation that is!
See if the descriptor for your generation seems to fit or not.
Here’s a look at America’s generations…, who we were and who we are.
The Greatest Generation
92 years old+
Approximately 2 million
Tom Brokaw’s 1998 book declared the generation that persevered through America’s Great Depression and fought in World War II America’s “Greatest Generation.” These people believe in personal responsibility, humility, dignity and modesty. The society of their time held itself to a higher standard. They had a hard work ethic and took great pride in their work as well. “The Greatest Generation” saved everything and are considered very frugal.
For reference sake, the generation before “The Greatest Generation” was named “The Lost Generation.” They are truly lost. No one is believed to still be alive who were born in 1900 or before. The members of the Lost Generation saw the transition from the horse to the automobile. The Wright Brothers took the first airplane flight. As this generation was coming of age, millions of immigrants poured into the United States, searching for a better life. World War I had a tremendous influence on this generation. It lasted many years, and by the time it had ended, millions of men had been affected by the horrors of battle, and then there was The Great Depression. This generation developed a real skepticism where the government was concerned.
The Silent Generation
74 to 91 years old
Approximately 24 million
We don’t hear a lot about this generation, so I guess it’s aptly named. It’s known as the “silent generation” because children of this era were expected to be seen and not heard. Most of them are retired now, but they were hardworking. The silent generation brought the strong work ethic of their parents into the factories of industrialized society. They grew up during lean times, including the Great Depression and World War II. They consider work a privilege, and it shows. They’re considered the wealthiest generation. They believe you earn your own way through hard work and they think others should do the same.
55 to 73 years old
Approximately 74 million
“Boomers” also place a high value on their work ethic, and derive most of their self-worth from their work ethic. They live to work. They are competitive and goal oriented. They want to “make a difference” in the world.
38 to 54 years old
Approximately 66 million
As opposed to “Boomers,” “Xer’s” work to live. They value their independence and are driven by results. They tend to think more globally, adapt well to change, and are eager to learn. They place a high value on education and believe it is needed to succeed.
Generation Y (Millennials)
25 to 37 years old
Approximately 71 million
Millennials tend to be very transparent and share everything. They also desire to make an impact somehow. They are very conscious of fairness and right and wrong, and believe business should be handled ethically this way. They value diversity and the love technology. Millennials don’t perform at their best in a traditional work environment. Technology is at the heart of their problem solving and solutions.
Generation Z (Centennials)
1 to 24 years old
Approximately 90 million
The first generation to grow up entirely with modern technology. It is all second hand to them. They are accepting of others and socially transparent, yet individualistic and competitive. They like to “make things,” and they are entrepreneurial and have an inventive spirit. They consider themselves realists.
In 10 years or so, Generation Z, or “The Centennials” will be controlling the direction of the country.
Although, according to “The Centennials,” the world is supposed to end by this time due to climate change…, so we may have that going for us!
Either that, or we’ll be hearing more excuses and explanations from these “scientists” as to why we’re still here.
I’m willing to bet on the latter.
The more things change the more they stay the same.
There are more current generational issues that may affect us, however.
Julia Limitone of FOXBusiness askes, “Boomer homes to flood US market, but who will buy them?”
Obviously Generation X, Y and Zer’s.
“The U.S. housing market is on the verge of being inundated with homes for sale on a scale that hasn’t been seen since the housing bubble in the mid-2000s.”
“The tsunami [of homes] is being driven by a grim reality: Baby Boomers dying [and downsizing].”
“Four out of 10 U.S. homes are owned by residents age 60 or older, and five out of 10 by residents 55 or older, according to Zillow. Over the next two decades, more than a quarter, or roughly 21 million homes, are likely to be vacated. During the last housing bubble there were only 450,000 new home sales per year, on average.”
So, we’re talking roughly twice as many home becoming available over a given period of time.
The last “housing bubble” included a different set of circumstances, however. The last “housing bubble” was caused by speculative and risky real estate investment of properties other than peoples’ primary homes. Here we won’t have people going bankrupt…, we’ll just have people making less of a profit than they were anticipating, and Generation X, Y and Zer’s getting some nice deals on these properties.
It will be far from a “housing market collapse,” or anything of that nature.
Plus people will start to anticipate the potential of these situations to affect their investments, and adjustments will be made gradually over the next 20 years.
The “journalistic know-it-alls” love to sound alarms, in this case about the economy and the real estate market, while most of them are still living and working out of their parent’s home, or sharing an apartment with two other “know-it-alls!”
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