Did You Read the “New Midlife Crisis” Essay?

Photo credit: Tom Taker, CC BY 2.0.

Today in “why Gen-X is financially doomed,” we go to Ada Calhoun’s essay “The New Midlife Crisis: Why (and How) It’s Hitting Gen-X Women.”

Calhoun’s essay includes this memorable (and shareable) phrase:

Is it any wonder that women our age possess a bone-deep, almost hallucinatory panic about money?

I’m not even a Gen-Xer and I feel it. It’s not quite a panic for me, since I’m not the panicking type, but maybe a bone-deep worry. Or… the thought that’s always there, even when I’m thinking other thoughts.

Although Calhoun notes that some aspects of this particular midlife crisis can be attributed to cultural changes and all of the additional opportunities/responsibilities Gen-X women have taken on, a lot of it comes right down to money:

The cost of a home has increased by more than 80 percent from 1970 to 2000, the last year for which data is available. (Between 2000 and 2005 and since 2013, home prices have outpaced salary growth.) In the late ’70s annual tuition for a four-year college was less than $11,000 in today’s dollars, now it’s three times that. Which helps explain why 40-somethings haven’t saved nearly enough for retirement. More than half of unmarried Gen Xers have less than $50,000 saved. When a woman takes time off to care for a sick relative—and it is usually the woman who takes time off—the potential cost in terms of lost wages and Social Security benefits averages $324,000 over her lifetime.

Read the whole thing, and let us know if any of it resonates with you. Even if you aren’t Gen-X, and even if you aren’t a woman. I feel as if this bone-deep anxiety applies to so many of us, these days.

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