The New 30-Something

In Economy, Social Security and Retirement On

It’s the financial riddle of the 30-something years. How does anyone, even those with a stable, upwardly mobile job, let alone a family, afford to live in places like New York City, Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco or Washington, D. C.?

The answer: Many are bankrolled, to varying degrees, by their parents.

Hold the eye roll and exasperation about millennials and their failure to launch or the gushing of financial resentment for a moment, and consider the unforgiving economics of trying to make it in this country today. Wages have stagnated, while real-estate, medical and child care costs have skyrocketed. As one economic analysis concluded recently: “For Americans under the age of 40, the 21st century has resembled one long recession.”

Kimberly Palmer, a personal finance expert for NerdWallet, a consumer finance company and app based in San Francisco, said, “A lot of 30-somethings are still getting financial help from their parents, if they are lucky enough to take advantage of it. Incomes today are lower than they were for Gen Xers and boomers at the same point in their lives. Plus, many of the millennials graduated into the recession, and when you hit your 30s, there are a lot of lifestyle changes and expenses, like having kids, getting married and buying a house.”

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