When it comes to media coverage of the economy, the press isn’t exactly trying to reinvent the wheel. Following the high inflation caused by the pandemic, the media and older generations consistently blame the youth’s financial woes on frivolous spending habits; but younger generations are pointing their fingers right back at them.

According to a new survey by OnePoll on behalf of National Debt Relief, 65% of Gen Z and Millenials are concerned about baby boomers’ influence on their financial future. The survey polled 2,000 Americans, 500 from each of the four dominant generations (Boomer, Gen X, Millennial and Gen Z). As for the Boomers, 45% believe their generation’s financial decisions will at least somewhat impact the future of younger generations. 

Boomers are arguably the largest senior generation in our society as of yet.  “As they reach retirement age, there is a concern that the strain on government-funded programs like Social Security and Medicare may become unsustainable, potentially leaving younger generations to bear the financial burden of supporting these programs,” Jeff Biesman, chief marketing officer at National Debt Relief, wrote in a statement to Fortune

For Gen Z and Millennials, however, the state of the economy is not only a future concern with impacts already being felt. According to the poll, three-fourths of millennials and 82% of Gen Zers feel as though the current financial straits they’re in are partly due to boomers’ choices.
But Millennials and Gen Zers aren’t simply playing the blame game; 71% and 70% respectively admitted in the survey that they’re responsible for their money habits. But boomers have inherited a sweeter deal than their kids, and they now hold more than half the nation’s wealth

No wonder financial anxiety is elevated for Gen Zers and at a peak state for millennials to the point where they’re feeling depressed. While many do feel financially stable, some only feel that way because they’re dependent on their boomer parents for help. But boomers’ impact on younger generations’ financial futures can be positive—they’re set to provide a $72 trillion Great Wealth Transfer to their offspring, which could benefit millennials in the long run. 

The system implemented by older working generations has left millennials and Gen Zers in oversized student debt that impedes wealth building and saving up for retirement. In the housing world, many are simply struggling to afford rent, and those who have finally saved up enough to afford a place are now being outbid by boomers with all-cash offers. 

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