BUSINESS
01/19/2011 10:33 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

For Late Boomers, The Recession Hit Harder

Not the youngest, nor the oldest, but the people right in the middle are having a tough time dusting themselves off from the recession.

Research from Mintel, a market research firm, found that many younger Baby Boomers and older Gen Xers are spending less now, plan to spend less in the future and are more worried about their retirement than they have ever been.

Nearly half of this group, in comparison to one third of the entire population, say they "have only been spending money on necessities." And they're set on spending more conservatively down the road. More than half -- 51 percent, compared to 44 percent of the whole population -- say they plan to buy less unnecessary "stuff" in the future.

One reason younger boomers are being frugal may be because more people depend on them. According to Susan Menke, vice president and behavioral economist at Mintel:

"This is the 'sandwich' generation, burdened with educational expenses for their kids and, for some, healthcare costs for aging parents."


In an earlier report, the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College found that late baby boomers are the worst off in terms of retirement security. Carla Fried, reporting on retirement for CBS's Money Watch, explains why younger boomers will have fewer assets to support them during retirement than older and younger generations:

"We entered the work force too late to fully take advantage of the mega bull run from 1982-2000, and now we're so old we don't have as much time as Gen X to make up for lost 401(k) balances."

Many Baby Boomers, not just the youngest, are also concerned about the future of healthcare. According to a December Associated Press-GfK poll, 43 percent of boomers don't think they will be able to depend on Medicare forever.