posted at 06:51
Author: Businessweek
Americas richest generation got really, really lucky
There's one group that's doing better than ever: old people. As of 2013, people 75 and older had a median family net worth of almost $195,000 in constant 2013 dollars, up from $131,000 in 1989, Federal Reserve data show. In 1959, people 65 and older had a higher rate of poverty than any other age group in the country. Many of the oldest Americans, born between 1928 and 1945, are members of the so-called Silent Generation, a term coined by Time magazine in 1951 to describe the group of people then coming of age, who were "Working fairly hard and saying almost nothing." In many ways they are the forgotten, middle child of the 20th century: younger than the Greatest Generation, who fought in World War II, yet older, and much fewer in number, than the 80 million baby boomers born between 1946 and 1964. Still, the Silent Generation has been in the sweet spot of America's economy for half a century. That's helped make them "The richest old generation we've ever seen," says William Emmons, a senior economic adviser at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. People immediately behind - including many baby boomers and most of Generation X - have seen their wealth dip significantly since the recession. Old people might be rich, but their big-spending years are behind them.

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