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Are you richer than your parents?

By Judy Martel · Bankrate.com
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Posted: 4 pm ET

One of the informal yardsticks of financial success is to ask whether you are better off than your parents. According to a recent survey, the answer depends on whether you're a man or woman.

Women make $1.17 for every $1 their mothers earned 30 years ago but men are making 10 cents per hour less than their fathers did back then. Those are the results of a study by Young Invincibles and Demos, which examined salaries of adults age 25 to 34 in 2010 and compared them to 1980 wages.

The study concludes that the decline in manufacturing and construction, two male-dominated industries, is partly to blame for the reduction in men's wages. In the meantime, workplace conditions have steadily improved for women.

Overall, young people feel like they're facing unique challenges, including 9-percent unemployment and high student debt, and think it's more difficult to reach the financial comfort levels their parents obtained. But it's worth remembering that in 1980, the U.S. was in a recession, suffering from 11-percent unemployment as well as double-digit mortgage interest rates.

Do you think you're financially better or worse off than the previous generation?

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1 Comment
December 21, 2011 at 1:50 pm

I make far more than my parents ever did. The reason? Because my parents sacrificed for me and made it possible for me to succeed.

They took an interest in my education. That is the problem now-a-days. Parents are quick to blame schools/teachers/governments for their childrens lack of education...but what are they doing to help their children learn? Education starts at home.