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Why People In Their Early Thirties Are So Poor

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Photographed by Alexandra Gavillet.
You won't need reminding that previous generations had it better than twenty and thirtysomethings in economic terms. What with the unavoidable coverage of the great recession that tainted our formative years, and all that.

Unfortunately another new report hammers home the sad reality.

If you're in your early 30s, you're half as wealthy as people in their 40s were at the same age, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS).

The average wealth of someone born in the early 1980s is £27,000 – roughly half of the £53,000 1970s babies had at the same age, the report said.

This means those born in the early 1980s are the first generation since the war not to enjoy higher early-adulthood incomes than those born in the previous decade.

The IFS said this was due to stagnant wages and "the fact that the Great Recession hit the pay and employment of young adults the hardest". Tell us something we don't know.

Rates of home ownership are also lower among current 30-somethings compared to previous post-war generations, the report found.

Just 40% of those born in the early 1980s own a home, compared to more than half (55%) of people born between the 1940s and 1970s.

Unfortunately the outlook for current thirtysomethings doesn't look promising either.

It's also going to be more difficult for them to build up wealth in housing and pensions as they get older, according to Andrew Hood, the report's author.

He said: "They have much lower homeownership rates in early adulthood than any other post-war cohort, and - outside the public sector - have much less access to generous defined benefit pension schemes than previous generations did at the same age," reported the BBC.

Considering that thirtysomethings are likely to live longer than previous generations, this is very worrying indeed.

Housing charity Shelter, which regularly highlights the problems facing "generation rent", said it wasn't surprised by the IfS study.

Campbell Robb, the charity's chief executive, said: "With sky high house prices so out of step with average wages, it's no wonder a whole generation are being priced out of a home of their own and left with no choice but expensive, unstable private renting," reported the BBC.

With statistics like these, it's no surprise the under 30s are living in "suspended adulthood". They know what's coming.
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