Economic worries cross generations

Fort Worth Star-TelegramOctober 19, 2008 

Whether they're Baby Boomers who've lost jobs, cash-strapped retirees or college graduates who are maxing out credit cards and trying to pay off loans, many people are being troubled by economic hard times.

Business and government are scrambling for solutions to the starkest financial crisis since the Great Depression, but no matter the fix, it's clear that millions of Americans could face underfunded retirements, tighter credit and longer working lives — provided that their jobs are still there.

"It's affected all those generations," said Baylor University finance professor Tom Potts.

"It's a big, big pond, and the ripples just keep on going," he said.

The situation will play out differently for each age group, and who’s worst off depends on the expert you consult.

Senior concerns

Alan Goldfarb, a University of Dallas personal-finance professor, says older folks may be the biggest losers.

"It's those who are in retirement, or within a year or two," Goldfarb said. "There's no question. You don't have time to make it up again."

Randy Guttery, who teaches personal financial planning at the University of North Texas, concurred.

"The older folks just don't have that luxury to reinvest," he said.

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