I was born on the cusp between Generation X and Generation Y (a.k.a. the Millenials). As a member of the middle-child demographic recently dubbed Generation Catalano, I have some insight into how members of both of these generations view retirement. And I have to say, it isn’t pretty.
Pessimism and the American Dream
According to the results of a spring 2011 Gallup poll, confidence in the American dream is faltering. Defined by Gallup as the opportunity for each generation to earn a better life than previous generations, the data show that indeed, the American dream appears to be slipping away.
All of us living in the last half can benefit from a portrait of the oldest among us. We can’t foresee an individual life, but we can guide ourselves more clearly if we know some averages or trends that describe our oldest brothers and sisters.
In November, 2011, the Census Bureau published a new report entitled: “90+ in the United States: 2006-2008,” in which it characterizes this oldest segment of the U.S. population. (PDF here)
The generation 90 and over is small. There were about 1.8 million (mm) people 90 and over during 2006-2008, which was about 0.6% of the total US population. About 1.55mm (88%) are white. Women far outnumber men: there are about 1.3mm women, and about 0.46mm men—almost a 3 to 1 ratio.