The New Retirement Realities for Generations X and Y

Here's how to overcome big financial obstacles to help create a path to happy retirement.

Young adults like us face tough financial realities today. For example, 10% of 2008 college graduates left school with $40,000 or more in student debt, and paying it off is harder than ever. Get this: The median income for 25- to 34-year-olds in 2009 was $50,199 -- 7.6% lower than it was in 1999, after adjusting for inflation.

And I’m here to warn you that other trends add up to even more financial challenges in the future. But should we give up hope that we’ll ever retire comfortably? Heck no. Quite the opposite: Those of us who accept these unfortunate economic realities now can take control of our finances and overcome hurdles we’ll surely encounter in the future. Here are three challenges that Generations X and Y may face in retirement and how we can deal with them:

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Stacy Rapacon
Online Editor,

Rapacon joined Kiplinger in October 2007 as a reporter with Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine and became an online editor for in June 2010. She previously served as editor of the "Starting Out" column, focusing on personal finance advice for people in their twenties and thirties.

Before joining Kiplinger, Rapacon worked as a senior research associate at b2b publishing house Judy Diamond Associates. She holds a B.A. degree in English from the George Washington University.