Don't listen to your parents on how hard they had it: The only thing they had more than you was money — and still do, according to a study conducted by the Pew Research Center.
"In 2009, households headed by adults ages 65 and older possessed 42 percent more median net worth (assets minus debt) than households headed by their same-aged counterparts had in 1984," Pew says in a statement on its findings.
"During this same period, the wealth of households headed by younger adults moved in the opposite direction. In 2009, households headed by adults younger than 35 had 68 percent less wealth than households of their same-aged counterparts had in 1984."
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So did the previous generation work harder? Were they more productive?
|(Associated Press photo)
Who knows? But the study cites real estate as the chief reason why older Americans harbor more net worth.
"Rising home equity has been the linchpin of the higher wealth of older households in 2009 compared with their counterparts in 1984. Declining home equity has been one factor in the lower wealth held by young households in 2009 compared with their counterparts in 1984."
Today, many homeowners are suffering, owing more on their properties than they are worth.
The Obama administration has announced changes to a government program to allow more homeowners current on their loans to refinance amid low interest rates.
The problem, experts say, is that measure does nothing to help those who are behind on their loans.
"I would call it much to do about nothing," says John Burns, head of John Burns Real Estate Consulting, according to CNNMoney.
"It will help in such a small way, it's almost meaningless."
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