Stock prices have nearly tripled since the depths of the financial crisis, and the unemployment rate has been almost halved. So you might think, nearly seven years on, that the stress of the financial crisis is behind us.
Not so fast.
Two-thirds of baby boomers and Generation X—67 percent, to be precise—report still feeling the effects of the financial crisis in their lives every day, from housing to the workplace to saving for retirement. (Tweet This)
Worse, one in five boomers and Gen Xers is experiencing post-crash skepticism, according to Allianz Life, which commissioned a study of the two cohorts. These people experienced at least six of 13 effects of the financial crisis, which include seeing their 401(k) lose value, losing their job and watching their house's value plummet. And it is still having a dramatic effect on their behavior.
These post-crash skeptics are far more cautious in everything from investing to homebuying, and they have been taking on more debt than the survey participants overall. In addition, 41 percent of them said they had stopped saving for retirement in the wake of the financial crisis, more than three times the average rate for boomers and Gen Xers generally.
"It kind of paralyzes them," said Katie Libbe, head of consumer insights at Allianz Life. "They are not behaving rationally. It's kind of like they've got this psychological stuff going on that has profoundly affected them in the past, so they are very, very worried about the future."