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Weighed down by debt, millennials still playing catch-up to Gen X

Weighed down by student debt, millennials are in worse shape financially than Gen Xers were at same age.

The first generation to come of age in the new millennium is doing so with less cash and more debt than Gen-Xers had at the same age. That's according to research from the St. Louis Fed, which analyzed household assets and debt to compare millennial households' finances in 2016 to those of Gen X in 2001.

A millennial household in 2016 had an average net worth of $90,000, compared to an inflation-adjusted $130,000 for a Generation X household in 2001.

One glaring difference is how much the different generations had in home equity, with Gen X households holding an average $78,000 in home equity, while the millennial had $69,000.

Debt is a big concern, especially student loans. The average student loan debt owed by millennials was $14,700, compared with an inflation-adjusted $4,200 for Gen X, the researchers found.

One relative bright spot for millennials was retirement savings, as they have about $2,000 more socked away on average than Gen Xers had at the same age.

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