This rough and tumble economy is hurting everybody, but member of Generation X - in the mid 30's to mid 40's - are really taking it on the chin.

Several recent surveys find only a third of Gen X'ers have launched serious efforts to save for their retirement - because all of their money is going to pay current bills.

Rutgers economist James Hughes says when this generation began working, the economy was in great shape, "however since the new century unfolded a new normal has emerged- the job market is much tougher - now they are fully engaged in raising families, but they're enmeshed in an economy which provides much less security and much less options for moving up in the future."

He says another problem is "with gridlock in Washington, right now there is no solution to the long-term social security problem - and the problem facing Gen X's is - will there be any money left in the social security trust fund when that generation starts trying to draw down benefits…they're still at least 15 years away from being to draw partial social security - but in that next 15 years the baby boom is going to consume an awful lot of social security resources."

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Hughes points out this generation now faces a much more uncertain future with many lingering questions, " the question of retirement, the question of moving up in the job market , the question of taking care of parents , the question of educating their children…this is a new era for America, and this generation is bearing the brunt."