The recovery from the economic crisis officially began in 2009, but many Americans ages 55 to 64 may have a tough time using the word "recovered." That age group has been hit hardest of all, with the median household income dropping 9.7% over the past three years to $55,748 from $61,716, reports the New York Times. Much of that decline comes from prolonged unemployment, as older workers who lose their jobs tend to have a much harder time getting new ones—which are often accompanied by a lower salary.
"I was laid off in '08, and I never really managed to get back into the job market," says a 62-year-old woman in Florida who was forced to accelerate her plans to apply for Social Security. "I've pretty much gone through my savings at this point. It all just kind of went poof." Young people have also suffered, with those 25 to 34 losing 8.9% of their median incomes over the past three years and those under 25 seeing a 6.1% drop. Those 35 to 44 and 45 to 54 have fared slightly better, with 4.5% and 3.8% drops, respectively. And the over-65 group has actually seen its median income increase, possibly because more are deferring retirement.