DEFINITION of 'The Greatest Generation'

A term coined by onetime NBC Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw to describe Americans (or westerners) that were young adults during the World War II era. These folks were thought by many to be "great" as a result of the strife and turmoil they endured. In addition to prevailing against Hitler's great war machine, the WWII generation also suffered through the Great Depression. Also known as the G.I. Generation.

BREAKING DOWN 'The Greatest Generation'

Generally speaking the Greatest Generation are the parents of the "Baby Boomers". Their grandchildren are members of Generation X and Generation Y. Members of the greatest generation currently fall into the "retirees" demographic and are currently collecting social security benefits. The differences between generations have been extensively studied and socio-economic models have been created to help plan for future government expenditures and programs to plan for changes in current demographics.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Generation X (Gen-X)

    Generation X or Gen-X is the name given to the generation of ...
  2. Generation Gap

    The differences found between members of different generations. ...
  3. Millennial

    A name given to the generation born between 1982 and 2004. The ...
  4. Generational Accounting

    An accounting method that considers how current fiscal policies ...
  5. War Damage Insurance Corporation

    A government financial protection arm created during World War ...
  6. Baby Boomer

    A person who was born between 1946 and 1964. The baby boomer ...
Related Articles
  1. Retirement

    Managing Varied Generations In The Workplace

    With today's workforce made up of many different generations, here are some ways employers can help different generations work together more smoothly.
  2. Financial Advisor

    How GenLink Can Help Advisors Navigate Generations

    A new tool aims to help advisors bridge the generational gap.
  3. Retirement

    Here's How You Pay for Boomers’ Social Security

    Don't blame the Boomers for Social Security’s rumored demise by the time Gen X retires: The pay-as-you-go economic model has worked so far. Here's how.
  4. Financial Advisor

    How to Win Gen X Clients

    Less numerous than the two generations they're sandwiched between, Gen X clients will still be a lucrative group for advisors. Here's how to snag them.
  5. Insights

    Neil Howe: Millennial Generation Must Save The World

    The generation so many love to hate has a destiny, and it’s a big one.
  6. Managing Wealth

    Are Your Children Destroying Your Retirement?

    I can still remember the days when the term "generation gap" was all the rage, back in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
  7. Insights

    Who Are the Baby Boomers?

    Baby boomer is a descriptive term for a person who was born between the years 1946 and 1964.
  8. Financial Advisor

    Advisors: $240B in Fees Up for Grabs by 2030

    Advisors have an opportunity to win generational assets over the next 15 years. Here are some tips on how to cater to different demographics.
  9. Retirement

    How Baby Boomers Will Change The Way Others Retire

    Generation X and Generation Y still have many lessons to learn from their elders, including how to make the most of retirement in the 21st century. Find out what retirement trends baby boomers ...
  10. Investing

    Are Milliennals All About Responsible Investing?

    The hardest part about understanding money management styles is that generations don’t (or can’t) understand how other generations are able to justify their decisions.
RELATED FAQS
  1. What does the American Dream mean to different generations?

    Find out what has caused the American Dream to change radically from the Baby Boom generation to the members of Generation ... Read Answer >>
  2. How did World War II impact European GDP?

    Understand the effect of World War II on the European gross domestic product and what foreign and domestic factors influenced ... Read Answer >>
  3. Why does the IRS withhold income taxes from employee paychecks?

    In the midst of WWII, the U.S. government ran into trouble funding the war effort. The problem did not originate from citizens ... Read Answer >>
  4. What does "buy on the cannons, sell on the trumpets" mean?

    All the events and news that happen around the world can have a great impact on the stock market. Very often, if a war breaks ... Read Answer >>
  5. How long has the U.S. run fiscal deficits?

    Read about the history of deficit spending in the United States, dating back to 1789, and learn about then-Treasury of the ... Read Answer >>
  6. What was the Marshall Plan?

    The Marshall Plan was a U.S.-sponsored program implemented following the second world war to aid European countries that ... Read Answer >>
Hot Definitions
  1. 403(b) Plan

    A retirement plan for certain employees of public schools, tax-exempt organizations and certain ministers. Generally, retirement ...
  2. Master Of Business Administration - MBA

    A graduate degree achieved at a university or college that provides theoretical and practical training to help graduates ...
  3. Liquidity Event

    An event that allows initial investors in a company to cash out some or all of their ownership shares and is considered an ...
  4. Job Market

    A market in which employers search for employees and employees search for jobs. The job market is not a physical place as ...
  5. Yuppie

    Yuppie is a slang term denoting the market segment of young urban professionals. A yuppie is often characterized by youth, ...
  6. SEC Form 13F

    A filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), also known as the Information Required of Institutional Investment ...
Trading Center