Born between 1961 and 1981, older Generation X is turning the corner toward 50, as well as retirement. The question is, are they prepared? They are well-known for being cynical, yet entrepreneurial, individualistic, and super tech-savvy. But some fear that, soon, they will be known for something else – their total and complete lack of planning and preparation for retirement.
The youngest members of Generation X are about to turn 35. But, believe it or not, they are in big trouble. Compared with baby boomers, Generation X is less prepared for retirement. Although the clock is ticking, they are still not prepared for it.
One of the reasons is that Generation X is still paying the price for the recession. Every generation experienced loss in the Great Recession, but data shows that Generation Xers were the hardest hit. Boomers lost about 26 percent of their median net worth from 2007 to 2010, but Gen X lost nearly half of their wealth, about 45 percent. At this stage in their careers, Gen X continues to struggle to bounce back.
On another research which paints a dim picture of Gen X’s readiness. Compared with millennials and baby boomers, Gen X is less sure they will be able to retire comfortably, less confident in the size of their nest egg, and more than anyone else, believe they will have a harder time finding financial security in retirement than their parents did.
They also contribute to retirement plans less than either of the other two generations surveyed and are least likely to have some form of a retirement strategy. Additionally, they have employed the services of a financial adviser less often than baby boomers or even millennials.
“Gen X is in retirement jeopardy,” says Catherine Collinson, president of the organization that released the study. “At their age, they need to be more focused on saving and planning for retirement, but our research found that many have backed away from it.”
Despite being nicknamed “Generation Stress,” Generation X doesn’t seem very worried about retirement.
There are many potential reasons why Gen X is behind in their planning and saving for retirement, but it is surprising that they haven’t gotten themselves together, given their reputation for stress and anxiety. As retirement age looms closer and closer, Gen Xers would be wise to direct some of their tension toward preparing for this stage of life. The economic ups and downs haven’t made it any easier, but it is time to get going nonetheless