Original post date: 2/4/16
Generation X — long overlooked as a generational “middle child” between Boomers and Millennials — is waking up to the realities of retirement savings, according to a new report.
With the eldest members of Gen X turning 50, it’s little wonder that retirement finances are grabbing a larger share of their focus. However, while retirement is the top financial priority for most generations — including Generation X — Gen Xers feel the least prepared for retirement. Three-quarters of Gen Xers (who are aged 35-49 years) call retirement a financial priority, but 28% say it is the one financial priority they are least prepared to meet (versus 17% of Millennials, 14% of Boomers and 12% of Seniors), according to Scottrade, Inc.’s 2016 American Investor Report.
While investors in general are confident that they will have enough money when they retire, Generation X is far less confident than other generations that they will be able to make ends meet in retirement. Only one in five Gen Xers (19%) are extremely confident, compared with about one in three Baby Boomers (31%) and half of Millennials (48%) and Seniors (51%). The 2016 American Investor Report is based on research conducted online among 1,001 U.S. investors.
Not only do more than half of Generation X (56%) plan to work in retirement to supplement their income, they are also the most likely generation to say they want to work part-time in retirement (32%), compared with Millennials (18%), Boomers (23%) and Seniors (13%).
Most Millennials (82%), on the other hand, are saving money toward investment goals on a regular, scheduled basis throughout the year — far more consistently than their older counterparts. That said, nearly one in three Millennials (30%) say educational expenses are the financial priority they feel least prepared to cover and the leading factor that would delay their retirement plans (34%).
While retirement is the top financial priority for investors (more than two-thirds of investors overall say saving for retirement is a top priority), a strong majority (84%) feels well prepared for their golden years. Four in 10 Millennials (42%) cite retirement as a financial priority, compared with more than 7 in 10 of those 35 and older.
The #1 reason to push back retirement? Health care. Not surprisingly, it’s a financial priority, but it also happens to be one of the major areas where they are least ready to absorb the financial drain (40% are least prepared to cover long-term caregiving, and 33% are least prepared for health care expenses). An unplanned illness — and the need to continue health benefits coverage — is the #1 reason investors would put off saving for retirement.