I want to keep this brief, so I'm just going to lay it all out there. Let's start with the current situation, look at how we got there, and finally I'll tell you what we can do about it. Here we go...
Gen X Realities
43% are behind on saving.
Gen X has more debt than any other generation.
63% believe “everything will just work out” regarding retirement.
53% think they’ll just “figure it out” when they get to retirement.
52% are just guessing at what their retirement number is.
37% believe they won’t be able to afford to retire.
Gen Xers tend to think they can’t start saving until debt is completely paid off.
69% admit they don’t know as much as they should about investing.
Gen Xers earn more than their parents but less than 50% have as much wealth accumulated as their parents did at the same age.
Gen Xers underestimate the power of compounding interest.
Every day Gen Xers have less and less time to change all of this.
Not Without Reason
Now I’m actually a Gen Xer myself, so I know we are a smart and resourceful generation. So what gives? There are some legitimate things going on that factor into the statistics above:
We’re the first generation to have expensive student loans to pay off while paying for our children’s increasingly-expensive education, even while wondering if they’ll be able to find a decent job when they graduate. Some of us even have expenses related to caring for our aging parents. Yet, at the same time, we need to be saving for our own retirement. It can feel impossible!
In today’s society, we feel the pressure of lifestyle demands in a way that no previous generation has and often feel that we can't afford to save. Besides the money factor, lack of time margin gets in the way too. We tend to be so busy that we just don't want to slow down and admit we might need some help.
We watched the tech boom become the tech bust, and the real estate boom turn into a worldwide financial crisis. In fact, as a generation we lost nearly 40% of our net worth between 2007 and 2010. That kind of loss can create uncertainty when it comes to the right ways to invest.
Countering that, the healthy markets of the last decade have given us a sense of security despite our lack of saving. We think that when we do start saving properly, it will be fairly easy, which can cause us to underestimate the time it will take to get to our retirement savings number.
It makes retirement seem almost unattainable, doesn’t it?
There Is Hope!
First, there are some practical and strategic steps we can take to put the wheels in motion to get you on track. Even if you are behind where you want to be, there is cause to be optimistic if you get help. Second, I am here to motivate you to do what needs to be done. People think, ‘Oh, I need to do that. I need to get a plan in place to make sure I’m on track.’ Yet without a motivator, it tends to stay on the “to do” list — without a checkmark beside it. We have great intentions, but all of the other daily pressures tend to win our time and focus.
But you can begin changing your reality today. There’s no reason to wait, and in fact, waiting only puts you at a disadvantage. It starts with a simple email to me or you can go ahead and schedule an introductory meeting with me here. Let’s get started today!
U.S. Census Bureau
Perspectives on Retirement: Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Millennials, 17th Annual Transamerica Retirement Survey of Workers - August 2016
Generations Ahead Study from Allianz Life - September 2017
Reality Still Bites for Generation X, U.S. News & World Report - December 2017
Why Gen Xers Shouldn't Go It Alone, U.S. News & World Report - February 2018