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LIMRA Secure Retirement InstituteGenerations - Retirement - Slide 2 recently published a report examining popular generational labels and how they intersect with retirement attitudes. The Institute looked at Millennials (ages 18-35), Generation X (ages 36-51), Baby Boomers (ages 52-70) and Silent Generation (ages 71+). The research found two thirds of consumers think their generational label applies to them very or fairly well. The most commonly accepted generational labels are Millennial, Gen X, and Baby Boomer.

However, this research shows not all consumers identify with their generational labels. Many Millennial women and young Baby Boomers (ages 52-60) do not strongly relate to their generation names and are less likely than their peers to credit their generation with positive traits. Half of Millennial women don’t think the Millennial label applies to them. The Silent Generation identify with their label least with only 13 percent saying they identify with it.

When it comes to retirement, Institute research shows expectations vary greatly depending on consumers’ generations. Fifty-eight percent of Millennials have high expectations of retirement while only 39 percent of Gen X and 43 percent of non-retired Baby Boomers feel the same way.

SimilarGenerations - Retirement - Slide 1 to prior Institute research, this study reveals younger Baby Boomers and older Baby Boomers (ages 61-70) have different perceptions about their retirement. Today’s study shows that young Baby Boomers are less confident in retirement prospects than older Baby Boomers.  Less than half (44 percent) of young Baby Boomers are confident they will be able to live their desired retirement lifestyle versus 61 percent of older Baby Boomers.

The Institute’s report highlights that Millennial men have the highest expectations for their retirement lifestyle and are confident in achieving them. In comparison, Gen X women are the least likely to be confident in achieving their desired retirement lifestyles (six percent).

When it comes to saving and planning for retirement, six in 10 non-retired consumers say saving for retirement is a top priority. In general, men are more likely than women to make retirement saving a priority.  Two thirds of men agree saving for retirement is important compared with just 51 percent of women. Millennial men are the most engaged with their retirement saving — 71 percent of Millennial men say that saving for retirement is a top priority and 62 percent are very involved in monitoring or managing their retirement.

Most consumers anticipate significant changes in retirement for future generations. Eighty-three percent of retirees believe the retirement experience of their generation will look significantly different from those of future generations. Non-retirees agree: 7 in 10 believe their retirement will look significantly different from the retirement of current retirees. While most believe these changes will be negative, consumers are reporting some positives as well. Among some of the potential upsides mentioned are more time for younger generations to plan, better planning tools and the ability of technology to improve the quality of life in retirement.

Do you identify with your generation’s popular label? Do you share their sentiments on retirement? 

These results are based on a national survey of 1,686 U.S. adults completed in January 2017. LIMRA members who want to learn more about this topic and read the report, If the Shoe Fits: Generational Names and Retirement Attitudes.

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