New findings from the 2018 Insurance Barometer Study finds more Generation X (ages 38-53) consumers worry more about having a comfortable retirement and becoming disabled than Boomers. In addition, more than a third of Gen X consumers worry medical and long-term care expenses could undermine their financial security.
The 2018 Barometer Study finds more than half Gen X consumers are concerned that they will be able to have a comfortable retirement, compared with just a third of Boomers (ages 54-72). Nearly twice as many Gen X consumers are concerned about becoming disabled, compared with Boomers (45 percent vs. 23 percent).
Research shows Gen X consumers are less likely to have access to a defined benefit plan, which could contribute to their concern about their retirement security. While about half of Boomers enjoy a guaranteed income stream through a pension, more than two thirds of Gen X workers will be responsible for creating retirement income through their savings. It is not surprising that Gen X workers worry about the financial risks of becoming disabled, incurring medical or long-term care expense because these risks could undermine their efforts to save for retirement.
So much attention has been focused on Boomers and Millennials but Gen X offers a significant opportunity for financial advisors. LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute estimates that Gen X households have an average net worth of around $450,000 and have the time to growth that wealth over the next 10-20 years as their earnings peak. They are also expected to inherit a significant portion of the $52 trillion in financial and non-financial assets currently held by Americans over age 60.
The leading edge of Gen X have entered their 50s and – if they haven’t already – should be beginning to plan for retirement. Financial advisors should start to discuss developing a formal retirement plan, addressing Gen X consumers’ top concerns of protecting family income from risk of becoming disabled or incurring large medical expenses.
The formal retirement plan also can be a valuable tool to help Gen X clients develop a budget to manage debt, college expenses and developing an emergency fund while calculating the savings-gap for their desired lifestyle in retirement. LIMRA SRI research has found that those with a formal plan are far more likely to feel confident in their retirement outcomes.
This is a critical time for Gen X clients as they reach their peak income-earning years. Advisors can provide guidance on the best strategies to maximize their retirement savings and help them feel more confident in their future.