Lost in the mass media focus on the Baby Boomers retiring is Generation X, the generation that follows. Depending on how they are defined, it’s the people born between 1965 and 1985 (age 23 to 43). I’ve written about them before, Not my generation that nobody seems to want. The "nobody" referred to are financial advisers who don’t seem to want them as clients.
And like the Boomers, Gen Xers also worry about their retirement prospects. But a new survey suggests Generation X is even more pessimistic. According to the survey published by Scottrade and BetterInvesting, over two-thirds of Americans aged aged 27 to 42 don’t think they will ever be able to stop working. This is in contrast to more than the 64% of respondents aged 55 to 64 who said they could retire and not worry, even though this group is much closer to retirement age.
Michael Rubin, a CPA and CFP, comments upon this survey on his blog, Beyond Paycheck to Paycheck, in his post, Retirement for Gen X: Black Hole or Perfect Storm? The analogies are those of Chris X. Moloney, Scottrade’s chief marketing officer, who commented upon the study when he said
Gen X is in the middle of a ‘retirement perfect storm’ of very high expectations, low retirement savings and massive concern about the future of Social Security. It’s a black hole to them.
Mr. Rubin is an optimist. He says
I like the black hole analogy. But I’m glad we know about it now, when we can still do something about it.
Rachel is another optimist. She describes herself as "27 and working towards extremely early retirement". Writing on her blog, Working for Rachel, she discusses the differences in the workplace causing The Financial Generation Gap. She writes
I’ve painted a grim picture here, but I’m not complaining–I think I’ve accepted all of the facts above without resentment. I haven’t ever known the world to be any other way. I’m still a cockeyed optimist. I believe that younger people still have a good chance of getting out of debt, buying real estate, retiring comfortably, and even retiring early. But for our generation, financial security requires total independence and total responsibility. We are the only ones we can count on when it comes to our financial futures.
Youth isn’t wasted on the young.
Picture credit: Generation X, acrylic on linen, 30"x40" from Temple’s TangleWave Art Gallery.