To no surprise, an overwhelming number of Baby Boomers and Gen Xers agree there is a retirement crisis, and similarly, both groups say the 2008 financial collapse hit home hard. And yet both generations also agree that its been harder for Gen Xers to keep a job or plan for successful retirement.
Although that may seem disheartening, employers should know that a vast majority in both age groups still believe in the critical importance of building financial security for their golden years (94% of Gen Xers and 95% of boomers).
Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America commissioned the Allianz Generations Apart Study to better understand the challenges facing boomers (ages 49-67) and Gen Xers (ages 35-48) as they prepare for retirement.
Suffocating under large loans with little savings, the majority Gen Xers admitted to getting bogged down with uncertainty when planning for retirement (64% versus 43% of boomers), believing it is useless to plan for retirement when everything is so uncertain (44% versus 31% of boomers) and feeling that they will never have enough money to stop working (68% versus 43% of boomers).
Gen X have come to believe the traditional definition of retirement is a romantic fantasy of the past, with more than 8 in 10 who participated in the study saying that a retirement starting at age 65 spent doing what you want is unrealistic.
Its been widely reported that baby boomers are worried about their retirement, but the financial planning and retirement concerns of Generation X have gotten less attention, said Katie Libbe, Allianz Life vice president of Consumer Insights. While our study confirms that many boomers still lack confidence about their future, it reveals alarming realities about the significant angst and pessimism Gen X feels regarding the current and future state of their finances.
Despite some pretty glaring concerns about their financial situations and prospect for a comfortable retirement, both generations are surprisingly relaxed about planning for their financial futures. More than half of boomers (65%) and Gen Xers (53%) said they just have this feeling that everythings going to work out.
The disconnect between planning and expectations from both generations is concerning, but its clear the financial services industry needs to provide more resources and support for Gen X, added Libbe.
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