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Your Financial Life
By Catherine Collinson / Aug 3, 2016

Generation X: Time to Get Serious About Your Retirement

gen-x-get-serious-about-retirement Generation Xers started turning 50 last year, an age when it becomes even more important to save, plan, and prepare for retirement. A 2015 survey of workers by nonprofit Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies® reveals some alarming findings about GenXers and their retirement preparations Forty-five percent of Generation X workers prefer not to think about or concern themselves with retirement investing until they get closer to their retirement date, up from 35 percent in 2011. GenXers are now turning age 50 and retirement is on the horizon – they simply cannot afford to wait or procrastinate. Now is the time for them to fully engage. But why don’t we hear about GenX more often? It’s unfortunately true that GenXers have become lost in the news. Upon a quick Google search, the term Millennials generated six times as many hits as Generation X. Generation X is becoming an invisible generation – despite the fact that they represent around 50 million Americans. We need to do everything we can to increase awareness of their situation. Generation X is in their sandwich years – raising children, juggling their careers, and some are even looking after aging parents. They’re also still recovering from the Great Recession. The survey found that one in four GenXers say that they have either not yet begun to recover or may never recover from the Great Recession. In short, they have their hands full. Where does Generation X stand in terms of their retirement savings? The total household retirement savings for Generation X workers is $61,000 (estimated median), which is in stark contrast to the $1,000,000 that GenXers estimate that they’ll need to save. What can Generation X do to get on track? The great news is that GenXers still have time to substantially improve their retirement outlook; however, it requires taking action now. Now is the time for Generation X to get laser-focused on planning, saving, and investing for retirement. Three things that they can do:

  1. Take a hard look at where they stand right now – and calculate how much they still need to save before retirement. Seek professional assistance if needed.
  2. Find ways to save more in their 401(k) or other employer-sponsored plans or save outside of work. As they turn 50, they are also able to save more through Catch-Up Contributions.
  3. Keep job skills up to date – which can increase earning power and marketability in today’s environment

For more tips and information, visit www.transamericacenter.org. To listen to the podcast, please click here. Catherine Collinson serves as president of Transamerica Institute® and Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies®, and is a retirement and market trends expert and champion for Americans who are at risk of not achieving a financially secure retirement. Catherine oversees all research, publications and outreach initiatives, including the Annual Transamerica Retirement Survey. She also serves as the executive director of Aegon Center for Longevity and Retirement. Transamerica Institute® is a nonprofit, private foundation dedicated to identifying, researching and educating the public about retirement, health coverage, and other relevant financial issues facing Americans today. Transamerica Institute comprises two divisions: Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies® and Transamerica Center for Health Studies®. Transamerica Institute is funded by contributions from Transamerica Life Insurance Company and its affiliates and may receive funds from unaffiliated third parties. For more information about the Institute, please refer to www.transamericainstitute.org   TAGX0716