|By Charisse Jones, USA TODAY|
Generation X, closer to retirement than Millennials and only steps behind Baby Boomers, has serious doubts it can ever save enough to one day stop working, a new survey shows.
The study, commissioned by the insurance company Allianz Life, found that Gen X (ages 35 to 48) and Boomers (ages 49 to 67) shared some concerns about retirement: 84% of each group said stopping work at age 65 and retreating to a life of leisure is a bygone fantasy.
"Both generations feel that the traditional retirement, the walking on a beach and playing a lot of golf … is kind of falling by the wayside, and a new kind of retirement is emerging," says
But Gen X, many of whom are saddled with student loan debt and whose prime working years fell during the Great Recession, are far more doubtful about their financial future.
The survey of 2,000 respondents found that 68% of Gen Xers believe they will never have enough saved to quit working, compared with 43% of Boomers. And 67% of Gen Xers say the general financial targets considered necessary for retirement are just not realistic, compared with 49% of Boomers who feel the same.
"They're feeling overwhelmed," Libbe says, "and it's this feeling that's causing them a little bit of paralysis when they actually need to take action because they still have time to … turn things around."
Their concerns are understandable, she says. "Gen Xers lost more money in the Great Recession than other generations because they were just moving into their peak earnings years," she says. "They think, 'It's harder for me to keep a job, harder to get a job, harder to save money.' So it looks pretty dim."
Even Baby Boomers believe Generation X has a harder road to walk when it comes to planning for retirement, setting aside cash and staying employed. Among younger respondents, 85% of Gen Xers believed their generation had a more difficult time getting a job, and 73% of their older peers agreed.
Still, despite such worries, members of Gen X believe they will somehow manage. Among the younger group, 53% said they believe "everything's going to work out" when they finally retire, compared with 65% of Baby Boomers, and 46% of Gen Xers believe they will "just figure it out when I get there," vs. 36% of Boomers.
"There's more of a sense that they'll be 'going it alone' and not depending on
He finds his Gen X clients are aware of the need to have an emergency fund and be cautious with credit cards. And for many of them, retirement at 65 might not even be desirable.
"There's more a general sense of building a life that you don't have to retire from," Boudreaux says. "They're probably making some smarter consumption decisions too, maybe choosing to live in a smaller home and make some other trade-offs that require that they don't need as many financial resources to live a life they can be happy with."
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