Age is a significant factor in what personal concerns burden Gen Xers and baby boomers most, according to a new comparative demographic study conducted by Spectrem’s Millionaire Corner.
What is most worrisome to Gen Xers and baby boomers? Not surprisingly, age is a significant factor in what personal concerns burden them most, according to a new comparative demographic study conducted by Spectrem’s Millionaire Corner.
For example, nearly one-third of baby boomers (31 percent) express concerns about financing the education of their grandchildren vs. just 22 percent of Gen Xers. On the flip side, a majority (54 percent) of Gen Xers say they are concerned about financing the education of their children, compared with 27 percent of baby boomers.
While they are near-equally concerned about maintaining their financial position (65 percent of baby boomers and 61 percent of Gen Xers), nearly half of Gen Xers worry about either themselves or their spouse losing their job, compared with one-third of baby boomers. These attitudes might in part be a reflection of concerns about retirement readiness. Among Affluent investors surveyed by Spectrem’s Millionaire Corner, outliving one’s retirement savings is the biggest financial fear, while not having saved enough for retirement is the biggest financial regret.
If retirement is a concern to baby boomers, an estimated 100,000 of whom are turning 65 years-old daily, it is especially worrisome to many Gen Xers. A recent Financial Finesse report on retirement preparedness found that only 18 percent of those ages 30-44 are on track to reach their income replacement goal in retirement. In comparison, nearly half of baby boomers are on track.
Thus, 61 percent of Gen Xers surveyed by Spectrem’s Millionaire Corner said that they are concerned about being able to retire as planned vs. 51 percent of baby boomers.
Health issues, too, are for the most part, most keenly felt by baby boomers. Sixty percent express being concerned about their own health compared with 47 percent of Gen Xers, while nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of the former are concerned about the health of their spouse vs. 50 percent of the latter.
Tellingly, nearly half of baby boomers say they are concerned about having someone to care for them in their old age, while 52 percent of Gen Xers say that they are concerned about being responsible for their aging parents.
Though Gen Xers are more likely than baby boomers to identify themselves as self-directed investors (43 percent vs. 29 percent), meaning they make all of their own investment decisions by themselves, that doesn’t mean they are not open to professional advice. Nearly four-in-ten (37 percent) surveyed by Spectrem’s Millionaire Corner said they will use an advisor for specific needs such as retirement planning or asset allocation advice, compared with 33 percent of baby boomers. An equal percentage say that getting adequate help and advice to help them achieve their financial goals is a personal concern, compared with 29 percent of baby boomers.
Donald Liebenson writes news and features for Millionaire Corner. He has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, Fiscal Times, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, and other outlets. He has also served as a marketing writer for Chicago-based Questar Entertainment and distributor Baker & Taylor.
A graduate of the University of Southern California, he is married with a college-age son. He also writes extensively about entertainment.