Gen Xers, the next generation of retirees, are reporting the highest levels of financial stress.
Not having enough emergency savings for unexpected expenses and not being able to retire as planned are the top two impediments to financial and retirement wellbeing, according to a recent PwC survey of working Americans adults.
Generationally, a majority of Baby Boomers (54 percent) said they are most concerned about being able to retire when they want to. Not having enough emergency savings is the top concern for Gen Xers (48 percent) and Millennials (58 percent). Gen Xers, too, are more likely than Baby Boomers and Millennials to worry about being able to meet monthly expenses.
Gen Xers, the next generation of retirees, are reporting the highest levels of financial stress, the survey finds. Six-in-ten (62 percent) find dealing with their current financial situation stressful, compared with 45 percent of Baby Boomers and 49 percent of Millennials. A majority (55 percent) of Gen X employees said that their stress level related to financial issues has increased over the past year compared with 35 percent of Baby Boomers and 47 percent of their younger counterparts.
They are also the most likely to report that personal finances distract them at work (32 percent vs. 19 percent of Millennials and 16 percent of Baby Boomers).
The distractions appear to be many. Gen Xers, the survey finds, are the most likely to find it difficult to meet their household expenses on time each month and are the most likely to consistently carry balances on their credit cards. “They appear to be the generation that is ‘stretched the thinnest’ dealing with competing financial priorities,” the report states.
· 67 percent have dependent children and 54 percent plan to fund their education expenses
· 84 percent who own their home have a mortgage and 34 percent report that the outstanding balance is greater than the home’s current value
· Moren than one-fourth (26 percent) provide care for parents or in-laws and 24 percent provide financial support.
As a result, while nearly three-fourths (73 percent) of all employees surveyed report they are saving for retirement (up from 67 percent last year), Gen Xers are the most likely to say that they have already withdrawn money from their retirement plans for other expenses. They are also more likely than Baby Boomers and Millennials to say that it is likely they will need to do so.
A Spectrem’s Millionaire Corner wealth level study of Main Street investors with a net worth between $100,000 and $1 million (not including primary residence) found similar financial stressors among Gen X respondents. They were most likely to report their primary financial concerns are being able to retire when they want to and financing the education of their children. They are also the most likely to be concerned they are not getting adequate help and advice to help them reach their financial goals.
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.