‘Slacker’ Generation Struggling to Get Ready for Retirement

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When you are in university all the way up to you are into your 30s and 40s, the concept of retirement seems ages away. Many people simply don’t care; they’ll cope with the reality of being old if they even make it there.

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However, while previous generations have enjoyed a strong retirement through life planning, the infamous ‘slacker’ generation is nowhere near ready for the time to actually retire. 

Indeed, various investment firms, such as Fidelity Investments, have been looking into retirement readiness for Americans in general.

They found that the average US saver is likely to be “financially ready” for retirement. Indeed, Fidelity found that those who have been saving over the last 15 years should have around 83% of the cash that they need to handle retirement. 

However, in 2006, that was number was only 62%. The main reason why changes are happening comes from the simple fact that investors aren’t spending as much as they used to.

The Vice President of retirement and college for Fidelity Investments, Melissa Ridolfi, noted this as the main reason for improvement. They even found that the median savings rate is around 10% for people from all generations. 

However, the one generation that is noting a significant fall in recent years is that of Generation X.

A Worrying Trend

Gen X are people in the age range of 39-54 and are expected to have less than they need.

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In 2018, Fidelity found they had around 83% of their income; today it’s down 3% to around 80%. However, ‘boomers’ are up as high as 87%, with the often-maligned millennials sitting as high as 82%.

However, these are figures that are meant for those who are on track today if they keep saving, not that they have this much saved away already.

Other studies have noted that Gen X aren’t exactly ready for retirement, either. 

They found that there’s a 2% divide from Gen X to their boomer and millennial equivalents. While Gen X are saving only 8% of their income, the others are up at 10%. Indeed, many Gen X people aren’t saving up for retirement whatsoever.

Why, though? The main reasons put forward include paying for homes, helping kids pay for college, and medical expenses. They are the generation with the highest mortgage debt, too, with a whopping average of around $238k per person. 

Compare that to $222k for a millennial and $175k for a boomer, and it’s easy to see why they are the most challenged generational group financially. They also carry the burden of personal debt ($36,000 compared to $28,600 for boomers and $27,900 for millennials). 

So, these are people who are carrying a lot of debt and a lot of financial pressure. With so much to pay for and so little opportunity to get the funds together, is it really a surprise that Gen X are in a poor financial state?

Let’s hope solutions can be found before we have yet another financial time bomb to contend with. 

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Sam Marsdale

I have been writing for over 10 years. Most of them professionally. I love entertainment, money and the deals made between these two worlds. I also love telling stories, so I hope you enjoy.