Generation X and Their Retirement
People in Generation X (those in their 30s and 40s) have solid reasons to be stressed out about their financial futures. Many are saddled with debt, have not saved as much as they should have for retirement, and perhaps were underemployed during recent economic downturns.
The worries of many Gen Xers regarding their retirements is evident in a recent survey by the Insured Retirement Institute (IRI), and the statistics are sobering.
35% of Gen Xers report having more trouble in the past year paying their mortgage or rent.
13% of them withdrew funds from a 401(k) prematurely from a retirement account over the past year, while 18% stopped contributing to one.
58% of Gen Xers believe they will retire at age 65 or later, and 24% think they'll work until at least age 70.
Only 24% are confident that they'll have enough money with which to live comfortably in retirement.
41% see themselves as not very knowledgeable or not at all knowledgeable about investing.
56% have less than $100,000 socked away for retirement.
These are troubling numbers, there are no doubts. Anyone struggling to pay for housing is not likely to be able to save money for retirement -- not to mention for college or other needs.
Clearly, this is not an ideal situation for people in their 30s and 40s. But the picture is not completely bleak.
Reasons to be hopeful
Gen Xers have many options and one key edge: time. Even if they're one of the oldest Gen Xers, roughly 50 years old, they may still have 15 or more years in which to save aggressively and invest effectively.
If you have 15 years until retirement and you put away $8,000 per year in an IRA, 401(k), or other account, and you earn the stock market's long-term average annual return of close to 10%, which equates to about $280,000, a handy amount, and if you can do so for 20 years, you might end up with $504,000!
A smart move for Gen Xers (and anyone else for that matter) worried about their financial future is to take the time to draft a retirement saving plan, estimating how much you'll need to amass, how you'll do so, how you'll spend money in retirement, and so on. Speaking with a financial advisor on the subject is also good advice for anyone.
No matter what your current financial situation is, with a little planning, your retirement years are still there for you, and they can be blissful.
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