Gen Xers DIY Finances Are Turning Into a DIY Don’t

If you are a Gen Xer, born between 1965 and 1980,  you research everything you buy, and I mean everything. So it makes sense that you should be able to manage your own retirement savings.

But that’s not the case, according to a recent article by Cam Marston, president of Generational Insights and author of “Motivating the ‘What’s In It for Me?’ Workforce” and “Generational Insights,” the only thing Gen Xers have proved adept at is doing little to prepare for the future.

While some Gen Xers have become successful DIY investors, most have not. As the article points out: “They bring an attitude of ‘I’ll figure this out someday when I have time, and then I’ll make some smart decisions that will catch me up.'” But that just isn’t true. It’s time for this generation to start looking to financial experts for help.

Gen Xers bring an attitude of “I’ll figure this out someday when I have time, and then I’ll make some smart decisions that will catch me up.” But that just isn’t true.

Gen Xers face a dilemma: They should be building assets for retirement at the very same time they are spending them. That’s a mistake Gen Xers will pay for a down the road, says Marston.

The 2014 study “The Retirement Readiness of Generation X“ by the Insured Retirement Institute shows in numbers the gap between what this generation thinks it can accomplish and reality. According to the report:

  • Gen Xers who work with a financial planner have saved a median of $90,400, which is twice that saved by Gen Xers who don’t.
  • More than four in 10 aren’t confident that they will have enough money to live comfortably in retirement.
  • Just one in nine say that they have high levels of knowledge about investing.
  • 77% of Gen Xers say they are not consulting a financial planner to help them plan for their retirement.

Additionally, a recent Cogent Research report finds that just over half of Gen Xers feel their financial advisor is not necessarily on their side, something their elders don’t agree with. There are much higher trust levels among older investors. But these “self-directed” investment decisions don’t seem to be panning out for most Gen Xers. The proof is in the above numbers. That means it may be time to put the DIY aside and reach out to an advisor or planner.

by Marvin H. Feldman

Marvin H. Feldman, CLU, ChFC, RFC, is president of the Feldman Financial Group in Palm Harbor, Fla., and president and CEO of Life Happens. He is a 41-year Million Dollar Round Table member and was the 2002 president. He is a 33-year member of the MDRT Top of the Table and a past Top of the Table chairman. He also is the recipient of the 2011 John Newton Russell award, the highest honor bestowed on an individual by the insurance industry.

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