Most of my clients are Gen X women, and I can say that without a doubt, many of them are terrified. They are afraid that they don’t have enough money saved, scared that they’ll run out of money when they are old, and they are nervous that they are investing all wrong. These are not the women I am worried for. What terrifies me are the Gen X women who haven’t yet had this retirement wake up call at all. They are the ones who keep me up at night.
The last of the Xers are turning 40
According to the Social Security Administration, full retirement age for Gen X is 67. So if we assume that 67 is the age Xers are planning to retire (a big assumption), then the oldest of us will want to retire in 12 years, and the youngest in 27 (Gen X is generally agreed to have been born between 1965-1980.) No matter how you look at it, 12-27 years is not a substantial amount of time to amass a retirement nest egg. Only 65% of Xers have saved any money at all for retirement according to a recent study by the Employee Benefit Research Institute. I think you can see where this is going: as a group, Gen X is woefully behind in saving for retirement.
You may not be able to work as long as you think
Many women I meet with start by telling me right off the bat that they know they are behind in saving for retirement, and understand that they “will have to work until age 70”. Aside from the fact that you may not want to work that long, what if you can’t? Two thirds of elder care is provided by women, and age discrimination is very real. Working into your 70s isn’t always in your control.
You can save a substantial amount of money in 12-27 years
I titled this article “Wake Up Call” and not “It’s too late for you” because you can accomplish a lot in 12-27 years, but you need to be dedicated. You need to map out what you’ll need in retirement and backfill that to figure out how much you need to save, then you’ll need to set a budget and stick to it. This part is non-negotiable. It’s not late if you are dedicated to catching up.
Generation X women are the least confident in their financial future. Only 50% are somewhat or very confident they will have enough money to maintain their lifestyle through retirement. (Prudential Financial Experience & Behaviors Among Women, 2015). Taking a hard look at your finances now, and committing to getting ready for retirement can put you in the 50% who are confident and ready for retirement.
*The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.
*All investing involves risk including loss of principal. No strategy assures success or protects against loss.