Gen X won’t be overlooked by financial industry for long

Posted On August 22, 2019

As the Baby Boomers enter retirement and millennials are now the largest segment of the workforce and the consumer base, we’ve noted before that Generation X has somewhat of a middle child syndrome.

This might seem particularly true in the financial industry, where Boomers essentially built the industry as we currently know it, and millennials are the group that seems to have grabbed its attention as investors.

That leaves a generation in the middle that, despite being in its peak earning years, has gotten less attention from the financial industry despite likely needing it the most, according to a story earlier this year in Forbes.

But Forbes contributor Megan Gorman notes that Gen-Xers don’t consider themselves forgotten. “Rather,” Gorman writes, “They see themselves as a key connector in helping the generations around them.”

Their kids are entering college. Their parents are, or will soon be, in need of care. While they are helping educate one generation and care for another, that leaves little left for savings for many Gen Xers.

Unfortunately, Gorman sees much Gen X financial planning as “post-Boomer” or “pre-millennial,” and not focused specifically on Gen X’s unique attributes – like the emphasis on self-sufficiency that they’ve carried with them from their days as latchkey kids.

Gorman blames this partly on the relatively “simple financial life” of many Gen-Xers – a home and a 401k – which doesn’t move the needle for financial planners looking for clients with liquid assets ready to invest.

But while they may be content to watch from the sidelines for now, Gen-xers’ time is coming. According to Pew Research Center estimates, they’ll overtake Boomers in terms of population by 2028. And as they edge closer to retirement themselves, they’ll demand more attention in the financial industry.

As Gorman notes, the industry would be wise to get ready for them. Now wouldn’t be a bad time to start.

Categories: Financial Services, Generation X, Retirement