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Generation X

Financial Concerns

Generation X (born 1965 to 1978) entered the workforce in the late 1980s just as 401(k) plans were making their first appearance and defined benefit plans were beginning to disappear. Generation X workers are the first generation to have had access to 401(k) plans for the majority of their working careers; they have relatively high plan participation rates, but many should be saving more. For better or worse, some have taken loans and early withdrawals. Their retirement confidence is lacking and many are behind on their savings. However, they can still improve their long-term prospects by saving more, investing wisely, and engaging in retirement planning.

Seventy-seven percent of Generation X workers are saving for retirement in a company-sponsored 401(k) or similar plan and/or outside of the workplace. They started saving for retirement at age 30 (median). Among those who participate in a 401(k) or similar plan through their employer, they contribute eight percent (median) of their annual salaries. A concerning 32 percent of all Generation X workers have taken a loan, early withdrawal, and/or hardship withdrawal from their retirement account(s). Just one in seven (14 percent) have a written retirement strategy.

Generation X workers have saved $66,000 in all household retirement accounts (estimated median). Only 14 percent are “’very confident” that they will be able to fully retire with a comfortable lifestyle.

Collinson, Catherine, et al. “What Is ‘Retirement’? Three Generations Prepare for Older Age 19th Annual Transamerica Retirement Survey of Workers.” What Is “Retirement”? Three Generations Prepare for Older Age 19th Annual Transamerica Retirement Survey of Workers, Transamerica, Apr. 2019, Page 10-11.

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