Happy couple on a beach

Four facts about
Gen X consumers 

Financial decisions can be complex, confusing and overwhelming for today’s consumers. Answers to questions such as, “How much should or can I defer? When can I retire? What’s a rollover? Which investments should I choose?” could have multiple solutions, options, risks and benefits. 

So how are consumers absorbing the information they need to make well-informed decisions? In Lincoln’s recent M.O.O.D. study*, we asked 2,266 consumers what keeps them up at night in terms of their personal financial situation. The Gen X population said they were most concerned about:

  • Healthcare expenses- 44%
  • Retirement planning – 38%
  • Debt – 38%
  • Job security – 33%
  • Longevity – 29%

Gen X consumers express high levels of anxiety over financial matters. Generally, younger generations are more concerned with the immediate impact of losing their income to job loss or disability, whereas taxes, inflation and long-term care concerns are heightened for older generations.

The same study group was then asked how they source advice for financial information. The Gen X population said they use the following sources for information:

  • 33% - online search
  • 31% - financial professional
  • 28% - spouse/significant other
  • 22% - a financial provider’s website
  • 22% - friends

Although Gen X investors require more professional advice, their preference for how they receive that advice may differ significantly from other generations. These research findings aren’t just interesting—they’re actionable.

Creating clarity

What Gen X is saying: “Understand me – I am an individual.”

Gen Xers have grown weary of one-size-fits-all solutions and want to know that their specific needs are understood and addressed.

How to prepare your practice for Gen X: Develop or promote a method for providing one-on-one advice to Gen Xers

What Gen X is saying: “It’s not just about retirement – understand all of me.”

Communicating with Gen X about retirement plans is more likely to be effective when done holistically, taking all of their decisions into account – not just retirement decisions.

How to prepare your practice for Gen X: Capture the complete financial and benefits picture of each Gen Xer.

What Gen X is saying: “Help me make good decisions.”

Gen Xers know they are not experts and want help making decisions about their near-term and longer-term needs.

How to prepare your practice for Gen X: Help them see the immediate and future benefits of your product offerings.

What Gen X is saying: “Make my decision process easier.”

Gen Xers are overwhelmed with the decisions they are being asked to make about retirement plans, healthcare, insurance needs, long-term care, etc.

How to prepare your practice for Gen X: Help Gen Xers prioritize their spending based on individual needs.

Key takeaways to grow and position your practice

  1. Understand the scope of your commitment
  2. Share your knowledge and demonstrate your value
  3. Make your team more attractive to the children of your current clients
  4. Embrace multi-generation strategies

*The annual Measuring Optimism, Outlook and Direction (M.O.O.D.) of America Survey presents an insightful cross-sectional view of Americans' attitudes and behaviors toward retirement, health, personal life, wealth and finances.