RITA RAAGAS DE RAMOS, FA-IQ: Many Generation Xers – the so-called sandwich generation – are not saving and investing as much as advisors believe they should. But that creates opportunities for advisors who know how to especially target this generation.
The Pew Research Center defines Gen Xers as those currently in the 39-to-54 age group.
This age group is referred to as the sandwich generation because they’re sandwiched between taking care of their children and their parents.
And advisors say many Gen Xers refuse to put themselves first, especially when it’s a choice between their own financial security and their children’s well-being.
Gerri Walsh, senior vice-president for investor education at Finra, says: “Many of them have aging parents with health issues that require their time, attention and money. But they also have children who are likely to be still financially dependent.”
It’s no surprise, therefore, that Gen Xers carry the most personal debt among the generations.
A Northwestern Mutual survey shows American adults have an average of $29,800 in personal debt, excluding mortgages. Gen Xers have significantly more personal debt — an average of $36,000.
Chantel Bonneau, a wealth Management advisor at Northwestern Mutual, explains how advisors can turn the challenges faced by Gen Xers into opportunities to gain new clients or get existing Gen X clients to save and invest more.
CHANTEL BONNEAU, WEALTH MANAGEMENT ADVISOR, NORTHWESTERN MUTUAL: I think the exciting thing with Gen X is that they are far enough along that we can really focus on what’s important to them and what their goals are, and what we have to work with. So, that demystifies a lot of the conversation because we’re really focused on clarity and what we can deliver. It starts to get a little bit more real to Gen X.
In my experience with a lot of millennials, we’re still talking hypothetically, or optimistically, which is a very exciting time. But with Gen X, usually they’re a little bit further along where they’re clear on: ‘Hey, how do I get to retirement? What might this look like for me? What are the things I can do now to better position myself?’
So as an advisor, I think that’s really the important part, digging in deeper to those questions and not trying to solve the perfect answer, but being realistic about what changes they can make now to impact this last 10, 15, 20 years that they’re going to be working.
RITA RAAGAS DE RAMOS: For Financial Advisor IQ, this is Rita Raagas De Ramos.