GenX Doesn't See Retirement in Its Future

Less than one-third (31%) of GenXers polled believe they will one day be able to fully retire.

A new survey commissioned by Scottrade and BetterInvesting found that found 43% of GenXers (ages 27-42) polled reported they feel they will never be able to retire fully, and 26% are unsure about their ability to ever retire. One reason for this bleak outlook is GenX’s belief that Social Security will not be around.

Forty percent of GenX respondents said they are saving more today because they worry they cannot count on Social Security, though almost all (87%) believe they deserve benefits from Social Security, the study found.

Less than half (40%) currently have less than $25,000 saved for retirement, 21% have not started saving, and 21% are not sure how much they have saved. About one-quarter (24%) are not sure how much they want to have saved by the time they retire, while 37% have high expectations and want to have $1,000,000 to over $5,000,000 personally saved for retirement.

The survey found the most common retirement vehicles for GenX are 401(k)s, individual retirement accounts (IRAs), and general savings accounts dedicated to retirement.

The survey results indicated GenXers are not just “sitting on their laurels” and doing nothing about their concerns. Compared to other age groups surveyed, GenX is saving more and spending less, and a larger proportion of them are paying down debts and curbing credit card usage.

To reduce financial concerns, 62% of GenX respondents said they are spending less, compared to 59% of overall respondents. Sixty-one percent indicated they are paying down their debts, versus 49% of respondents overall. Only 11% of GenXers said they are taking no action to reduce financial concerns, while 17% of the general survey population said the same.

The Scottrade/BetterInvesting 2008 American Retirement Study polled 1,000 Americans 18 years of age or older in early January 2008.