Audience of Gen Xers: Yaa – wait, what’d he say?
Bill over here at Bourke Accounting randomly gives me interesting articles. Yesterday, he gave me one that hit close to home. This one was from The Week (2/14/20 edition) entitled “Slacking on Retirement.” The plight of the non-retirement saving Gen Xer was exposed in less than two paragraphs, but the repercussions are far more wide-reaching, I’m sorry to say.
First off, if you didn’t know, Generation X encompasses everyone born between 1965 and 1980. Gen X was known for stripped down music, social consciousness, a loveless relationship with materialism and, yes, slamming pieces of metal into places they weren’t intended. We questioned our parents’ life choices and were left cold by the idea of cubicle work. And, I must admit, the “slacker” stereotype seems to be haunting us, still.
According to Fool.com, “50% of Gen Xers don’t have a retirement saving account.” What’s more, the 13% who do have one don’t contribute to it. However, this is not just a simple matter of slackers being slackers. While this generation does work, there are other obstacles standing in the way of viable retirement plans. These obstacles are, most notably, “inadequate income…housing costs, supporting other family members and health care” (Marketwatch.com). Furthermore, some are trying to put kids through college while also taking care of aging parents. We have to ask ourselves: did we wait too long to start planning?
Yes. Yes, we did. A scary concept is that a lot of Gen Xers are vaguely planning on living off Social Security when they retire. Cool story, but Social Security is “reportedly on track to be depleted by 2034” (Forbes.com). Which is probably why “more than half of Generation X plans to work in retirement” (Marketwatch.com). This, of course, is probably going to prove a hardship to the generations coming up. I’m not suggesting that we of the healing nose ring scars should move out of the way because, really, we can’t. Sorry, Millennials.
So, what do we do? We start saving now. It’s going to be a quick and dirty mad dash to retirement, but it’s our only choice. Does your company have a 401(k)? Utilize that. Can you cut corners regarding purchases? Cut away, brethren, cut away. It’s a little late in the day, but Money.com suggests putting money into the stock market. While this is generally meant for younger workers, as “even if there is an economic downturn there will be plenty of time” (Money.com) for investments to grow, it could work for us, too. Some of us are looking at 20 plus years more of employment, after all.
A lot of us Gen Xers messed up, but it’s not too late to save yourself and your money. Come see a Bourke Accounting bookkeeper or tax preparer and let them lead you to a happy and secure retirement. A Bourke Accounting professional can help with your newfound love of planning for the future and, if you’re very nice, maybe they’ll show you their tattoos.
Written by Sue H.