When presenting research on the generations, I’m often asked why so much attention is given to Gen Y and so little to Gen X. LIMRA and other organizations certainly study Gen X (ages 33-50) but it’s fair to say they receive less attention than Gen Y (ages 25-32) and Baby Boomers (Ages 51-65).
Some argue Gen X gets less attention because it’s the smallest of the three generations. But when you consider where Gen X is in their lives, their needs represent a huge opportunity for the financial services industry right now.
Gen Y is larger in total, but there are far more Gen Xers (67 million) in the family formation ages than there are Gen Yers (35 million). Right now Gen Xers are moving through the various life stages that all generations do. Among U.S. households with children under age 18, almost 60 percent are headed by a member of Gen X, while about 20 percent are headed by a member of Gen Y. This makes Gen X a much larger potential market than Gen Y for life insurance, accumulation products and financial planning.
LIMRA data indicate that while Gen Xers are more likely than Gen Yers to own life insurance, insured Gen Xers are the most likely to indicate that they do not have enough life insurance coverage. Further, among those that do not have any life insurance coverage, Gen Xers are the most likely to say they need to be protected. Gen X presents the greatest demand for life insurance for “traditional” reasons, such as marriage, buying a home and having children.