The 2008 market crash continues to take a toll on a broad swath of Gen Xers and baby boomers, and has traumatized a group Allianz Life identified as “post-crash skeptics” in a study released Tuesday.
The Allianz Life poll asked 1,000 baby boomers and 1,000 Gen Xers with a minimum household income of $30,000 13 questions about their experiences from the 2008 market crash, such as whether their home or 401(k) had declined in value, whether they or a family member had lost a job and whether their savings and/or retirement planning had been affected.
In one of the study’s most significant findings, one-fifth of all respondents said they had experienced six or more of these events, putting them in the “post-crash skeptics” category.
Sixty-seven percent of boomers and Gen Xers polled reported that after six years, the crash still affected how they lived, worked, saved and spent.
The aftershocks are worse for the post-crash skeptics, affecting their financial attitudes and behaviors. Ninety-three percent dismissed the traditional notion of retirement as a “romantic fantasy of the past,” compared with 84% of all respondents who felt this way.
Eighty-three percent of this group said the downturn had made them more cautious and changed their thinking about risk and investments, which may handicap them in effectively saving for retirement, Allianz Life said in a statement.
By comparison, 58% of all Gen X and baby boomer respondents said they had become more cautious and revised their thinking.
The emergence of post-crash skeptics from both generations was “eye-opening,” according to Katie Libbe, Allianz Life vice president of consumer insights.
“It’s important for the financial services industry to recognize this group and consider strategies for helping them move past the barriers and biases resulting from 2008, prompting them to take a more active role in financial planning,” Libbe said in the statement.