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Most Gen Xers Paralyzed by Retirement Fears

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Gen Xers think we’re in the midst of a retirement crisis.

But that doesn’t mean they’re taking action to protect their own interests.

In fact, according to the “Generations Apart” study, commissioned by Allianz Life Insurance Co. of North America, despite the fact that 92 percent of those aged 35–48 believe in the existence of a national crisis when it comes to retirement, 64 percent of them are basically doing the deer-in-the-headlights thing—they’re so uncertain about what to do that they’re doing nothing at all.

And that’s in spite of 94 percent of them believing that it’s critical to build their own financial security in retirement.

After all, most don’t believe that they’ll be able to rely on pensions, Social Security, or Medicare when they hit retirement age.

And that’s if that age ever comes: Most also feel they will never have enough saved to stop working.

In fact, there’s a substantial disconnect between beliefs that GenXers are carrying around—perhaps that’s one reason they can’t figure out which actions to take.

More than half of them (55 percent) envision themselves during retirement as kicking back and relaxing, while 46 percent say they’ll figure it out when they get there.

But they not only have no idea how to figure out how much money they’ll need to retire—72 percent believe it’s nearly impossible to figure out what their expenses will be when they leave work—they also think that the targets proposed by experts on how much to save for retirement are not possible for them to achieve.

No wonder they’re conflicted.

And they’re not exactly rushing to seek help with the problem, either.

One reason is that 49 percent of GenXers see credit cards as a means of survival for most people.

So they’re defensive about credit card debt, and anticipate that financial professionals will be judgmental—something they definitely don’t want to deal with.


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