Guess who’s starting to worry about retirement? Gen X.

We’ve often written about how SuperAgers are “reinventing” retirement — mostly by not doing it at all. At least, not at the “traditional” retirement age of 65. Now that radical new approach is spilling over into the younger generations coming up behind.

This interesting article explores how retirement looks for Gen X (those born between 1965 and 1980). And — surprise, surprise — the traditional model is nowhere to be found. In fact, the headline proclaims that the Gen X’ers are “Reinventing Retirement.”

The situation is presented in stark terms:

“For decades, many American workers could plan on roughly 40% of their retirement needs being covered by Social Security with another 60% covered by traditional pensions and savings. But people approaching retirement today face a different reality.

“Traditional pensions have declined significantly since 1985, and Social Security trust fund reserves could be depleted by 2033, making the idea of benefit increases, even for middle class folks who have worked hard all their lives, highly unlikely. This means that Generation X — people between 41 and 56 and thus the cohort next in line to retire — and all future generations will need to plan differently for their retirements.

“Almost half (47%) of all working Gen X will now retire later than they anticipated, and 40% plan to work part-time through retirement.”

The landscape is unfavorable: “(The) combination of inflation, capital markets volatility and outdated approaches to financial planning only make things harder. If we don’t act, retirement security could become nothing more than a ‘pipe dream’ for many.”

On the plus side, Gen X has “the opportunity to lead the way in redefining what the future of retirement looks like in America.”

We certainly can’t disagree with the declaration of the problem. But the idea that Gen X will “lead the way” is, with all due respect, ridiculously late to the party. The reality is that SuperAgers are already leading the way. The circumstances that Gen X will face (well described in this article) — i.e., almost half say they will retire “later than they anticipated” — are already well known to SuperAgers. Well-known, and being dealt with.

As to “outdated approaches” to financial planning, we have a whole section on this in our book, where we pose the radical question, “Should you fire your financial advisor?” and offer a checklist to help you decide.

It looks like Gen X should get up to speed on the SuperAging phenomenon. Why not share this with the Gen X’ers you know?

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