Falling in the middle of the Boomer vs. Millennial debates is Gen X, the generation born between 1965 and 1976. Deeply cynical and intent on keeping out of the fray, however, Gen X is not asking for the spotlight, especially when it comes to finances.
Recently, a screengrab from a CBS news story on Millennials and finances was trending on Twitter for leaving out Gen X entirely in their generational breakdown. In fact, financial professionals have been overlooking Gen X for years, perhaps due to their seemingly stable and uncomplicated financial realities.
What are Gen X Financial Priorities?
Pew Research found that most Gen Xers’ financial priorities were relatively simple: owning a home and contributing to a 401k. For industry professionals, these are not appealing clients to take on, because they “lack liquidity for outside investment accounts,” according to a recent Forbes.com article.
Pew Research also found that while Gen Xers were hit the hardest by the economic crisis, they rebounded better than any other generation in the decade following due to the equity they built in their homes.
Ultimately despite the industry overlooking them, Gen Xers are not a lost generation financially. Rather, they are a key connector in helping the generations around them, especially when it comes to taking care of their aging Boomer parents and their Millennial and Gen Z children.
How Many Gen X Are There?
Pew Research projects that by 2028, Gen X will overtake the Boomers from a population standpoint with 64.4 million Gen Xers versus 63.7 projected Boomers. But even as Gen X moves to the forefront, don’t expect them to become the next Boomers or Millennials in terms of demanding the spotlight from the financial industry.
They are a unique generation with their own needs, and in order for financial professionals to truly serve Gen X, they need to first understand them. The firms that will serve them will need to be the right balance of objective advice with financial self-sufficiency.
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