Are Gen Xers doing enough to prepare for retirement? Many financial experts say they aren’t — and it’s most likely because of the Millennial and Baby Boomer generations.
According to TIME, a study from the Bank of Montreal found that Gen Xers (sometimes called “the sandwich generation”) tend to struggle with retirement savings because they’re caught in between financially supporting their children (Millennials, ages 18 to 35) and financially supporting their parents (Baby Boomers, who began turning 65 around 2011).
The average Gen Xer, who is somewhere in the age group of 36 to 54 years old, is only saving about 30% of what they would need for retirement. The problem isn’t so much that these Americans don’t think they need more money for retirement — the problem is that their finances are stretched thin and they simply don’t have the capacity to save more.
These adults are often still facing student loan debts that have lasted decades — the average Gen Xer owed $28,400 at graduation — and many Gen Xers lost well-paying jobs (or couldn’t find jobs at all) when the Recession began in 2007.
The Bank of Montreal study found that 10% of Gen Xers are already taking care of their children and their parents; in the next few years, this number of “sandwiched” adults is expected to rise to 17%.
Considering those financial obligations, it’s no surprise that the former “slacker generation” is the least likely of all current Americans to retire. One recent study from Allianz Life found that 84% of all Gen Xers believe retirement at 65 is “unrealistic,” and another study from Ameriprise revealed that 75% of Gen Xers are “redefining what we’ve typically thought of as ‘retirement.'”
In other words, this generation is expecting to work full-time long after reaching 65, and it’s likely that “retirement” will be less about vacationing in Florida with the grandkids and more about starting up a new part-time job.