Gen Xers Fretting About Long-Term Health Needs

Members of Gen X, that much-maligned age group born between 1965 and 1980, are fretting about how to preserve their wealth and health when they hit old age, according to a new study by Weber Shandwick.

"Leveraging the Gen X Retirement Market: From Overlooked to Opportunity" says that Gen Xers, now hitting 50, are busy planning for their golden years. And although they realize they must save more for retirement, they fret more about how they'll pay for their health care.

"We were surprised by the level of concern that Gen X'ers have around their health –- both today and over the long term," said Barb Iverson, president of Weber Shandwick's North American Financial Services practice. "And although they express significant anxiety around how they will cover their future health needs, their retirement planning seems disconnected from this concern."

Needs and Fears

The survey aims to help the financial services industry leverage the Gen X market by understanding their needs and fears. Here are some insights gained by the survey, conducted in May online with 18 U.S. Gen X consumers whose household income is $50,000 to $150,000.
  • Their lives are demanding with countless responsibilities with families, jobs and activities. They characterize their lives as frenetic, busy, tiring and blessed.
  • Although they think they'll need $1 million in retirement saving and most participate in 401(k) or other retirement plans, they don't feel like they're doing enough to meet their financial retirement needs.
  • Gen Xers are caring for their health now with diet and exercise so they can build a foundation for their elder years.
  • Although Gen Xers are worried about paying for long-term health care in older age, they have not made strides in saving for those expenses.
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