Financial Literacy

Planning Gen-X And Boomer Wealth

A new focus on balance, growth & a space for ‘what-ifs’

by Ralph Ferraro

Mr. Ferraro is a SVP at Lincoln Financial Group, and President of its Retirement Plan Services. Visit www.lincolnfinancial.com.

Across the financial services industry, professionals are entrusted with guiding clients through various life stages, especially during times of economic uncertainty. In Lincoln’s 2024 Financial Concerns Report, data highlights shifting concerns based on age. With inflation on the rise and financial concerns mounting, Baby Boomers, who are closer to retirement and Gen Xers, who are actively contemplating their retirement plans, are seeking guidance now more than ever.

Aligned with Lincoln’s latest advertising campaign, “The Action Plan,” which aims to change the retirement conversation and inspire a new generation of retirees to make their pastimes last a lifetime, let’s explore some tips to help pre-retirees and retirees navigate their top concerns and integrate relevant investment actions.

 

  • Prioritize income and cash flow stability: With nearly two-thirds of Baby Boomers (65%) and Gen X (68%) worried about inflation’s impact on their financial stability, it’s crucial to prioritize income and cash flow management in retirement planning. According to recent data, 44% of consumers – including 43% of Gen X and 42% of Boomers – consider income and cash flow as one of the top three features they look for in an investment or insurance product. Additionally, rising expenses are a major worry for many Americans, with 56% of Baby Boomers and 61% of Gen Xers are concerned about whether their income will be enough to keep up with the rising costs of living. By integrating inflation-adjusted strategies into financial plans and exploring investment options that outpace inflation, we can help clients maintain their desired lifestyle and financial security in retirement.
  • Address “what if” scenarios: Expressed concerns about supporting themselves and their family in the event of illness or disability are top of mind for 49% of Baby Boomers and 55% of Gen Xers. Additionally, more than half of Gen X Americans cite job loss as a major concern, along with 54% of Baby Boomers citing protection against identity theft, cybersecurity threats and fraud. By engaging clients in potential “what if” scenarios and developing comprehensive financial plans, including solutions such as disability insurance and emergency funds, clients can feel confident in pursuing their interests while safeguarding their financial future.
  • Balance protection and growth: While many clients seek to protect their initial investments from market volatility, they are also looking for opportunities for growth. According to recent data, 43% of consumers prioritize protecting their initial investment, with 41% of Gen X and 47% of Boomers emphasizing this. However, only 10% and 22%, respectively, would do so at the expense of growth. Retirement is not just about financial security; it’s about living life to the fullest. Strike a balance between conservative and growth-oriented investments, ensuring that clients have the financial resources to enjoy their retirement years without sacrificing growth potential.
  • Focus on retirement income and longevity: Retirement income planning is a top concern for these generations as well, with more than half of Baby Boomers (52%) and almost two-thirds of Gen Xers (64%) worried about having enough income in retirement. To address these concerns, we must develop personalized retirement income strategies tailored to clients’ lifestyle needs and longevity expectations. By incorporating annuities or other in-plan income solutions, we can ensure a steady income stream throughout retirement.
  • Initiate conversations about insurance and retirement products: Despite the importance of insurance and retirement products, many consumers are hesitant to discuss or research these options. According to recent data, 86% of Gen X sought information on ways to address paying monthly bills, while less than half of them sought information about ways to address supporting their selves and families in the event of becoming disabled or chronically ill. As financial services industry professionals, it’s our responsibility to initiate these conversations and educate clients about these products’ benefits in addressing financial concerns and achieving retirement goals, empowering them to make informed decisions.

Incorporating these data-driven insights into client discussions and retirement planning strategies is crucial to enhancing financial literacy and helping Baby Boomer and Gen X consumers navigate pre-retirement and retirement challenges effectively. With Lincoln Financial’s commitment to personalized guidance and innovative solutions, clients can confidently safeguard their wealth and make their pastimes last a lifetime, supported by sound financial planning.

 

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