Despite their familiarity with technology, the Generation X and Generation Y populations prefer traditional means when it comes to retirement education. Those born between the mid-1960s to the early 1990s want in-person education, says Doug Wolff, president of Topeka, Kansas-based Security Benefit.
Nearly 40% of the 2,122 people ages 21 to 48 surveyed by Greenwald and Associates said an adviser is a major source for financial information more than twice the amount who listed the Internet as their go-to resource.
Its clear that Generations X and Y prefer to use more traditional means of financial planning by working through employer-provided retirement services or consulting with a professional financial adviser, says Al Dal Porto, vice president of market research at Security Benefit. Its somewhat of a surprise that these generations, especially Generation Y, would prefer to use offline resources to guide their savings decisions.
In-person education helps boost participation, Wolff says. Often times once an employee creates a relationship with a trusted adviser, that person becomes an adviser to the whole family, he says.
Wolff likened the client-adviser relationship to a mechanic. There is a small segment of people who know how to fix their own car and have the time to perform that maintenance. Others, even if they have some knowledge of cars, dont have the time and turn to a mechanic.
The best time to find a mechanic is before something major breaks, Wolff says, and the same is true for retirement. Some people are just starting too late, he says.
Saving for retirement tougher today
The robust pensions that were once standard for employees are fading, Wolff says, and younger workers are feeling the effects. Two-thirds said saving for retirement is tougher for them than it was for previous generations, according to the study. Thats why having a retirement investment, like a 401(k) or 403(b), in addition to a pension and/or Social Security is needed, Wolff says. Those first two legs of the stool are usually not enough.
Still, Gen X and Gen Y employees place high value on saving for the future 90% said saving for retirement is important.
However, many have no idea the amount needed to retire 66% said they havent calculated that figure. About half, 48%, said theyre behind on saving for retirement while 43% are satisfied with their current financial situation.
Its great to see Generations X and Y actively considering their retirement savings needs, but its difficult to plan for and ultimately achieve a successful retirement without having an end-goal in mind, Dal Porto says. While accumulating retirement savings is critical at this point in the lives of Generations X and Y, its encouraging to see a significant portion of these individuals looking toward their inevitable retirement income needs.
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