Members of Generation X tend to be very worried about money. In comparison to Baby Boomers, Millennials, and Gen Z, they seem the most stressed about finances. What’s so unique about this generation that makes them particularly worried about money?
1. They’re Taking Care of Their Parents
Many members of Gen X face financial struggles because they have to help take care of their retired parents. In many cases, their parents weren’t financially prepared for retirement. Therefore, Gen X members may carry some of the financial burden. Even in instances where their aging parents have set aside enough money, members of Gen X may find themselves struggling with the responsibility of helping their parents make financial decisions. It’s not an easy position for an adult child to find themselves in.
2. They’re Taking Care of Their (Adult) Kids
Many millennials have children. All parents get more worried about money once they’ve had kids. After all, there are a lot of expenses to deal with. In many cases, these kids are now teens or young adults, and parents are still paying their bills. Moreover, they may expect to have to support their adult kids for several more years to come. This makes Gen X worried about money.
3. They Own Their Own Businesses
Many members of Gen X own their own businesses. Therefore, they are worried about money at both a personal and professional level, in ways that regular employees are not. Psychology Today points out that in addition to the daily stressors of operating a business, members of Gen X who are self-employed may be starting to think about closing out or passing on their business as they get older. Making big decisions like that is a challenge, leaving those people worried about money.
4. Retirement Is Approaching
The oldest members of Generation X are getting close to retirement. Will they be able to retire when they want to? If they do, what kind of lifestyle will they have? There are a lot of financial questions and considerations that people worry about as they approach retirement age.
Even those members of Gen X who are in the younger part of the cohort might have started to think about these issues. If they haven’t started setting money aside for retirement, they’re wondering how they’re going to be able to afford to do so. Even if they’ve saved, they may not be sure that the money will carry them through retirement. As a result, they’re re-thinking those decisions.
5. Financial Planning Has Taken a Backseat
Many members of Gen X simply haven’t planned ahead financially for their future, or even for their present expenses. They are a busy generation, working long hours while taking care of their children and their parents. They haven’t always set aside time for financial planning. As they get older, they realize how much planning should have been done by now. They are thinking about life insurance, estate planning, and complex tax issues as they age, especially if they’re small business owners. Because they haven’t done that groundwork, they are worried about money now.