Chapter 5: Generation X and the Millennials – the Next Waves

Andy Horner  •  11/20/2014  •  Feature Presentation

Video Transcript

What about the Baby Boomers’ children and grandchildren – Generation X and the Millennials? 

Gen-Xers, now in their mid 30’s to mid 50’s, have hit their stride in their primary earning years. Their children – the Millennials – are in their mid teens to mid 30’s and are in school, starting out, and beginning to establish themselves. 

Like their Baby Boomer parents and grandparents, they can’t rely on the unwavering growth of the Market or the traditional rules of retirement. And with a life expectancy that will most likely exceed their Baby-Boomer parents, they too will need a sound financial education and smart strategies to build wealth and make their money last as long as they do.

Gen-Xers are not on the right track, however. 77% are not currently working with a financial advisor – a staggering number that is trending higher. Only one out of three rate themselves as being highly knowledgeable on financial matters. With personal responsibility as the new foundation of retirement, it’s disconcerting that only 64% of Gen-Xers report that have any retirement savings at all and 43% have saved less than $50,000. What do you think the result of these trends and numbers will be for Gen-Xers? One out of four admit that they have no idea when they plan to retire. Without financial guidance, the better question may be, will they ever be able to retire?

What about their children, the Millennials? Are they on a better path? With time on their side, they clearly have an advantage over the Gen-Xers and Baby-Boomers to adjust to the new rules of retirement and the post-recession economy. But they have their own financial burden to contend with – especially college debt.  64% of Millennials say they financed their education with student loans compared to only 23% of their Boomer grandparents. 

Exiting college during the Great Recession, or in its wake, creates a financial challenge for this young generation. With incomes that haven’t kept up with inflation, expenses that have, and educational debt to pay back – less than half of Millennials say they are saving for retirement. Due to these factors, more than half of Millennials are already taking distributions from their retirement accounts, like 401k’s. They clearly need guidance, but only 8% report that they’re seeking help from a financial advisor.

These trends and statistics prove that a financial education is critical. Where will Baby-Boomers, Gen-Xers, and Millennials get this education? It’s obvious from these stats and trends I’ve shared with you, that it’s not coming from school. There are only four States that require a one-semester course devoted to personal finance in High School. Is one course really enough? What about the majority who had no financial courses at all? 

Compare that to more than nine times as many States that require sex education in High School. What does that say about what’s important to us? How will our current and future generations learn how money really works? What hope do they have of ever enjoying prosperity and the American dream without it? 

Here again, obsolete models call for innovative responses. 

In fact, the Baby-Boomers, Gen-Xers, and Millennials, have no choice but to embrace new strategies of building wealth for a new era. With these generations combined, you have over 200 million people who need guidance and a financial education.

Where there’s need, there’s opportunity. Where innovation is the need, there’s an opportunity of a lifetime.

Remember when I said that trillions of dollars and millions of people are on the move like never before? Now you understand the size of the opportunity. 

This is The Wealth Wave.

Remember when I said that the smartest and most successful companies in the world are positioning themselves to capture an unrivaled wave of wealth for themselves and their clients. 

We are in a great position.

From here out, you’ll see how we combine diverse opportunity, financial education, and business innovation to capture the possibilities and prosperity of The Wealth Wave.

(Sources included in the video above.)