Gen X Most Financially Stressed According to Scottrade

March 25, 2009 ( - The number of Generation Xers (ages 27 to 42) who are unprepared for retirement is dramatically on the rise, according to a new study commissioned by Scottrade.

In a press release, Scottrade said more than half (52%) of Gen Xers currently have saved less than $25,000 for retirement – a significant change from 2008, when 40% reported being below the $25,000 mark. Almost two-thirds of Gen Xers (63%) saw the value of their retirement accounts decrease last year, and more Gen Xers (15%) had to withdraw funds from their retirement accounts than any other non-retired generation.

Scottrade said that of all the generations, Gen X is the most worried that Social Security will run out (62%). The dual stresses of smaller savings and lack of confidence in Social Security are drivers of Gen X’s top financial concern – not having enough money for retirement (64%).

According to the press release, Gen X is the most financially stressed generation for the second year in a row. Given a list of 18 general financial concerns, Gen X, more than any other generation, is “extremely” or “very” concerned about the following issues:

  • Paying for unexpected, major expenses (61%);
  • Managing day-to-day expenses (60%);
  • Having too much debt (57%);
  • Paying off credit card balances (52%); and
  • Having no/reduced income due to job loss (52%).

However, the survey found Gen X is also the most proactive generation, with 98% taking actions to offset financial stresses, including:

  • Comparing prices to find the best deal (69%);
  • Using coupons (66%);
  • Cutting back on entertainment (65%);
  • Paying down debts (57%);
  • Reducing credit card spending (55%);
  • Cutting back on travel/vacations (46%);
  • Paying closer attention to the fees many brokers and investment firms charge for their services (33%); and
  • Cutting or eliminating services such as cable TV (30%).

The 2009 American Retirement Study by Scottrade polled 1,000 Americans 18 years of age or older using Synovate’s national online omnibus survey, eNation, in late January 2009.