Gen X Wants Simple IRA Investment Process

February 20, 2007 ( - A significant amount of Generation X investors who don't put money into an individual retirement account (IRA) would do so if they only had to make an initial investment choice and then forget about it, according to a recent survey.

The survey by Charles Schwab & Co. of 500 people from the ages of 25 and 40 found that 44% of those who do not currently fund an IRA said they would be more likely to invest in an IRA if there was a one-time investment choice, according to a press release. That same perspective was shared almost equally between current IRA/401(k) investors (50%) and non-investors (39%).

Twenty percent of those in Generation X say they don’t know how an IRA works, or even what it is, and 40% of those who are saving for retirement have an IRA.

Other results of the survey include:

  • 16% of people in this age group plan to use their tax refund to invest in an IRA or other retirement account;
  • 59% plan to use the refund for other uses;
  • 58% plan to use it to pay off debt.

“Gen-X’ers are facing a range of financial challenges – from paying off college debt to making mortgage payments to saving for their families,” said Rande Spiegelman, vice president of financial planning for the Schwab Center for Investment Research, in the news release. “What we are seeing in these results is that competing spending priorities are impacting their ability to save for retirement. But with a few minor adjustments, younger investors can make the necessary changes to ensure they are doing everything they can to save for the future.”