Given that most financial advisors are focused on the upcoming tsunami of retiring baby boomers, thoughts of serving Generation X currently isn't a top priority. But as older members of this 25- to 40-year-old age group mature and-hopefully-start hitting their financial stride, they're on the cusp of potenially being the next wave of clients for advisors. But how does this group feel about money and their finances?
According to the Gen X Money Mindsets Study conducted recently by Charles Schwab, which surveyed the attitudes of 5,000 Gen Xers, this is a generation that's more serious than slacker, yet are spendthrifts who have little faith that financial firms to can help them reach their financial goals. Indeed, if the study accurately portrays the zeitgeist of this generation, then advisors might not have much to look forward to.
Among the findings is that Gen Xers aren't the slackers they're stereotyped as. Almost two-thirds (64%) are focused on attaining the American Dream of family, homeownership, and financial security.
Unfortunately, Gen Xers are debt-laden. Almost 45% say they have too much debt to even think about saving or investing, and 35% think they will be in debt for the rest of their lives.
Given that, it's no surprise that Gen Xers are worried about their financial futures. Two-thirds (66%) of those surveyed admit to thinking about their finances on a daily basis, and 46% also worry about the finances of their parents and siblings.
In that vein, Gen Xers report an inability to save. Among respondents, 47% say they live on a very strict budget with nothing left over to sock away. Yet they seem to be more proactive in saving for a vacation or retirement, with 43% saying they focus on saving for a big trip.
Finally, many Gen Xers don't put a lot of faith in financial firms. More than half of those surveyed (51%) think that investment firms don't care about people like them-in other words, people who don't have a lot of money. And 46% feel that by turning to firms and advisors, they might end up spending more money than they make.