An Insured Retirement Institute report has found that Generation X's retirement savings have dropped 15 percent over the last two years, from median retirement savings of $70,400 in 2012 to $59,800 today. At the same time, the percentage of Gen Xers who doubt they'll be able to live comfortably in retirement doubled from 20 percent to 42 percent.
The study also found that during the past year 36 percent of Gen Xers experienced difficulties paying their rent or mortgage, 21 percent stopped contributing to a retirement plan, and 14 percent prematurely withdrew retirement assets.
“It appears the lasting effects of the recession and prolonged labor market woes are taking a hit to Gen Xers' confidence and their savings,” said Cathy Weatherford, IRI president and CEO.
Gen Xers, those born between 1962 and 1981, reported that when it comes to financial matters, just 30 percent rate themselves as being highly knowledgeable. Only 11 percent have the same self-assessment when it comes to investing.
More than three-quarters (77 percent) of Gen Xers are not consulting a financial planner. The IRI study found that those who are working with a financial professional have median retirement savings of $90,400, more than double the $45,500 accumulated by their peers who are planning for retirement on their own.
Only 65 percent of Gen Xers have money saved for retirement, down from 72 percent in 2012, according to the study. Of those with savings, 42 percent have retirement savings of less than $50,000.
“Fortunately, with most Gen Xers still at least two decades from retirement age, there’s time to steer them back on track toward retirement security,” said Weatherford. “It will begin with increasing education, which can lead to better savings behaviors and better retirement outcomes.”