Marketers and demographers call them the “Forgotten Generation.” Still, advisors do well to remember what Gen X presents: An opportunity to help individuals with a rising sum of investable assets and an urgent need for retirement planning.

Gen X refers to individuals born between 1965 and 1980 and aged 44 to 59 this year. They are in their peak earning years, juggling the costs of raising and educating their children while providing support (sometimes financially) to aging parents.

Retirement may seem long away—but they know they must be prepared. Fortunately, they’re still young enough to take advantage of suggestions for:   

• Managing their savings and investing, accelerating if needed.

• Protecting themselves from financial hardship in old age.

• Ensuring that a widowed spouse has the income they’ll need.

They’re also digitally savvy and at ease with technology to help direct their financial planning.

For all these reasons, we suggest a simple but effective way to engage these busy individuals to tap into their retirement planning needs.

Ask Gen Xers, “Have you thought about when you’ll file for Social Security?” and offer a no-strings-attached analysis of their filing options and retirement preparedness.

Gen X Is Waiting To Be Asked To The Dance 
Wedged between the boomer and millennial population bubbles are the fewer (and quieter) members of Gen X. With so many advisors chasing boomers, Gen X is not surprised by being overlooked. They were, after all, the “latchkey kids” who came home from school to empty houses.

Gen X members have weathered economic upheavals during their working years: the dot-com bubble, the September 11 attacks, the Great Recession of 2007-2008 and Covid-19.  

Still, they’ve saved, and their financial outlook is strong.

According to figures from this month’s Tiburon CEO Summit, about $50 trillion in Gen X’s investable assets will be in motion in the next 20 years. Gen X stands to inherit the largest share of the “great wealth transfer,” too.

Gen Xers are generally described as a group seeking dependability, safety and stability. They believe it’s essential to be reliable and trustworthy. They also hate “being sold.”

So, emphasize the value of education and a personalized assessment. This generation is receptive to digital marketing through advertising, social media and email. Offer webinars and virtual appointments to prospects.

Social Security? Really?
Some advisors skip over Social Security or avoid it because they aren’t experts.

However, from personal and professional experience, we can tell you that those advisors are making mistakes. Gen Xers have been paying taxes to support the Social Security system for 20, 30 years, or more. It’s already in their field of vision.  

Sophisticated Social Security optimization software makes it easy for you to:

• Create a Social Security benefit estimate based on their work records to date.

• Highlight the benefits of delaying filing until full retirement age (now 67 for this generation, although that could change).

It takes only a few data points that people will know off the tops of their heads, and—bing!—you can show them monthly, annual and lifetime benefits projections based on different filing ages.

From there, with their assent, it’s easy to pivot to tactical planning for retirement income.

From Social Security To Deeper Discussions
Interest piqued by a Social Security analysis, Gen Xers are often open to extending the conversation with advisors and answering your questions like:

• When do they plan to retire?

• Are they concerned about having sufficient assets to pay their living costs in retirement?

• Will they delay retirement or work part-time?

• Do they need a bridging strategy to maximize Social Security benefits by waiting until 70 to claim?

• Will a surviving spouse have enough income from all sources, including Social Security?

Using your software, you can dive deeper into retirement planning by estimating the trajectory of their savings-and-investing path and identifying potential gaps between retirement income needs and their assets, including Social Security benefits.

It works! Asset management firms and insurance companies often make Social Security software available to advisors. They know that a simple, straightforward Social Security evaluation contributes to advisors acquiring new clients, selling products and increasing assets under management.   

The need for education is fundamental. Retirement security depends on it. According to the Social Security Administration, nearly one in three claims Social Security benefits at 62, permanently reducing their benefits by 30%.  

Gen X is waiting at the door for lessons in Social Security. Show them you haven’t forgotten them.

Jeff Quigley, CSSCS, is the senior vice president of enterprise sales at LifeYield. Jack Martin is the virtual chief marketing officer of InsurMark and co-founder of Elite Advisor Group LLC.