In recent months this blog has focused on the plight of the millennials and how they must help themselves. Much of the best advice on self-help applies to the Baby Boomers as well.
But perhaps it is time to spare a thought for the generation who are too old to be millennials and too young to be baby boomers. I’m referring to those born between 1965 and 1982. This group is often called “Generation X” or “Gen X” for short.
Typically, Gen X live way beyond their means, without any serious thought about risk management and old age. Many have large mortgages and huge credit card balances. They spend little quality time with their families, preferring texts or instant messages. The more fortunate hope to inherit from their parents and clear their debts.
Gen X and their children (Gen Y/millennials) are trapped by peer-pressure. Consumer marketing targets the weakest and relies upon peer pressure to promote their products.
Gen X live high risk lives but typically do not understand first principles of risk management. Many in Gen X are heading for a fall, when their careers come crashing-down, realizing suddenly that they are too old. Without regular income, with high debts, limited savings and retirement funding, Gen X, post-crisis, are suddenly alone, frightened and very lonely.
Any thoughts on risk management for Gen X?
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What Dr Alf has identified are the people I used to look for whilst working in the insurance industry in America who had lived long enough to become complacent but not long enough to take steps to protect themselves with Disability Income Plans and effective and efficient means of saving.
Whatever disaster these people might have faced, it was always going to be “the other guy” or by a process of divine intervention they imagined that “something would turn up because it always does”.
Today, one also needs to develop linear income from multiple sources as the old beliefs about corporate life are no longer true.
Companies are loyal to themselves, not to their employees, so people in Generation X need to rethink their positions, learn languages, retrain and develop linear income.
Some of them may have to move States, or even countries, or consider downshifting and self sufficiency.
What they cannot do is kid themselves that the Government or anyone else is going to save their bacon because that task belongs to them.