Why Gen X Investors Shouldn't Go It Alone

February 2018

Except from an article published in US News in which Paul Lightfoot, Optima's President, was quoted

THE RETIREMENT PLANNING woes of millennials or baby boomers often overshadow those of Generation X investors, but their struggle is just as real. In a TD Ameritrade survey, 43 percent of Gen Xers were behind on saving, while 37 percent believed they would be unable to afford retirement.

That gloomy outlook is rooted in several factors. The demise of traditional pension plans has shifted more of the savings burden onto individuals. Although Gen Xers are heading into their highest earning years, many are caught in the sandwich generation crunch of taking care of children and aging parents. And, according to a study from Allianz Life Insurance, Gen X has more debt, on average, than any other generation.

Whatever the reason, forgoing professional financial advice can have unintended consequences for Gen X portfolios and retirement strategies. For these mid-life investors to change their minds, financial advisors need to sell Gen X on the value they can provide.

Delaying can be expensive. An advisor can also shed light on the effect that waiting to save will have on your retirement. Paul Lightfoot, president of Optima Asset Management in Dallas, says Gen X investors often don’t recognize the full cost of delaying savings – it weakens the power of compounding interest over time.

For example, if someone invested $10,000 per year for 10 years starting at age 35, that person would have $448,000 in savings at age 65, assuming a 6 percent annualized rate of return. If that same person waits until age 45 to begin saving and also invests $10,000 per year for a decade with the same 6 percent annualized return, the account would be worth only $250,200 by age 65. In each case, the same amount of money was invested, but the 10-year delay came with a $197,800 cost.

Read the entire US News article

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