Gen X Must Step Up Its Retirement Savings

NEW YORK (MainStreet) — Many Gen X-ers are lagging behind their counterparts when it comes to saving enough money for retirement.

After paying down their student loans and credit cards and saving money for their first home, building a nest egg is often not a priority for Gen X-ers, who are 33 to 49 years old. Stagnant wages, a lack of employer-paid pensions and companies opting out of 401(k) matching programs means more people need to catch up.

"If you wait too long, you might have to delay retirement and keep working a lot longer than you'd like," said Melinda Kibler, a Fort Lauderdale, Fla. certified financial planner with Palisades Hudson Financial Group, which has $1.3 billion under management.

Gen X-ers, who were born between 1966 and 1975, lost the most wealth during the Great Recession compared to other generations – 45% or an average of $33,000 of their funds vanished during the economic downturn between 2007 and 2010, according to a report by Pew Charitable Trusts in 2013.

The majority of Gen X-ers already lacked an adequate amount of savings before the downturn, pushing back their retirement goals even further. The average Gen X-er will be able to likely replace only half of their pre-retirement income, Pew Charitable Trusts said.

The fact that Gen X-ers lost nearly 45% of their wealth is "staggering" and only reinforces how important it is that Gen X-ers rebuild their financial foundation, said Kimberly Clouse, Covestor Advisory Board Chair, an online asset management company based in Boston and founder of Via Global Advisors.