You’ve seen a million web articles about Millennials and you’ve read plenty about Baby Boomers – but what about Generation X? There’s a reason Time Magazine called them “The Ignored Generation.”
As an experienced professional, you know annuities are a great addition to anyone’s portfolio and you know that selling means adjusting to the needs of your clients. So it’s important to note that annuities are actually a great addition specifically to a Generation X portfolio. That’s why in court cases after a wrongful death or medical malpractice, courts are having settlements for Gen Xers structured as an annuity to meet their long term needs.
But Gen Xers shouldn’t have to wait for tragedy to strike to benefit from annuities. That’s where you come in. Here are three things to keep in mind when selling to the generational middle child.
Understand Their Plight
Gen Xers got a really raw deal in the recession.
The recession happened when Gen Xers should have been maximizing their critical asset gaining time. Except market conditions made that really difficult.
Many put off saving for retirement in lieu of making ends meet, or avoiding foreclosure. Now they’re simply out of the habit. So much so, that now less than half contribute regularly to a retirement savings plan.
There’s also the fact that nearly a third of them have already withdrawn money in their retirement plans for expenses unrelated to retirement.
All of this means that Gen Xers have more to gain from stable solid retirement solutions – things that annuities offer.
Comfort in Education
They’re worried about retirement, but most don’t feel like they fully understand it.
Even though many aren’t putting money away, they’re doubtful that the government will be a safety net. Seventy percent of them don’t think they will receive full benefits from Social Security.
Meanwhile, 60 percent report that they’re not knowledgeable about investment and financial products. This means a big part of selling to Gen Xers will be educating them on how the product works and what retirement is actually like.
Taking a warm and knowledgeable approach is usually a good idea – but this is exceptionally true for Gen X.
This is one of the stand out features of Gen Xers: They’re down to earth. Baby Boomers made significant gains in wealth and Millennials grew up with $500 phones in their pockets. But given the economic context surrounding their lives, they tend to be less materialistic and more conservative.
Catherine Byerly covers the secondary annuity market for Annuity.org and StructuredSettlements.com. She received a Political Science and Communications degree from the University of North Florida and has worked in communications for the past five years, handling everything from on-air public radio casts to writing for business journals.
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