Majority of Gen X Investors Interested in Annuities, As 9 Out of 10 Retirement Investors Look for Protected Income

Inaugural Protected Retirement Planning and Income Study reveals important generational differences and increasing consumer demand for protected income

Gen Xers are grappling with many concerns when it comes to their financial future, ranging from the declining prevalence of private sector pensions to how much they’ll need to save for a retirement that may be only a few years away.

As a generation, they are more financially fragile and stressed out than baby boomers. Collectively, they carry the most debt and have been hit the hardest in terms of layoffs, furloughs and pay cuts over the past 15 months. Many are part of the sandwich generation, serving as multigenerational caregivers and juggling the competing, and often costly, demands of their children and aging parents, alongside their own.

The good news is that there is an effective and surprisingly simple solution to help them plan for a financially secure future: annuities. And people are beginning to catch on.

The Alliance for Lifetime Income and CANNEX’s inaugural research, the Protected Retirement Income and Planning Study, found that younger investors (ages 45-54) are especially eager for financial protection. Gen Xers and younger boomers are feeling the long-tail effects of the pandemic, facing a challenging fixed-income environment, grappling with lower savings rates than the older population, and confronting the realization that retirement may be a lot closer than they realized. Now this latest study finds that they are turning to annuities as a solution that can help protect their retirement.

Some of the study’s key takeaways include:

  • 58% of investors under age 55 embrace annuities as an alternative to pensions, considerably more than their boomer counterparts
  • 71% of younger investors have an interest in purchasing annuities as part of their overall retirement income plan
  • Gen Xers are three times more likely than boomers to express extreme interest in purchasing an annuity as part of their retirement income plan

“The high-level of interest in annuities and protection among younger investors is extraordinary,” said Jean Statler, CEO of the Alliance. “The pandemic triggered a retirement mindset reset, leading to what we see is this incredible demand today for the benefits of protected income solutions.”

The study, conducted in March and April, surveyed 1,519 investors ages 45-75 with more than $100,000 in investable assets and 602 financial professionals. It explored how a range of protected retirement solutions fits within the different approaches people apply to retirement planning today, and how often investors and financial professionals consider or use annuities to address different income needs.

Stuck between two larger and more popularly discussed generations—boomers and millennials—Gen X is often overlooked and understudied. This despite a whopping 65.2 million Gen Xers in the US (not far behind the estimated 71.6 million boomers), according to the latest census data. The Alliance for Lifetime Income recognizes the important role it plays in educating this generation, and others, about the critical need for protected income in retirement. That’s why the Alliance is focused on providing educational resources, interactive tools, and actionable research and insights for Americans and their financial professionals to use in building retirement income strategies and plans.

Focusing attention and conversations on protected income can lead to greater retirement security for millions of Americans.

Access the following resources for more information and insights from the 2021 Protected Retirement Planning and Income Study:

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