A generational approach to retirement

6 March 2018

Affectionate mature African American couple taking a walk. Main focus on man (60s).The word ‘retirement’ has a different meaning to all of us, and each generation has a different approach when it comes to preparing for that time of your life. It goes without saying that retirement in itself has evolved into something we can all look forward to. We take a look at the different types of generations and understand what retirement is to them.

The Silent generation, those born between 1928 to 1945, were characterised by having respect for authorities and never challenging them. They were more concerned with their career than taking political or social action and are characterised as being accepting of retirement. With being so dedicated to their roles at work, the Silent Generation are also known for being financially prudent and are generally able to retire quite comfortably. Effective Measure, a leading audience measurement company in the Middle East and South Africa, released their Generational Lifestyles in South Africa 2017 research report. Their findings shared that 24% of the Silent Generation live alone

The Baby Boomers, who you have heard of so often in our research, were born between 1946 to 1964. This generation has not been so accepting of the past retirement opportunities and have slowly influenced the change in retirement. As a result of the Baby Boomers not being scared to speak up and think independently, retirement opportunities have evolved drastically, and mostly for the better. This generation is known for, on occasion, putting work before family and even work beyond the recommended retirement age. They are living between 10 – 25 years longer than their parents did.

The Effective Measure research shows that Baby Boomers have the highest average income range, 77% of them are homeowners and 39% of the Boomer generation live with one other person.

Generation X, born between 1965 to 1980, are well educated, independent and have a work life balance. They have experienced a huge shift in social, political and economic times in South Africa. Factors like divorce altered the traditional family dynamics, and financial family obligations weigh on this generation even more so.

Money and debt is the biggest source of stress for this generation, especially short-term debt that includes car payments, credit cards and personal loans. Despite this, Generation X have had just as much influence on retirement as the Baby Boomers, and the Effective Measure research indicates that 41% of Generation X are main decision makers in the home.

Each generation has had an impact on retirement as they have all approached it differently. Retirement is definitely not what it used to be and will continue to evolve to better suit the generations to come.

A generational approach to retirement

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