MONSEY, NY--(Marketwire - Oct 24, 2012) - The latest report from the Pew Research Center shows a dramatic demographic change in American attitudes towards retirement. While traditionally retirement concerns were the domain of baby boomers in their mid-50s, Pew reports that retirement worries are peaking earlier with Gen X members who are now in their late 30s. However, the response of Gen X is proving decidedly different than that of the generation before it. This younger constituency has expressed little confidence in the viability of market-based retirement plans. Instead, they are heavily focusing on alternative investment routes. Broad Financial, a company specializing in self-directed retirement plans, has witnessed a steadily growing uptick of Gen X applicants.
Eli Davidson, Broad's IT statistician, remarked that the Pew findings can definitely be seen in Broad's monthly client stats. "Even before Pew released its numbers, we knew something like this was coming. A year ago 5% of our applications came from Gen X clients. That number has steadily grown and it currently stands at 16%. Obviously Gen X is getting interested."
Broad's COO, Daniel Gleich, (who is himself a proud Gen X member,) believes that the upswing is indicative of his contemporaries' financial mindset. "We entered the business world at a time when the start-up was king and scandals were rocking more established institutions. This led to a very individualistic attitude which fostered a very 'go-get-them' attitude towards employment and finances. Retirement planning is the last great hold-out of the classic economy, but it looks like Gen X is finally beginning to take notice."
The growth of the alternative retirement market has seen a number of boosts lately. QE3 proved to be a major push towards alternative assets as the financial public heard ominous warning signs in the Fed's announcement. With a promised near-unlimited greasing of the economy's wheels, investors feared increased inflation and ran to assets such as gold and other hard commodities. A similar result has been observed due to the new norm of increased volatility in the market.
Positive investment trends have also contributed to the shift. The success of the crowd fundraising giant Kickstarter has given public feet to the idea that investing is not just about stocks anymore. Similarly, the excitement exhibited by private angel investors has transformed many techies into would-be entrepreneurs. As these external factors converge, Gen X will likely continue its march towards non-standard retirement plans.