Generation X refers to people born between 1965 and 1980. They are sometimes difficult to separate from Generation Y, or millennials, but they aren’t exactly alike. Members of Generation X seek to balance out work, family and friends and don’t trust the government and people in authority, according to MetLife’s 10th Annual Study of Workplace Benefits.
“People have always picked on Gen Xers because they don’t think they’ve contributed enough as the baby boomers or the matures,” Navarro says. “The reason for that is because that group is half as large.”
Most industry sources say that members of Generation X prefer online forms of communication and interaction. E-mail is the preferred medium, they say, but agents and brokers better be prepared to correspond electronically, too, as Gen Xers will want to ask questions over e-mail. They expect to get answers, too. Web tools such as tutorials and calculators work well with Generation X as well as blogs.
Generations X and Y are far more interested in voluntary benefits than their predecessors, sources say, because the generations grew up in world filled with uncertainly and scandal. When it comes to items such as long-term care or disability insurance, the younger generations tend to think it’s their responsibility to plan for those contingencies rather than rely on anyone else.
The same holds true for retirement planning. The sentiment that Social Security won’t last is especially strong among Gen Xers, but both younger generations want employers and benefits providers to provide more resources so they can learn how to plan for retirement themselves.