Health and Finances are Priorities, but Research Shows Generational Differences
During this time of uncertainty, it’s probably no surprise that investors say a top priority is protecting their overall health and finances – but the generations differ on the details, according to the May 2020 Protection Study by Lincoln Financial and Phoenix Marketing International.
Split on Protection Priorities
The data showed that three-quarters of Boomers cite finances as the top area of their lives where protection is most important as compared to just over half of Gen X and Millennials. Instead, Gen X (61%) and Millennials (59%) say family/home is most important.
While finances and family are important to all groups, older generations are also turning their attention to other areas. In the midst of the pandemic, Gen X and Boomers are more concerned with protecting their physical and mental health, but Millennials are more focused on their jobs.
“Health, employment and finances are all intertwined — especially now — and underscore the importance of employer benefits,” said Eric Reisenwitz, senior vice president and interim president, Group Protection, Lincoln Financial Group. “Regardless of age, socioeconomic status or life stage, these benefits are a key element of a long-term financial protection strategy.”
Top Protection Solutions
Protection is a priority — and as we look across generations, a retirement savings plan is a top strategy to help savers achieve that protection. However, Millennials and Gen X are also reliant on emergency savings for protection, while Boomers lean towards investment asset allocation as a way to protect their finances.
Given the ups and downs of the market since the onset of the pandemic, differences in how the generations are approaching protection are also evident based on where individuals fall along the road to retirement. Boomers (52%) are most concerned about protecting their retirement savings, while Millennials (33%) and Gen X (34%) are focused on protecting their families.
Millennials continue to face challenges with having enough emergency savings and covering basic living expenses and Gen X remains concerned about debt. Boomers are trying to ensure their families will be financially taken care of if something happens to them.
“Everyone faces their own struggles and competing priorities, especially in this volatile environment,” said Jamie Ohl, executive vice president, president, Retirement Plan Services and head of Life and Annuity Operations for Lincoln Financial. “It can be challenging to stay the course and balance the need for future protection with day-to-day financial pressures. Savers should consult a trusted financial professional, who can help them create a financial plan that will meet their needs today, and protect their tomorrow.”
Results for the 2020 Lincoln Protection Survey are based on an online survey among 987 affluent and high net worth investors (age <45 with a household income $125K+ and adults age 45 and older with $250K+ in investable assets) and was conducted by Phoenix Marketing International on behalf of Lincoln Financial Group. Field dates were from May 12 to May 28, 2020. All data are weighted by age, income and investable assets to reflect the actual distribution of affluent and HNW households nationally.