Financial Planning Through the Generations

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Each generation – Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X and Baby Boomers – are at different moments in their lives that require their own age-specific financial goals and stress points. Learn where your financial focus should be today.

Generations of a family hugging and smiling. Title: Financial Planning Through the Generations

While the old sayings of, “save early” and “don’t make emotional decisions” are still sound advice, approaching wealth management through the specific lens of your life stage could be endlessly more helpful.

By breaking down financial planning at the generational level, you’ll get access to more tailored financial advice that can end up making all the difference. Moreover, this approach can give you greater clarity on setting and reaching your financial goals.

In this article, we’re focusing on four generations:

  1. Gen Z: 1997 – 2012
  2. Millennials: 1981 – 1996
  3. Gen X: 1965 – 1980
  4. Baby Boomers: 1946 – 1964

Gen Z

Did you know that a huge 70% of generation Z has some sort of secondary income source?

With more side hustlers than any other generation, it’s no wonder that this group has a reputation for being high-tech multitaskers.

Fortunately, if you’re a member of this generation, it’s good to know that time is on your side. With the attractive prospect of significant gains from compound interest, consistent payments into investment accounts are one strategy to build long-term wealth.

While you’re still at the beginning of your career, we know that it might be hard to justify sacrificing a portion of your salary (especially while the cost of living is rising). But now is the time to set good habits- your future self will thank you.

With lots of time to offset, market volatility, some Gen Zers are turning to high-risk ventures. Whatever your route, be sure to stay informed about the investment decisions you are making.

Millennials

Many in this generation don’t believe that they can experience true wealth, due to the sharp rise in the cost of living. But with some clever financial planning, millennials can work towards the quality of life that they desire.

One of the key issues facing this generation is buying a property later in life, leading to shorter mortgages. As a millennial, you may have to consider whether to decrease pension contributions for a short while in order to save up your deposit. For some, this could be beneficial, while others won’t want to sacrifice their pension security.

With plenty of time still in the workplace, your investments should stand up against market corrections over the course of your career. However, it may be the time to start thinking about tapering down any riskier assets and spreading your funds in order to diversify.

Gen X

The major gripe for Generation X is being torn between helping out their children in younger generations and caring for an older family member. For most, the majority of generational wealth will be built over the next few years as compound interest really plays its part in past investment decisions. If you’re in this position, you may only need to sit back and watch.

As Gen Xers look towards retirement planning, building an investment plan that will create enough income to replace salary is the goal. With little time left in the workforce, this generation is more vulnerable to market corrections. Therefore, most prefer to diversify with low-risk portfolios and a high proportion of cash or liquid assets. 

It’s also important to double-check any pension accounts and social security with a financial advisor. For example, the tax situation on 401k and 403bs are different as some of the money in these accounts may not yet have been through the tax system.

Baby Boomers

Finally, baby boomers are the most confident generation in terms of their own financial literacy. Having lived the longest, and through many different events, they have a good proportion of the buying power in the US.

If you’re a part of the baby boomer generation, you’ve probably heavily relied on stocks and share investments for wealth planning. But if the focus of your investments has changed from gaining interest to paying out regular dividends, bringing down the risk of these pots may now be the priority.

One other concern is the fact that we are all now living longer, at a higher price. Baby boomers will want to ensure that their pensions and investment payouts will cover the course of retirement, including the price of care, for example. Estate planning is also recommended.

Finding common ground

Even though each generation will have a different attitude when it comes to their money and investments, there are a few intergenerational similarities. And while every generation may take a different road to get there, at the end of the day, it’s about feeling financially secure for the future.

To focus on your financial security, get in touch with one of our advisors at Barnum Financial Group today. The Barnum promise means listening to and learning from you, so that we can put your best interests first and help you to create the future you want.


Listen to you. Learn about you. Deliver advice and solutions that help you achieve the future you want. Put your best interests first. This is the Barnum promise. If you’d like to learn more, contact us today.