Talking About My Generation (and Retirement)

Talking About My Generation (and Retirement)

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10/23/2023 | Investment & Retirement

Quick Tips for Retirement Planning Based on Your Age

The way people plan for retirement has changed dramatically over the past few decades. This is due to a number of factors, including the decline of traditional pensions, the rising cost of healthcare, and increasing life expectancy.

As a result, different generations have different approaches to retirement planning.

For all generations, some basic principles apply:

  • Start saving early: The earlier you start saving for retirement, the more time your money has to grow. Even if you have advanced in your career, it’s never too late to make an impact on your future.
  • Take advantage of employer-sponsored retirement plans: 401(k)s and 403(b)s offer tax advantages that can help your money grow faster.
  • Set realistic savings goals: Start by setting a goal to save 10% of your income for retirement. You can increase your savings rate as your income increases and you have more financial flexibility.
  • Invest wisely: Once you have saved some money, it is important to make smart investments. There are a variety of options available, so choose investments that are appropriate for your risk tolerance and time horizon.
  • Rebalance your portfolio regularly: As you get closer to retirement, you may want to adjust your portfolio to reduce your risk. This means selling some of your more aggressive investments and buying more conservative ones. Throughout your career it is important to meet with your financial advisor regularly, to ensure you are on the best path for your saving goals.

The Generations:

Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964)

Baby Boomers are the largest generation in the workforce, but they are quickly approaching retirement and are even beginning to hit that threshold in waves. This generation is more likely to have 401(k) plans and other retirement savings accounts. However, they may also have more debt than other, younger generations.

Tips for Boomers:

  • Make it a priority. Start taking a closer look at your retirement savings on a regular basis to ensure you are on track to reach your goals.
  • Consider taking advantage of catch-up contributions to your 401(k) plan. Make sure you are up to date on all your company’s policies and opportunities.
  • If you have debt, develop a plan to pay it off as soon as possible.
  • Connect with your financial advisor regularly, and ensure you’re aligned on any next steps or major changes.


Generation X (born 1965-1980)

Generation X is the bridge between the Baby Boomers and Millennials. They are now in their prime working years and are likely starting to think more concertedly about retirement. This generation is more likely to have concerns about the cost of healthcare and funding their retirement years.

Tips for Gen X:

  • Take advantage of your highest earning years by prioritizing saving for long-term goals such as retirement.
  • Make sure you have a mix of retirement savings, including 401(k)s, IRAs, and other investments that align with your target timeline.
  • Consider buying a long-term care insurance policy.


Millennials (born 1981-1996)

Millennials are the first generation to come up in the digital age. They are also the most diverse generation in American history. This generation is more likely to have significant student debt and less likely to have access to traditional pensions. As a result, they often need to rely on their own savings for retirement.

Tips for Millenials:

  • Retirement might still seem a distant thought, but it’ll be here sooner than you think. Start your saving early, even if it's just a small amount each month – a consistent investment can result in big savings over time.
  • Establish a budget and stick to it. Check out United Bank’s budgeting tool and get started building your budget today.
  • If possible, avoid taking on additional debt. If you must do so however, pay off your current and an accumulated debt as quickly as possible to minimize interest.


Generation Z (born 1997-2012)

Generation Z is the youngest generation in the workforce. They are still in the early stages of their careers and are just starting to think about retirement. This generation tends to be open to new retirement savings options such as cryptocurrencies**.

Tips for Gen Z:

  • Educate yourself about retirement planning as early as possible – do your research, take advantage of your company’s opportunities and make it a priority early.
  • Set financial goals for yourself and make a plan to reach them. The FIRE movement (Financial Independence. Retire Early.) requires a disciplined approach.
  • Once you have steady employment, begin setting aside savings for retirement, even if it is a small amount. Setting up automatic transfers to your savings account is a great way to make it part of your process automatically. Having automatic contributions is a great way to save – if you never see the money, you won’t know what you’re missing.
  • Start a Roth IRA. A Roth IRA is an individual retirement account that allows you to invest and grow your money tax free. Another significant benefit of this type of account is that it allows you to withdraw your dollars tax free upon entering retirement. As with any savings & investment account, the earlier you start, the greater the benefit and return you will see. 


No matter what generation you belong to, there are a number of resources available to help you plan for retirement, including financial advisors, retirement calculators, and government assistance. Our team is here to help guide you through every step of your planning.

Learn more on investing and retirement.

*Additional resources on 401(k) and IRA catch up contributions:
**Individuals seeking to invest in cryptocurrencies are encouraged to educate themselves on the risks associated before making any decisions. 
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