Gen X is edging into the 55+ retirement age, so the long-standing view that older Americans are unwilling or unable to embrace technology is expiring. The group of people born in the years 1965-1980 are well-versed in technology and have substantial retirement accounts. Financial technology (fintech) innovations will explode in the next ten years to appeal to the internet-savvy generation.
Impact of the Great Recession
The Great Recession left many in the generation uncertain about the stability of banking institutions and seeking more control over their retirement assets. The economic environment appeared much more fragile than anticipated, exposing the widespread problems of declining social security, the absence of pension plans, and rising healthcare costs. The resulting chaos left Gen X less willing to cede control to the banking institutions for personal finances. With artificial intelligence guiding apps, Gen X will decide on their own what to do in retirement.
What you can expect
Technology opens up an entire sector of personal finance that makes it equally accessible whether you are wealthy or not. Unlike previous generations, Generation X is willing to use smartphones and laptops to move their money around exclusively. Technology gives the average consumer the tools needed to keep a tighter rein on their retirement and to rely less on traditional advisors and fund managers.
Technology growth in fintech is bottlenecked due to human behaviour
Even though AARP reports that 99% of people over the age of 50 years own a tablet, laptop or desktop device, and 76% own a smartphone, the ageing Boomers reluctantly adopted the technology. Finance technology currently targets Boomers because of the significant size of the generation’s retirement accounts. Those figures are expected to increase in the coming years, but the management of the retirement accounts will gradually fall to the next generation. The population of 50 million retirees aged 50+ will have access to innovative solutions that help improve the financial health of retirees.
Expect advances in stock trading
The finance sector will see Gen X lean into artificial intelligence to actively manage their retirement portfolios rather than relying on large managed funds. Stock trading has seen some incredible changes since the internet made wealth management accessible to everyone. The stock market is open to anyone with an e-trade account, but increased market volatility is causing people to shy away. As the markets embrace fintech advances, people will increasingly avoid fee-based advisors and manage their retirement independently with the support of artificial intelligence.
Money management opportunities in banking
Online banking is making retirement account management quick and easy. With increasing technology literacy, banks can offer more sophisticated money management apps with incentives for high balances or transactions. The high-tech rewards will add incentives for transactions or preferred products in retirement portfolios, generating revenue for the banks.
The finance sector will see Gen X lean into artificial intelligence to actively manage their retirement portfolios rather than relying on large managed funds.
Apple Pay and Apple Card
Banks aren’t the only company interested in helping you manage your money. Apple dominates the phone market with more than a billion phones in pockets. Technology companies like Apple are increasingly edging out traditional banking for point-of-sale transactions. Apple Pay is accepted in 99% of European point of sale transactions and is slowly making progress in the U.S.
The technology giant announced recently the launch of a revolutionary new Apple Card. Rather than a physical debit card tied to an online bank, the card offers financial advice and support from your phone. Eliminating paper-based payments like cash and checks makes the purchase process even more efficient. Expect more innovations to open up with the receptive Gen X audience. As soon as this product becomes standard, watch for innovations from Apple in the form of retirement management for Gen X.
Generation X retirees face a different financial future than previous generations: delayed retirement, lack of pension plans, limited savings, and exploding healthcare costs. Today’s innovative financial tools need to step up to meet the challenge. New solutions and adaptation of existing products and services targeted to this segment will help Gen X ease into retirement with more security and less risk.