In previous articles we have highlighted financial planning issues for those labelled as Baby Boomers, those born during the post World War II baby boom from around 1943 to 1960 and enjoyed their teens or twenties in the late 60s and 70s.
Then there are the Millennials, sometimes called Gen Y, born post 1981 who have never known a time without choice or technology.
Now we now have a new class of individual, U Gen, the Uncertain Generation, born between 1961 and 1981. They will have experienced the boom and the bust, will have listened to Billy Idol and Blondie, they saw the value in technology and embraced it, they value the balance between work and life, they have kids who will need help with university fees and getting on the property ladder, they don’t have the security of final salary pensions and will not grow old like their parents but will work harder and longer. Sound familiar?
The U Gen are confident and are assured in their life and have high aspirations for their future. However when it comes to their finances and retirement they face a whole new level of uncertainty. They have very different issues to tackle.
Your 40s used to be a time when you could stop striving so hard. At this time of life you were feeling confident and piece of mind that you felt secure in your job, the children were at school, there was still evidence of a mortgage however servicing it was a smaller portion of ones income and there was spare cash to save for the future.
Today this generation of the UK population feel under pressure because of their financial future being clouded by uncertainty. The closing of generous final salary schemes being replaced by money purchase schemes.
Equity returns have been depressed so individuals in defined contribution schemes have lost three per cent each year between 1999 and 2009 as a result of significant market falls in 2003 and 2008.
For the U Gen there is time for markets to recover. However research shows that 56 per cent of over 50s are relying on strong market performance to deliver target incomes in retirement although we all need larger funds compared to 15 years ago during which time annuity rates have fallen 46 per cent for men and 42 per cent for women.