There’s no mistaking the raised eyebrow of the Gen Xer. Learn about this independent, resourceful and highly skeptical generation and navigate its key traits to build strong relationships.
Events and Conditions
The formative years have a significant impact on behavior, outlook and generational personality.
| LATCHKEY KIDS
Xers earned this nickname by coming home
after school to an empty house. They became
independent, learning how to manage their
own time – doing homework, watching TV
and cooking their own dinner.
| VIDEO GAMES
Created in 1980, Pac-Man revolutionized the
gaming world by establishing the maze chase
genre. Xers were the first generation exposed
to the video game world, and many played this
classic at arcades after school.
| MICHAEL JORDAN
The Chicago Bulls star is considered one
of the greatest basketball players of all time,
earning him the nickname “Air Jordan.”
Many kids were looking for heroes, and
| TV MUSIC VIDEOS
MTV launched in 1981 with the music video
“Video Killed the Radio Star” by The Buggles.
The creation of MTV changed the way
Xers spent their free time.
| 24-HOUR MEDIA
Founded in 1980, CNN was the first television
channel to provide 24-hour news coverage.
Xers watched live as many institutions were
called into question by 24-hour news.
| CHALLENGER EXPLOSION
A tragic and pivotal moment of Gen Xers’
formative years, the 1986 Challenger disaster
created misgivings about NASA. This was
just one example of how trusted institutions
let this generation down.
| MISSING CHILDREN
ON MILK CARTONS
Etan Patz’s disappearance in 1979 sparked
the missing children’s movement. Grabbing
a milk at lunch, Xers witnessed first-hand
how dangerous the world can be.
| PERSONAL COMPUTER
Xers remember the debut of the Apple I and
the first mass-marketed personal computer,
the Commodore PET. Millennials may believe
they are the first high-tech generation, but
Gen Xers were truly the pioneers.
| DOT COM BOOM AND BUST
The rise of the Internet was a major milestone
for Xers. The subsequent tech bust created
another source of skepticism for the generation.
As a result of events and
conditions during their
formative years, each
generation develops a
specific set of characteristics.
Complex financial decisions put Gen Xers on point for financial guidance.
of Xers believe they can no
longer count on pensions,
Social Security and Medicare.1
of Xers have not tried to
calculate what they need
to save for retirement.2
of Xers identify as a
“saver” vs. a “spender.”3
are concerned about the
possible financial strain of
caring for aging parents.4
of Gen Xers will leave
an inheritance to children
of Xers feel optimistic about
their financial future.6
94% of Xers believe it’s critically
important for them to build their own
financial security in retirement.1
66% of Xers think their financial
plan needs improvement.7
78% of Xers are interested in
receiving financial advice.8
1 Generations Apart℠ How boomers and Generation Xers are facing their financial futures. (2015, April). Allianz.
2 Fact Book 2016. A Guide to Information, Trends, and Data in the Retirement Income Industry. (2016). Insured Retirement Institute.
3 2017 Allianz Generations Ahead Study – Quick Facts #1. (2017). Allianz.
4 Retirement 2.0 Research Report. Generation X shares their vision for retirement. (2015). Ameriprise Financial.
5 Family Wealth Checkup. A multigenerational study on how families talk about money and long-term financial planning. (2017). Ameriprise Financial.
6 Gen Z and the Challenges/Opportunities Driving Their Financial Mindsets. (2016, Aug. 11). Lincoln Financial Group.
7 The Gen X Retirement Dilemma. (2017). Northwestern Mutual.
8 TIAA 2016 Advice Matters Survey. (2016, Sept. 29). TIAA.
This information is prepared by an unrelated independent third party, BridgeWorks, and is provided for informational purposes only. Ivy Distributors, Inc., believes the information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but does not guarantee the accuracy of the information provided.