Older Adults in an Election Year

woman wears an "I Voted" button

by Gary A. Officer, Founder and CEO of Center for Workforce Inclusion

Fears of Economic Insecurity

Anchored within this Presidential election cycle are the fears and aspirations of key demographic groups who – broadly speaking – will determine the electoral outcome. The four demographic groups are The Baby Boomers (1946-1964), Gen Xers (1965-1980), Millennials (1980-1996), and Gen Zs (1996-2012) – with honorable mention for the Post-War generation (1928-1945). History informs us that during years of peacetime, economic security typically ranks as the defining election issue for the American voter. A recent Emerson College poll found that economic concerns rank highest among voters under thirty.

The Overburdened Sandwich Generation

Recent research from the Mather Institute has uncovered a troubling trend: Generation Xers harbor more anxiety about retirement than their Baby Boomer predecessors. Often dubbed the “sandwich generation,” Gen Xers find themselves caught between the dual responsibilities of caring for aging parents while raising their children. This delicate balancing act exacts a toll, emotionally and physically, leaving many feeling stretched to their limits.

However, Gen Xers’ concerns extend beyond the immediate challenges of caregiving. They also grapple with profound worries about the long-term sustainability of Social Security and the erosion of traditional company pensions. These factors compound the retirement insecurity felt by this generation, casting a shadow over their financial future and adding to their burdens.

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