- retiring late
- working till they drop
- retiring in poor circumstances
Generation X is those of us born between 1965 and 1980 (roughly - different commentators define it slightly differently), so entering the workforce between the mid 1980s and the early 2000s. We are now ages 30-44 (ie entering or in our prime earning years).
The issue is that most of us have only known defined contribution pension plans (eg 401(k) plans). Depending on individual level of prudence, you might have been contributing something like 5%-15% of earnings to such plans. Let's say 10% for a round number. With, most likely, limited stock market appreciation to look forward to, you can multiply that 10% by 40 years of working, and come out with four years of average earnings at the end of it.
The details vary depending on where you are in the cohort, how prudent you were in your youth, etc, so how much you gained from the 1980s-1990s bull market, how much your earnings have grown over time, etc. But still, life expectancy at 65 is currently about 17 years for men, and almost 20 years for women, and I think it's rather uncertain that most of my generation is going to be able to cover that long at any reasonable fraction of their final earnings.
The one caveat would be if we manage to get another boom going based on some new technological development (comparable in significance to the personal computer/Internet boom of 1983-2000). It's not clear to me what the basis for that would be - but then such things never are clear in advance, so I certainly can't rule it out.
Absent that, I suggest being nice to your kids: you're going to need them. And if you think the electorate is pissed off now, just wait.
I am of the opinion that a lot of us need to be making fairly radical changes in our lives - in particular, to create a seriously large gap between income and expenditure - think tens of percent, not single percentage points.