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Reimagining Retirement

Generational Strategies for 21st Century Challenges

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Investment and Insurance Products: NOT FDIC Insured NO Bank Guarantee MAY Lose Value

You are in charge

Retirement planning today is a far cry from the prevailing pattern of the mid-20th century. As this video explains, preserving wealth throughout retirement is increasingly important for investors, as there are fewer income guarantees than earlier generations once had.

The shift from direct-benefit plans, such as pensions, to direct-contribution plans, such as 401(k)s, means that individuals have a much greater responsibility for their retirement. You can see the shift across generations.

Please find the accessible version of the information shown in this chart or graph at the link below.

Primary source of funds in retirement

Baby Boomer

  • 401(k)/IRA: 25%
  • Social Security: 38%
  • Pension: 19%

Gen X

  • 401(k)/IRA: 39%
  • Social Security: 25%
  • Pension: 15%


  • 401(k)/IRA: 46%
  • Social Security: 15%
  • Pension: 8%
Source: 2018 Wells Fargo Retirement Study, October 15, 2018.

Reimagining retirement for every generation

Each of the generations in the workforce today—Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Millennials—faces unique challenges. But each is also in a unique position to take control of retirement.

baby boomers reimagining retirement

of Baby Boomers in an employer-sponsored retirement plan are invested in a diversified portfolio.

Baby Boomers: Revisit your asset allocation

As they approach retirement, investors have tended to emphasize fixed income for reduced volatility and income generation. Due to low interest rates and longer work lives, however, strategists advise that Baby Boomers may want to maintain a higher allocation to equities during their retirement years, depending on their risk tolerance.

Source: Wells Fargo Institutional Investment and Trust, 2018 Driving Plan Health, October 2018

gen xer reimagining retirement

of Gen Xers have a detailed financial plan.

Gen Xers: Invest for growth

In our opinion, portfolio allocations for this generation should favor equities for growth but still be diversified to smooth out downturns. Within the equity allocation, consider diversifying across domestic and international stocks.

Source: 2018 Wells Fargo Millennial Survey, October 15, 2018

millennial reimagining retirement

of Millennials do not believe the stock market is a good place to grow their retirement savings.

Millennials: Make investing a priority

Limited experience and an aversion to risk can make millennials hesitant to start investing. However, starting an investing plan as early as possible can have a significant effect on your savings. Assuming your investments earn a hypothetical 6% return yearly, over time the power of compounding could have a significant effect on your savings.

Source: Wells Fargo/Gallup Investor and Retirement Optimism Index, November 2018

Your mindset could be the key to retirement-planning success

The 2018 Wells Fargo Retirement Study identified the factors most associated with financial well-being. This is the Planning Mindset—a state of mind that leads to behaviors that can help create retirement-planning success.

Key statements that define the Planning Mindset

I am able to work diligently toward a long-term goal

I prefer saving for retirement now, to ensure I have a better life in retirement

It makes me feel better to have my finances planned out for the next one to two years

In the last six months, I have set and achieved a goal or set of goals to support my financial life

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Reimagining Retirement includes more information to help investors succeed in their retirement planning.

Wells Fargo Investment Institute is home to more than 140 investment professionals focused on investment strategy, asset allocation, portfolio management, and alternative investments. Its mission is to deliver timely, actionable advice that can help investors achieve their financial goals.

For additional insights and market commentary, visit our website. For assistance with your investment planning or to discuss the points in this report, please talk to your investment professional.

Follow us on Twitter at @WFInvesting

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