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Gen X leading the charge on digital advice adoption

Nearly half of Gen X are turning to digital financial advice for support, Natixis Investment Managers discovers, in combination with a human adviser.

The asset manager’s research, conducted in collaboration with CoreData Research, examined the financial attitudes of Gen X – those born between 1965 and 1980.

As this generation approaches retirement, 56 per cent say they will need professional advice in the future. Financial planning (48 per cent) and retirement income planning (44 per cent) are the top services Gen X desire from an adviser.

“In many ways, the question isn’t whether they’ll seek out advice but where they will look for it: an adviser, an online platform, or some combination. Globally, Gen X looks to be warming to digital advice,” the firm stated.

The number of Gen Xers who signalled a preference for digital advice over in-person services has “increased significantly” over the past five years, up from 35 per cent in 2019 to nearly half (49 per cent) in 2023.

Louise Watson, country head of Australia and New Zealand at Natixis IM, said this is no surprise as Gen Xers look to manage their time effectively.

“It’s no surprise that Gen X, who are often stressed and time-poor as they take care of elderly parents while raising children and navigating demanding jobs, are early adopters of digital advice,” she described.


While this demographic expressed demand for online solutions, those who are turning to digital advice are typically combining it with the support of a traditional adviser.

Watson continued: “While this technology will help meet some of the demand for financial advice, it can’t yet provide anywhere near the level of complexity and personalised advice of a good financial adviser, reinforcing the crucial role advisers still play for Gen X.”

The data also found that Gen Xers hold their advisers in high regard. When asked who they trust when making financial decisions, Gen Xers are as likely to answer with “my adviser” (91 per cent) as “myself” (91 per cent).

Retirement fears on the horizon

Advisers meeting the needs of this generation is particularly important as 48 per cent are worried about running out of funds during retirement.

Some three in 10 are concerned they will never have enough savings to retire as inflation and debt dampen their future prospects.

Nearly 70 per cent of Gen X investors say inflation has damaged their ability to save for retirement, and three-quarters are worried public debt will result in reduced retirement benefits.

“Gen X are facing a complex set of circumstances that perhaps make them the generation with the greatest need for financial advice in modern times,” Watson remarked.