Financial Planning

Looking for a Financial Advisor Specializing in Serving Gen X?

By  Brian Thorp

Disclaimer: To make Wealthtender free for our readers, we earn money from advertisers, including financial professionals and firms that pay to be featured. This creates a natural conflict of interest when we favor their promotion over others. Wealthtender is not a client of these financial services providers. Learn how we operate with integrity to earn your trust.

Find financial advisors specializing in serving Gen X who are ready to help with your financial planning needs so you can enjoy life more with less money stress.

As a member of Generation X, you may be thinking about hiring a financial advisor who understands your unique financial planning challenges and opportunities. Fortunately, an increasing number of financial advisors specialize in serving Gen X clients.

Before hiring a financial advisor, it’s important to first consider your own financial planning priorities. In this guide, we’ll share a few quick tips to help you get started in your search and introduce you to financial advisors featured on Wealthtender you may want to add to your shortlist.

How Much Does a Financial Advisor Cost?

➡️ How Much Does a Financial Advisor Cost? Read the Article

Financial Planning Insights from a Gen X Personal Finance Writer

We asked Karen Banes, a Gen X personal finance writer, to share her thoughts on financial planning for Generation X. Here’s what she said:

As a member of Gen X, I’m often just glad that I’m not the focus of Millennial anger and frustration. They direct it mainly at Baby Boomers and pretty much leave me and my generation out of the conversation. Gen X is known as the forgotten generation, sometimes literally. We were the first latchkey kids. Born long before helicopter parenting was a thing, but after the time when parents were strict and controlling with their kids. We kind of raised ourselves, which may explain why as a group, we’re not great with money.

Even as a personal finance writer, I was surprised to find out that according to extensive data gathered by Experian, and carefully analyzed by CNBC, Gen X is deeper in debt than any other generation. Gen X is carrying an average of $135,841 of debt, compared to the average debt balance of a Millennial at $78,396.

At first glance, it seems like there are good reasons for this, but these, too, may be affected by the rhetoric. Millennials will no doubt assume that their lower debt burden is due to being unable to get onto the property ladder and therefore having no mortgage. But the study looked at mortgage debt separately from other debt and found that the gap between the two generations, when it comes to the amount outstanding on mortgages, is pretty small. While Gen X does have the highest mortgage debt on average, at $238,344, Millennials are very close behind them, with average mortgage debt of $224,500.

Gen X also has the highest credit card debt, the highest auto loan balance, the highest amount of debt in home equity lines of credit, and even the highest amount of student loan debt. The only thing different about Gen X is they don’t seem to be talking about it as much. We’re just struggling on, it seems. Raised, perhaps, to take responsibility for our own actions, make our own snacks, and clear up our own messes. Or maybe, tragically, hiding our financial burdens because we assume our peers are doing fine and don’t want to look like failures.

If your peers buy nice things and drive nice cars, it’s reasonable to assume that they can afford them. If they’re Gen X, though, chances are they aren’t exactly affording it as such. They’re paying for it with an auto loan of $21,570 (on average) and credit card debt of $8,215 (again, that’s just an average). Conspicuous consumption doesn’t mean you’re rich. It often means the opposite. If you can see how much money someone has, that usually means they’ve spent it.

It’s time for Gen X to talk about money. And maybe it’s time for personal finance writers to talk to Gen X. It’s not too late for us to sort out our finances. While debt is a normal part of life for most Americans (of any generation), debt management needs to perhaps become a more widely discussed topic, especially for the forgotten generation.

If you’re a member of Gen X (or any other generation) and you’re struggling with debt, you may need to think about credit counseling or taking advice from a financial professional like the financial advisors featured below.

Smart Tips for Finding a Financial Advisor for Gen X

Before hiring a financial advisor, here are a few quick tips to help you find the best advisor for you. You may also want to consider getting to know XY Planning Network financial advisors who work with Gen X and Gen Y (Millennial) clients.

1. Decide Which Services You Need

Before hiring an advisor, determine what services you need from them. Whether it’s full-service investment management or a plan focused on a specific area of your finances, put together a list of what you’d like help with before contacting an advisor.

Though most people use a financial planner simply to invest for retirement, this is only a small part of what many advisors offer. Here’s a quick rundown of potential services a financial advisor may offer you:

  • Budgeting and money management
  • Debt management
  • Insurance planning
  • Retirement planning
  • Other investment planning
  • Inheritance planning
  • Estate planning
  • Tax planning

As you can see, financial advisors can help you with your entire financial picture, not just investing. As you start to plan for life’s bigger milestones, you should consider finding a financial advisor that specializes in those areas.

Finding the right advisor can help you minimize risk, maximize gains and take advantage of tax breaks while investing for your future. They can also help you protect your assets with the right kinds of insurance and help you pass on your financial legacy with a proper estate plan.

2. Consider Your Budget and Payment Preferences

Once you have a list of services you would like, review the fee structures financial advisors offer. Finding a balance between the services you need and the cost of those services will help narrow down the field of advisors you may want to work with.

If you are looking for a full-service advisor to manage all of your investments, consider searching among fee-based financial advisors. If you want to manage your money yourself, consider the flat fee and monthly subscription advisors for ongoing support.

3. Interview Multiple Financial Advisors

Once you have chosen the services and fee structure you prefer, it’s time to contact a few advisors and interview them. Here are questions to ask financial advisors:

  • What services do you provide?
  • What are all the ways you get paid? (fee transparency)
  • What is your investment strategy?
  • How do you measure investment performance?
  • How do we communicate about my plan?

Interview multiple advisors to get a feel for who you want to work with. A combination of fees, services, and customer service will help you determine the best fit for your financial advice.

4. Review Financial Advisor Credentials

Once you find an advisor (or two) you feel comfortable with, it’s always a good practice to check their credentials and the firm’s details. You can do this at the Investment Adviser Public Disclosure (IAPD) website

You can check both the individual and the firm to view their background and experience details, as well as any disciplinary action taken against them or their firm.

As licensed financial professionals, there is oversight into how financial advisors conduct business, so running a quick (free) check on them is recommended.

For additional information about advisor credentials, read our article to learn the most popular designations held by financial advisors, as well as specialized credentials which may be important to consider if you have unique financial planning needs.

Get to Know Financial Advisors for Generation X

📍 Click on a pin in the map view below for a preview of financial advisors who specialize in serving Gen X clients. Or choose the grid view to search our directory of financial advisors with additional filtering options.

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📍Double-click or pinch pins to view more.

🙋‍♀️ Have Questions About Financial Planning for Generation X?


Frequently Asked Questions & Additional Resources

How do I know if I’m ready to hire a financial advisor?

You should strongly consider hiring a financial advisor if you have a significant amount of money available for saving or investing. This could occur after years of making annual contributions to a retirement plan like a 401(k) through your employer or suddenly if you receive a large inheritance or sell your house for a large profit.

But even if you don’t have a lot of money saved, many financial advisors and planners provide reasonable pricing options and valuable services you should consider, especially if you’re facing a significant life event. For example, if you’re starting a new job, getting married, starting a family, getting divorced, lost your job, starting or selling a business, or approaching retirement age, working with a trusted financial advisor or planner may prove worthwhile.

Before I hire a new financial advisor, should I fire my current advisor?

You don’t need to fire your current advisor before beginning your search for a new financial advisor. In fact, your new advisor can help coordinate the transition of your assets from your previous financial advisor.

Where can I read reviews about financial advisors written by their clients to help me decide if I should hire them?

After 60 years of regulatory prohibition of financial advisor reviews in the US, a rule issued by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) became effective on May 4, 2021 that means both financial advisors and directory websites that help consumers search for a financial advisor can collect and display financial advisor reviews, an important factor worth considering when choosing who you’ll hire to manage your investments and life savings. 

Wealthtender is the first independent advisor review platform designed to be fully compliant with the new SEC rule, and we look forward to helping you evaluate financial advisors based on reviews written by their clients.

I’m a financial advisor interested in being featured in this guide. How do I get started?

Thanks for your interest. We look forward to learning more about your practice and helping you attract your ideal clients where you may be a good fit based on their individual needs and circumstances. Please click here to learn how you can join local financial advisors featured on Wealthtender.

About the Author
A headshot of Brian Thorp, the founder and CEO of Wealthtender

About the Author

Brian Thorp

Brian is CEO and founder of Wealthtender. He and his wife live in Texas, enjoying the diversity of Houston and the vibrancy of Austin.

With over 25 years in the financial services industry, Brian is applying his experience and passion at Wealthtender to help more people enjoy life with less money stress.

Connect with Brian on LinkedIn

Disclaimer: To make Wealthtender free for our readers, we earn money from advertisers, including financial professionals and firms that pay to be featured. This creates a natural conflict of interest when we favor their promotion over others. Wealthtender is not a client of these financial services providers. Learn how we operate with integrity to earn your trust.