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Today's Working Environment Hosting 'Clash of Titans,' Elliott-Yeary Says
Tuesday, July 30, 2013 6:00 AM

While half of American workers say that they would like to retire before the age of 65, a nationwide poll conducted by J.P. Morgan Asset Management finds that only 20 percent believe they will realistically be able to do so. This leaves two options: work longer or save more.

With consumers working longer, “Generational Guru” Sherri Elliott-Yeary says today’s working environment is hosting a “clash of the titans.” Four generations, she says, are attempting to co-exist and cooperate in the workplace.

Elliott-Yeary, a featured presenter at the Cornerstone Credit Union League’s upcoming Young Credit Union Professionals Conference, offers 10 best practices for bridging generational gaps:

  1. Initiate conversations concerning the generation gap at all levels of the organization.
  2. Educate managers and employees on the different generations in the workplace.
  3. Match different generations represented in your credit union with your member base.
  4. Reward employees based on productivity and performance, not seniority.
  5. Educate and train employees to know how to best approach and communicate with employees from different generations.
  6. Offer appealing benefits that apply to employees of all ages.
  7. Train managers and leaders how to lead teams and departments with men and women from different generations.
  8. Present various forms of training and tuition reimbursement for employees of all ages.
  9. Establish a mentorship program where older employees teach younger employees.
  10. Encourage and establish multigenerational teams.

Helpful Resources:

The League’s Oct. 21-22 Get Stuff Done Young CU Professionals Conference in Austin. Elliott-Yeary will headline the conference with an engaging and thought-provoking session titled, “Bridging the Generations: From Ties to Tattoos.”

The League’s IRA Basics and IRA Advanced Seminars Oct. 10-11 in Dallas. Deborah Crawford is presenting both seminars. IRA Basics covers the basic elements of IRAs, while IRA Advanced covers everything you need to know about IRAs, including compliance, auditing and reporting.

Highlights from the J.P. Morgan Asset Management poll:

  • Seventy-six percent say they need professional assistance with key elements of retirement planning, including how much to save and how to allocate their investments.
  • About 53 percent estimate they will need less than 75 percent of their salary in retirement to live comfortably, while most financial experts suggest more will be required.
  • Only 13 percent believe they are on track to obtain a replacement rate of 75 percent or more.
  • Less than 30 percent of respondents are confident that their savings will last throughout their retirement.
  • Four in 10 do not have any target at all for how much to save for retirement.
  • Slightly more than 40 percent of participants plan to "wing it" in retirement.
  • A strong majority of participants review their account statements, but they rarely make changes in their investments.
  • Less than half say they know how to adjust their monthly 401(k) contributions and even fewer know how to change their investment allocation.
  • Three-quarters check their overall balances and almost as many examine how their account balance changed since their last statement.
  • Four in 10 have money from a prior retirement plan that they have not rolled into their current plan.