Americans have changing needs for retirement products as they grow older, and mutual fund companies that recognize and respect the differences between the age groups can be much more effective.

Charles Schwab recently surveyed thousands of adult Americans across four generations in order to gauge their different levels of perceptions and expectations about retirement. The groups were divided into the Silent Generation, ages 63 to 83; Baby Boomers, ages 44 to 62; Generation X, ages 32 to 43; and Generation Y, ages 21 to 31.

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