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Retirement is Likely to Be Different for Generations to Come

Center for a secure Retirement just released the results of a new survey titled, “Middle Income Boomers, Financial Security and the New Retirement” and the results while interesting don’t really seem all that shocking.  According to the study the key findings are (and my thoughts),

  • Two-thirds (67%) of middle-income Boomers say their retirement will be different from that of previous generations; the ideas of being taken care of by family, slowing down and moving to a retirement community (associated with the retirement of previous generations) are being replaced with an active lifestyle and work.

My question would be when has retirement ever been the same for the previous generation? I am sure those retiring in the 70’s didn’t think their retirement was going to be like those people who retired in the 50’s? Also was there ever anything called “retirement” prior to the 1900’s?

  • More than half (55%) of middle-income Boomers are looking forward to retiring.However, one in four (28%) are still uncertain.

I’d have to guess that the 45% that aren’t looking forward to retirement has to do with being unprepared, not the lack of work.  Otherwise they just wouldn’t retire!

  • Three out of four (73%) middle-income Americans age 47 to 65 say that their financial situation, not age, is now the key indicator for when to retire.

Ummm, when would this have been different? At any time in history…if you don’t have enough money you don’t retire!

  • Pensions and guaranteed income are what sixty percent (60%) of middle-income Boomers envy most about the retirement of previous generations.

This is a huge loss for the boomers and my generation, but I believe pensions would still be around if they were actuarial sound.  I always say the problem is that those who retired in the 70’s by all standards at the time should have been dead by now, but they aren’t…they are alive and still suckling off the pension teet.

  • Three out of four (75%) middle-income Boomers expect to work in retirement; more than half (57%) of those expect they will have to work for financial reasons.

I think this may be the big change for the Boomers vs previous generations.  The idea of sitting around is boring lol.  However, the 57% is not shocking.

  • Two-thirds (67%) of middle-income Boomers feel they are behind where they expected to be at this point in their lives in terms of financial readiness for retirement.

Again, the boomers were raised to think everyone should have a $1,000,000 in their retirement fund.  Mathematically, they all can’t!

  • Half (52%) of middle-income Boomers are not confident that they have saved enough to live comfortably in retirement, and thirty-eight percent (38%) are only somewhat confident. Only one in ten (10%) feel confident about the adequacy of their retirement savings.

I wonder if any generation felt comfortable? Again, I don’t think this is a Boomer thing.

  • One-seventh (14%) of middle-income Americans age 47 to 65 do not have a pension, 401(k), IRA or any other type of retirement savings account.

Woah, 14% don’t even have an IRA?! That is really terrible.

  • More than half of middle-income Boomers (55%) have saved less than $100,000 for retirement. One-fifth (19%) have saved less than $10,000.

I don’t know if I see this is as separate as the previous stat that some will just have to work post-67.

  • Uncovered healthcare expenses (80%), inflation (79%) and living longer than their money lasts (71%) are the top three financial concerns that middle-income Boomers have about retirement.

Who doesn’t have these concerns? I do and I am 30 lol

  • Two out of three (68%) middle-income Americans age 47 to 65 have experienced a decline in the value of their retirement accounts since 2008; one-third (30%) of those have not seen any rebound in value as of March 2011.

Again, who hasn’t seen a decline in the value of their equity retirement account?  To be fair there was a run up after this article was published.

Overall Thoughts from the Retirement Study

I think a lot of these studies are only there to make people feel better and provide absolutely no real information.  Who didn’t have a decline in the value of their accounts? Who isn’t worried about health care costs and inflation? There is a good percentage of the population that haven’t saved…and thus can not retire at the magical age of 67.


Or am I just being cranky?



  1. I think that most people just expect retirement to happen and dont think much will happen to them, but they’ll realize (too late) that they werent saving enough, weren’t monitoring their health, and were not taking care of themselves.

  2. I agree with TMG Books to a point. As a twenty-something it’s hard to convince your mates that you should be contributing to your pension now. It feels so far away. And with salaries already low, parting with the cash now feels painful. Time can slip by where you’re not preparing for the future at all. I’m not surprised that boomers approaching retirement are beginning to panic a little.

    I’m also of the view that, as life expectancy ups, healthcare improves and people ‘feel’ increasingly younger (there’s a reason why boomers are known as ‘silver skiiers’) working beyond retirement age, or reviewing the age of retirement completely, makes sense.

  3. Saving for retirement is stupid, although that is not the reason that people who are failing to do so fail to do so.

    The financial aspects of planning for retirement are simply too complicated for most people as amply evidenced by the fact that a considerable percentage of boomers simply failed to do so or their planning and execution were deeply flawed.

    Defined-benefit pension plans took the planning and execution of a financially secure retirement out of the hands of the average person as does Social Security.

    Left to their own devices most people have too many personality faults to pull off investing for the long-term or saving for the long-term for that matter. (lazy, short-sighted, lack of self-discipline — we’re all just big kids!)

    And 65 is just to far off in the future for most people to take planning for that time in their life seriously or with any sense of urgency. Even at 50, 65 seems like a long time in the future.

    Instead of saving for retirement, you should save to achieve financial indepemdence. Of course, if you think about it, before you can retire you will need to achieve financial independence.

  4. It is scary to have a conversation about retirement with my friends and listen to the feedback I get. Sadly I think Gen Y has completely lost track of what it takes to be financially secure for later on in life.

  5. I think one of things that is different is mortality. We are living longer now than ever before. The other factor that has materially changed is the security of working. Will this affect later generations? Those 2 factors contribute to a change for older citizens.

  6. I’ve seen a few studies like this so the results aren’t too surprising. This is why we need Social Security, many (most?) people aren’t capable of preparing for retirement on their own.

  7. It looks like many retiree will have to keep working at least part time. I think this is fine and it’s all the more reason to find side gigs earlier in life. That way you can transition from a full time job to a side job that you like.

  8. Most people who retired in the 70’s ARE dead by now. 1970 was 41 years ago and 1979 was 32 years ago, so the people who retired during that decade, assuming they retired at 65, would now be between 97 and 106. But, most of them are dead.

    • I stand corrected…just replace 1979 with 1985 to 1990 lol. Point still stands that actuarial speaking no one thought we would have as many 90 year olds, nevertheless 100 year olds as we have today.

  9. I hate reports like these… It’s like they are only state the obvious… Still the stat numbers are interesting…


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