Middle-Income Boomers, Financial Security and the New Retirement

Two-thirds of middle-income Boomers say their retirement will be different from that of previous generations. This new study from Bankers Life and Casualty Company Center for a Secure Retirement reports findings on Boomers’ view of retirement and the impact the economic downturn on their retirement financial security.

Key Findings

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.

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

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Two-thirds (64%) of middle-income Boomers have taken action to reduce their healthcare expenses, including holding off going to the doctor (55%), postponing an elective surgery (26%) or changing to a less-expensive healthcare plan (25%).

Three-quarters (73%) of middle-income Boomers say the turbulent economy has caused their retirement timing expectations to change; seventy-nine percent (79%) of those are delaying their retirement, by five years on average.

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