Research and Education

10 Years After the Crisis: Middle-Income Boomers Rebounding But Not Recovered

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Ten years after the U.S. financial crisis that began in 2007, most middle-income Boomers are uncertain of a nationwide recovery. And even among those who feel the economy has recovered at least somewhat, nearly half feel they have not personally benefitted from any recovery. Yet, they still expect to have a personally satisfying retirement—though the details of that retirement might look quite a bit different from what they once expected.

To find out why, the Bankers Life Center for a Secure Retirement examined how Boomers are faring 10 years after the crisis, including how it affected their confidence, behaviors and retirement expectations.

Boomer confidence in a secure retirement is shaken

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Middle-income Boomers remain unconvinced about a nationwide recovery from the financial crisis and are unsure about their chances for a secure retirement.

During the crisis, just one-quarter (27%) of middle-income Boomers reported feeling very well prepared or well prepared for retirement, down from four in 10 (41%) before the crisis. Still today, only about one-third (31%) of Boomers feel at least well prepared, a recovery of 29% back to the precrisis level.

How Boomers have responded

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Since the start of the financial crisis, middle-income Boomers have taken steps to manage their spending, savings and investments.

Three-quarters (74%) of middle-income Boomers have changed their investment behavior, and eight in 10 (81%) have taken at least one step to adjust their saving behavior. Nearly three in 10 (28%) Boomers have built up an emergency fund, and nearly two in 10 (17%) now save a larger percentage of their paycheck.

Retirement redefined

Middle-income Boomers are still planning to retire, but they are adjusting their retirement expectations.

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More than nine in 10 (92%) nonretired middle-income Boomers still expect to retire. Less than one in 10 (8%) do not plan to ever retire or are unsure.

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Today, four in 10 (38%) middle-income Boomers expect to rely on Social Security for their primary source of retirement income. Before the crisis, that number was less than one in three (30%).

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Before the crisis, just over one-third (35%) of middle-income Boomers expected to work full-time or part-time in retirement, but today half (48%) expect to work at least part-time.

About the Center for a Secure Retirement

The Bankers Life Center for a Secure Retirement is dedicated to research and consumer education. Its studies and consumer awareness campaigns prodice insight and practical advice to help everyday Americans achieve financial security in retirement.

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