Thursday, October 04, 2012

The Boomer Troubles

Once upon a time, a whole bunch of businesses were salivating at the thought of the impending retirement of the massive baby-boom generation. Boomers were going to inherit trillions, said economists. Boomers were going to retire early, said sociologists. Businesses looked forward to an unprecedented expansion in the number of well-heeled retirees.

Then the troubles began. Let's start with those inheritances, which have been aspirated away by the health care industry as it circles the long-lived parents of the baby-boom generation. And those eagerly awaited retirements? They have been postponed as aging boomers discovered too late that 401(k)s are poor substitutes for pensions. Then the Great Recession hit and, according to a new AARP survey, boomers lost their mojo. The AARP survey, which probed the financial wellbeing and attitudes of workers aged 50 to 64 during and after the Great Recession, found boomers to be decidedly downbeat.

"One of the survey's most striking findings is the gloomy view participants take of the economic environment," notes AARP. When asked how their standard of living in retirement would or does compare to that of their parents, this is what boomers had to say...

Better: 22%
Same: 23%
Worse: 48%

When asked how their economic security in retirement would or does compare to that of their parents, here is what boomers had to say...

More secure: 14%
Same security: 20%
Less secure: 51%

Insecurity is bad for business. Insecurity means boomers will work longer, save more, and spend less. The 54 percent majority of boomers have taken steps to beef up their retirement security, finds AARP. Those steps include working more, saving more, and spending less.

Source: AARP, Boomers and the Great Recession: Struggling to Recover

No comments: