Two out of three, or 67 percent of, middle-income baby boomers envision a much different life in retirement than their parents had, according to a study by Bankers Life and Casualty Co.'s Center for Secure Retirement.
The Bankers' Life study, Middle-Income Boomers, Financial Security and the New Retirement, surveyed 500 middle-income Americans aged 47 to 65 with incomes between $25,000 and $75,000. The poll was completed in March and conducted by the Blackstone Group, an independent research firm.
What is skewing their view is an absence of pensions, something their parents relied in their golden years. According to the study, 60 percent of boomers "envy" the pensions and guaranteed income the previous generation possessed.
Instead of being taken care of by family members, slowing down and moving to a retirement community-activities typically associated with the retirement years of their parents-boomers anticipate their activities in retirement will revolve around keeping up with technology (77 percent); working (78 percent); and staying physically fit (81 percent).
The Bankers' Life study also revealed that 31 percent expect to financially support at least one adult person during retirement and 15 percent say that that adult will likely be an adult child or children, rather than an elderly parent (9 percent).
Most telling is the statistic that indicates just over half-56 percent-of boomers work for an employer that offers a retirement savings plan. That compares to the national average of 72 percent for all workers. Of those who do contribute to a retirement plan at work, 24 percent do not receive a match from their employer.
Particularly alarming is how little monies boomers have in retirement savings. One in seven has no pension or retirement accounts at all and 55 percent of middle-income boomers have saved less than $100,000.
Such findings indicate that retirement risks are being shifted from employers and the government onto individuals with the switch to 401(k)s instead of corporate pension plans, cuts in employer-paid retiree health benefits and the uncertain future of Social Security and Medicare.
"Boomers may have to take more personal responsibility for their retirement financial security than was the case with their parents and plan for the risks that may jeopardize this security, like long-term care, inflation and outliving their money," said Scott Perry, president of Bankers Life, in a statement detailing the study.
Source: Bankers Life and Casualty Co.
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