Baby Boomers’ Retirement Confidence At All-Time Low

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As they close in on retirement, many products of the Baby Boomer generation are watching helplessly as their American Dream turns into a nightmare.

A recent survey from the Insured Retirement Institute (IRI) found that only 27 percent of Baby Boomers are confident that they will have enough money to last them through retirement. Moreover, the results suggest that people are losing confidence as they move closer and closer to retirement.

For the purposes of this survey, people born between the years of 1947 and 1963 were considered to be Baby Boomers. The survey has been conducted every year since 2011, with confidence declining with each successive edition.

“The numbers suggest that uncertainty is creeping in, and more Baby Boomers are doubting their ability to make their savings last,” said IRI President and CEO Cathy Weatherford.

The record highs of the stock market have done little to quell the fears of the Baby Boomer generation. The first survey was conducted in 2011, with 39% of respondents indicating confidence in their retirement preparedness. Each annual installment has seen that number shrink, all the way down to the most recent result of 27%.

Less than 20% of Baby Boomers indicate having savings of $250,000 or more put aside for retirement. On the other hand, 40% report that they have no savings at all.

Other major indicators are worsening as well. In 2011, only 17% of respondents expected to retire at age 70 or later. This year, that number had ballooned to 28%. In the past year alone, almost a quarter of Baby Boomers have postponed their plans to retire.

“Many Boomers have witnessed their last payday or are quickly approaching the day their final paycheck arrives,” added Weatherford. “There appears to be some second-guessing when it comes to their retirement security and making ends meet. Unfortunately, the reality is few Boomers can be absolutely certain their savings can last 20-30 years in retirement.”

Not all the news from the study was bad, however. Of the Baby Boomers who have consulted with a professional regarding retirement preparation, 86% report that they are better prepared as a result. Additionally, those Baby Boomers who have insulated themselves with an annuity are more than twice as likely to be ‘highly confident’ that their savings will last throughout retirement, when compared to their contemporaries without an annuity.

The IRI study is based on a survey of 803 Americans, ages 52-68.

Phil Cannella
Partnered with CBS Radio Network, Phil Cannella reports on the issues most important to the American retiree.
Phil Cannella

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