Middle Class Baby Boomer Retiree

Middle-Income Boomers, Financial Security and
the New Retirement

May 2011

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.  Download the Full Study

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  • 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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The Bankers Life and Casualty Company Center for a Secure Retirement study Middle-Income Boomers, Financial Security and the New Retirement was conducted in March 2011 by the independent research firm The Blackstone Group. A nationwide sample of 500 American Baby Boomers (ages 47 and 65) who are not yet retired and have an annual household income of between $25,000 and $75,000 participated in the Internet-based survey. Significant sub-sample differences were tested at the 95% confidence level.

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