1946 was the first year of the Baby Boomer generation. Many famous people were born that year - Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt, Tommy Lee Jones, Sally Field, Steven Spielberg, and many others. Most or all of these people are undoubtedly in good financial shape, but how are the rest of the individuals in this group doing when it comes to retirement? The MetLife Mature Market Institute (MMI) released a follow-up to an earlier study to assess this narrow segment.
The MMI found that more than half (52%) of 1946 Boomers are now fully retired. Depending on where on the calendar their birthdays fall, these individuals are now 66 or 67 years old. This is up from 45% in 2011 and 19% in 2007. Currently, 86% are collecting Social Security, and of this subgroup, 43% started earlier than expected. While most of these retirees are empty nesters, about one in eight are caring for an older parent or relative.
For those born in 1946, they define "old" as age 78.5. Interestingly, The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports U.S. life expectancy at 78.7.
Of those who are fully retired, the primary reason for doing so earlier than expected was health (32%) and job loss (25%). Others retired later than expected, primarily due to various financial considerations: needed salary (30%), needed to save more (13%), needed to recover or rebuild finances (4%), and needed company-provided health benefits (4%). About one in four simply wanted to keep working because they enjoyed it or preferred staying active (26%). (The study notes that this latter group is based on a small sample.)
Even though the sample might be small, the data about those who retired later than expected is directionally interesting. The earlier Boomers are thought to be doing better financially than later Boomers, yet about half of those who retired later than expected are struggling with their finances. This writer would suggest that helping individuals solve their never-ending financial balancing act would be an important goal, and perhaps an opportunity, for those companies and individuals with expertise in that area.
Blog Author - Ken Felsher
With over 25 years of writing, editing, and research experience. I enjoy sharing with my readers my love of working with content on a variety of subjects.
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