CHICAGO, July 21, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Two out of three (67 percent) of America’s middle-income Boomers expect that their retirement experience will be drastically different from that of their parents, according to a recent study released by the Bankers Life and Casualty Company Center for a Secure Retirement(SM) (CSR).
The study, Middle-Income Boomers, Financial Security and the New Retirement, which focused on 500 middle-income Americans between ages 47 and 65 with income between $25,000 and $75,000, found that the pensions and guaranteed income are what the majority (60 percent) of middle-income Baby Boomers envy most about the retirement of previous generations.
The ideas of being taken care of by family members, slowing down and moving to a retirement community, (activities commonly associated with the retirement of previous generations) are being replaced by keeping up with technology (77 percent), working (78 percent) and staying physically fit (81 percent).
The CSR’s study reveals, nearly one in three (31 percent) Boomers anticipate having to financially support at least one adult person during retirement and 15 percent expect that person will be an adult child or children, rather than an elderly parent (only 9 percent).
There are several factors contributing to this change in retirement outlook. According to the study, retirement risk has been shifted from employers and the government to individuals with the demise of corporate pension plans in favor of 401(k) plans, discontinuation of many employer-paid retiree health benefits and the future of Social Security and Medicare.
Today, just over half (56 percent) of middle-income Boomers work for an employer that offers a retirement savings plan. This is less than the national average for all workers (72 percent). And of those who contribute to a retirement plan at work, one in four (24 percent) do not receive a match from their employer.
The report also cites one in seven have no pension or retirement accounts at all and 55 percent of middle-income Boomers have saved less than $100,000.
“The retirement of the Baby Boom generation will not only test the limits of government programs such as Medicare and Social Security, but also help shape the definition of retirement itself,” said Scott Perry , president of Bankers Life and Casualty Company, a national life and health insurer. “Boomers may have to take more personal responsibility for their retirement financial security than was the case of their parents’ generation and plan for the risks that may jeopardize this security, like long-term care, inflation and outliving their money.”