A recovering economy has done little to change the bleak retirement Baby Boomers see for themselves in the future, according to new findings released by the Insured Retirement Institute. Only about one in three Boomers (36%) are confident that they will have enough money to live comfortably in retirement, virtually unchanged from the 37% who felt confident last year.
Single and middle-income Boomers — those earning between $30,000 and $75,000 annually — are especially worried about their ability to retire. Nearly three in four single Boomers (72%) and 70% of middle-income Boomers say they are pessimistic that they will have a comfortable retirement, according to the report.
Most are uneasy about the economy, with more than six in 10 (62%) saying that they believe their personal financial situation will be the same or worse five years from now. The majority (60%) believes their financial security will be about the same or worse than that of their parents.
The findings were released as part of the kick-off to National Retirement Planning Week, an initiative to raise the awareness of the need for comprehensive retirement planning, Danielle Holland, a spokesperson for the Insured Retirement Institute, said during a conference call with the media.
One way Boomers can “feel more in control” and more confident is by working with financial advisors, noted Katie Libbe, vice president of Consumer Marketing and Solutions at Allianz Life, during the call. With the risks they face in retirement — from inflation to healthcare and longevity — Boomers are looking for greater certainty, she said.
“If advisors can provide a level of certainty,” she added, “it would help Boomers feel more confident in retirement.”
The research found that more Boomers expect to delay their retirement and rely on post-retirement employment to supplement their income. Approximately two-thirds (64%) expect wages from jobs taken after retirement to be a source of income, up from 57% last year. More than one-third (35%) plan to retire after 66, up from 28% the year before. More than one in five (23%) expect to work into their 70s.
Another significant finding is that Boomers are beginning to see employer-sponsored defined contribution plans as being just as important as social security as a source of retirement income. More than four in 10 Boomers (42%) expect workplace retirement plans to provide a major source of retirement income, up from 36% last year. As many rely on social security as a significant income source.
The survey was based on telephone interviews with 803 Americans between the ages of 50 and 66. The interviews were conducted from February 26 through March 12, 2012 by Woelfel Research Inc., on behalf of IRI.