Baby Boomers, the Economy and Retirement

In early 2009, a study about the effects of the economy on retirement was initiated by Age Wave, a thought-leader on the baby boomer generation. Dr. Ken Dychtwald, CEO of the company, wrote about the results in an article for We’ll be sharing them with you over the next few days – we think you’ll find them interesting:

The current economic reckoning has created vast financial losses and uncertainty during the last year, triggering all generations to reassess the funding, timing and purpose of retirement. To learn precisely how this past year has altered Americans’ retirement hopes, worries, and plans, Age Wave and Harris Interactive have surveyed thousands of Americans. The results uncovered mounting fears and shifting plans, but also a renewed focus on what’s important and an optimistic outlook about the possibilities for retirees’ new role in American life.

A new era of cautious self-reliance is emerging from a truly unnerving fiscal dilemma. For many people, their retirement dreams have vaporized. Each of the four generations polled is trying to alter its game plan in fascinating ways to seek peace of mind and to make the best of the years ahead. The study revealed 4 key illuminating findings:

Resetting the Retirement Clock

Seven-Year Money Setback – Nearly 60% of Americans have lost money in mutual funds, 401(k) plans, or the stock market. Respondents think it will take an average of seven years for their investments to recover.
Uncovered Medical Costs are the Retirement Wildcard – The single biggest worry among those 55+ is that they will be unable to afford uncovered medical expenses (46%). This is now a greater concern than either lack of personal savings (18%) or uncertain entitlements (11%).
Retirement Postponed – For the first time in U.S. history, we may witness a significant increase in the retirement age as respondents say on average they will now need to postpone retirement by 4.2 years – which will also adjust the “work-to-retirement ratio.”

Log in tomorrow for more results from this timely study. And share some of your own thoughts about the economy’s effects on you and your family.

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