Almost half of baby boomers still working expect that when they retire, their standard of living is going to come crashing down, according to the 17th annual Transamerica Retirement Survey, one of the largest and longest-running surveys of its kind. And apparently, that fear isn’t far off the mark.
“Although the Great Recession ended years ago, millions of Americans are still regaining their financial footing,” said Catherine Collinson, president of TCRS, in a written release. The study found that 45 percent of baby boomer workers are expecting a decrease in their standard of living when they retire. It also found that 61 percent of workers say they have not fully recovered from the recession ― including 7 percent who may never recover. Confidence that Social Security will be there for them when they are ready to retire was also low, with 77 percent of workers of all ages expressing concern. And 65 percent of workers believe they could work until age 65 and still won’t have enough saved to meet their retirement needs.
The not-so-secret weapon to having an affordable retirement may be an obvious one: Keep working for as long as you can. The survey found that 38 percent of workers are expecting income from continued work during their retirement – and 15 percent are expecting it to be their primary source of income in retirement.
“Baby boomers are the generation that has re-written societal rules at every stage of their life,” said Collinson. “Now, baby boomer workers are redefining retirement by planning to work until an older age than previous generations.” The study found that 66 percent plan to or already are working past 65. While some boomers dream about easing into a flexible transition from work to retirement, many employers do not have business practices in place to accommodate the vision, said Collinson.
The current household savings in all retirement accounts among baby boomer workers is $147,000 (estimated median). Many baby boomers were already mid-career when 401(k) plans were introduced and have not had a full 40-year time frame to save in 401(k) plans.