Art by Wenting Li
Whether Baby Boomers, Generation X or Millennials, Americans
of all ages worry about having enough money to fund their retirement, according
to research by the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies.
Forty-five percent of Baby Boomers expect their standard of
living will decrease in retirement, 83% of Generation X think their generation
will have a harder time achieving financial security than their parents have or
did, and only 18% of Millennials are very confident about their future
Sixty-one percent of workers say they have not fully
recovered from the Great Recession, 13% have not started to recover, and 7%
think they may never recover. Seventy-seven percent of workers think that
Social Security will no longer exist when they retire, only 51% of workers
think they are building an adequate nest egg, and 65% think they could work
until age 65 but still have too little saved to meet their needs in retirement.
“Today’s workers are grappling with retirement security and
are challenged by the wobbly three-legged stool composed of employer-sponsored
retirement benefits, Social Security and personal savings,” says Catherine
Collinson, president of the center, in Los Angeles. “Amid retirement savings
shortfalls, American workers are attempting to prop up our system’s
three-legged stool by adding a fourth leg: work during retirement.” The survey
found that 38% of workers expect to follow that course.
Sixty-six percent of Baby Boomers plan to or are already
working past age 65—or expect to never retire. Eighty-seven percent of Boomers
expect Social Security to fund some of their retirement needs, and 34% expect
it will be their primary income source. Seventy-eight percent believe
retirement accounts or other savings and investments will fund their
retirement, but only 34% say they have a traditional pension plan.
The average household savings combining of all of its
retirement accounts is $147,000. Transamerica notes that the average balance
may be low because 401(k) plans were introduced when Boomers were already
“Baby Boomers are the generation that has rewritten societal
rules at every stage of their life,” Collinson says. “Now, Baby Boomer workers
are redefining retirement by planning to work until an older age than previous
generations. Baby Boomers’ vision can be achieved only if they are proactive
about staying employable and if employment opportunities are available to them.
As part of their retirement planning, Boomers should create a Plan B if
retirement happens unexpectedly due to job loss, health issues or other