Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Can I Afford to Live after Retirement?

An interesting study released today by Scottsrade has me thinking very seriously about my future as a member of the "retirement community." The study makes me question whether or not I can afford to retire or will I have to keep working well into my 70s--maybe even 80s--just to be able to survive from paycheck to paycheck.

According to the study: Forty-two percent of American Baby Boomers (1), those between the ages of 45 and 64, say they will not have enough money to do the things they want to do when they retire and nearly one-third (31 percent) say they will have to cut back on their current lifestyle in retirement, according to the 2007 American Retirement Study by Scottrade, the leading branch-supported online investment firm. With over 78.2 million Baby Boomers, this aging population may soon find itself in dire straits.

According to Scottrade’s 2007 American Retirement Study: * 65 percent believe they have not saved enough for retirement * 29 percent have saved less than $25,000 for retirement * 23 percent of Boomers say they will never be able to retire and not need to earn an income * 41 percent will have to keep working during retirement “There’s a disparity here in that while most Boomers feel very unprepared financially for retirement, this demographic remains keenly aware of the problem but is not addressing it properly,” said Chris X. Moloney, Scottrade’s chief marketing officer. “This may be a case of doing too little, too late. Three in ten have saved under $25,000, which is concerning.”

According to the study, the biggest financial concern among Boomers (62 percent) was having enough money for retirement. Boomers also expressed other general financial concerns, including: * Having enough money to cover healthcare related costs (50 percent) * Paying for unexpected, major expenses (50 percent) * Protecting family in case of premature death/disability (43 percent) * Getting a good return on investment (44 percent) * Protecting wealth (38 percent) * Having too much debt (36 percent) * Caring for elderly parents/relatives (35 percent) With 51 percent of Boomers relying on 401(k) plans to provide the necessary resources in retirement, 37 percent also have IRAs, SEPs or similar retirement plans, according to Scottrade.

Aren't we supposed to be the generation who's making enough money to be able to save for a rainy day? Or are we the ones who have the attitude, "Since I can't take it with me I might as well spend it!"

If this study is accurate, I'd say there's going to be a whole lot of baby boomers living on welfare in the not too distant future.

What a mess, huh?

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