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Middle-Income Boomers Expect Tough Retirement
Old 07-23-2011, 12:40 PM   #1
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Middle-Income Boomers Expect Tough Retirement

More boomer doom predicted!

I was not one of the 500 folks that were interviewed for this story study. May be just another insurance company trying to stir up the folks that may be future clients. Is that possible?

Quote:
"The retirement of the Baby Boom generation will not only test the limits of government programs such as Medicare and Social Security, but also help shape the definition of retirement itself," said Scott Perry, president of Bankers Life and Casualty Company, whose Center for a Secure Retirement released the study.
The study, called "Middle-Income Boomers, Financial Security and the New Retirement," focused on 500 middle-income U.S. citizens between the ages of 47 and 65, with annual income between $25,000 and $75,000.

The study also noted that the concepts of being taken care of by family members, slowing down or moving into a retirement community—activities commonly associated with the retirement of previous generations—are being replaced by baby boomers now wanting to keep up with technology and trying to stay physically fit.
Middle-Income Boomers Expect Tough Retirement
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Old 07-23-2011, 12:56 PM   #2
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The study also noted that the concepts of being taken care of by family members, slowing down or moving into a retirement community—activities commonly associated with the retirement of previous generations—are being replaced by baby boomers now wanting to keep up with technology and trying to stay physically fit.
I guess I don't follow his logic.

I would think that "being taken care of by family members" is related to not having enough money for any other choices, not the reverse.

I have a very nice gym membership in order to stay physically fit, and I want to keep up with technology (in other words, I was able to afford my new iPhone and other gadgets). To me, these ideas are indicative of having plenty of funds during retirement, not the reverse.

The very oldest boomers are still in their early to mid 60's. Maybe when we reach our 80's we will be more interested in assisted living and so on.
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Old 07-23-2011, 01:29 PM   #3
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Retirement was a three legged stool.Company pension,S.S. and personal savings.For younger baby boomers I don"t have to state the obvious. Good luck.
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Old 07-23-2011, 01:54 PM   #4
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Company pension...
Uh, what is that (yeah, I'm an early <older> boomer)...
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Old 07-23-2011, 01:57 PM   #5
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I guess I don't follow his logic.
It seems peculiar, but one can make sense of it by assuming that the idea of staying fit to stay healthy has not really caught on, generally. Stay fit to keep playing sports, yes, and stay fit to keep working, yes, but not just to delay the onset of physical decay. So when a typical middle-aged boomer, having given up sports, does regular exercise, it's so that he can continue working longer. (I'm not saying that's true -- just trying to get at the assumptions of the author.)
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Old 07-23-2011, 02:46 PM   #6
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'Retirement was a three legged stool.Company pension,S.S. and personal savings.For younger baby boomers I don"t have to state the obvious. Good luck.'

Not really, pensions never covered more than about 45% of workers, so for most workers, small business owners, farmers, etc retirement has always been a two legged stool.
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Old 07-23-2011, 05:04 PM   #7
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The study also noted that the concepts of being taken care of by family members, slowing down or moving into a retirement community—activities commonly associated with the retirement of previous generations—are being replaced by baby boomers now wanting to keep up with technology and trying to stay physically fit.
Makes perfect sense to me. Mom was always a LBYM kind of person, and she managed to accumulate enough to see her through her old age (so far, anyway).

But she was always "taken care of" throughout her life. She was the cherished only daughter who was overly protected by her parents. Then the adored wife, put on a pedestal by my father. For example, she never really learned to cook, so Dad did most of that. When he died 15 years ago, she was utterly helpless, so I had to step in and handle everything for her.

She never developed any hobbies, was never willing to even attempt to prepare for failing eyesight or lessened mobility. Basically, she watched a few soap operas on TV, did a crossword puzzle, and watched the world go by. Very sad, IMHO, but that was her choice.

Now at the age of 95, she is in an Alzheimer's assisted living facility, still being "taken care of" by others. It was watching her choices, and being extremely frustrated by my inability to change them, that made it clear to me that I want my later years to be very different.

I'm lucky that I have a number of hobbies, and I manage to both keep busy and stay reasonably fit. Ten years into early retirement, I'm a very happy camper, but I still get reminded of all this every week when I visit Mom.
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Old 07-23-2011, 08:50 PM   #8
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Not really, pensions never covered more than about 45% of workers, so for most workers, small business owners, farmers, etc retirement has always been a two legged stool.
Small business owners, Farmers, etc. had a business or farm to sell when they retired. Assuming they had other savings these proceeds would be the third leg.
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Old 07-23-2011, 09:34 PM   #9
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Now at the age of 95, she is in an Alzheimer's assisted living facility, still being "taken care of" by others. It was watching her choices, and being extremely frustrated by my inability to change them, that made it clear to me that I want my later years to be very different.
Her life must have been pretty good for her, after all she is still living at 95. One could hardly blame her choices for Alzheimers.

I can see that her chosen lifestyle might not have been too great for your Dad, or for you, but that is truly a separate question.

Very responsible of you to keep up your weekly visits. Many children do not.

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Old 07-24-2011, 07:20 AM   #10
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More boomer doom predicted!

I was not one of the 500 folks that were interviewed for this story study. May be Clearly just another insurance company trying to stir up the folks that may be future clients.
Fixed it for you
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Old 07-24-2011, 02:54 PM   #11
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Fixed it for you
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Old 07-24-2011, 03:06 PM   #12
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As I mentioned in another thread, it may be tougher on Boomers than on us Xers because we Xers were largely raised with diminished expectations for our future; I don't believe the Boomers, for the most part, were. Gen X was, even in childhood, touted as the first modern generation to be less well off than their parents. We heard that a lot growing up. And for some us, that thought prompted action.

I think this gave some of us a "survival instinct", a cynical attitude about both business and govenment, one that made us more likely to believe neither entity would continue to give us the same deal our parents got. And it was that belief that had me saving and investing very aggressively even in my early 20s, and that is the only reason I will likely be able to retire in my 50s. Had I trusted employers and government to continue to give me the retirement deal my parents got, I would have been in a world of hurt when my employer eliminated retiree health insurance and froze pensions, and when the government is likely to water down promised benefits to folks under 50 and means test more of them.

So I really feel for the Boomers who grew up in an era where it felt like the good times could go on forever and where business and government delivered on the promises of retirement. They had the rug pulled out from them at too late an age to fully recover in many cases.
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Old 07-24-2011, 04:14 PM   #13
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As I mentioned in another thread, it may be tougher on Boomers than on us Xers because we Xers were largely raised with diminished expectations for our future; I don't believe the Boomers, for the most part, were. Gen X was, even in childhood, touted as the first modern generation to be less well off than their parents. We heard that a lot growing up. And for some us, that thought prompted action.

I think this gave some of us a "survival instinct", a cynical attitude about both business and govenment, one that made us more likely to believe neither entity would continue to give us the same deal our parents got. And it was that belief that had me saving and investing very aggressively even in my early 20s, and that is the only reason I will likely be able to retire in my 50s. Had I trusted employers and government to continue to give me the retirement deal my parents got, I would have been in a world of hurt when my employer eliminated retiree health insurance and froze pensions, and when the government is likely to water down promised benefits to folks under 50 and means test more of them.

So I really feel for the Boomers who grew up in an era where it felt like the good times could go on forever and where business and government delivered on the promises of retirement. They had the rug pulled out from them at too late an age to fully recover in many cases.
I admire the fact you are cynical and realistic, but not bitter or angry. You looked to solve this unfortunate state of affairs yourself. Bravo!

DH and I have boomer friends who've had the rug pulled out from under them. Some are bitter and angry even to the point of resenting the fact DH and I are doing OK (at least for now - who know what the future will bring?).
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Old 07-24-2011, 05:54 PM   #14
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...a cynical attitude about both business and govenment...
I must be an Gen Xer...

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So I really feel for the Boomers who grew up in an era where it felt like the good times could go on forever and where business and government delivered on the promises of retirement. They had the rug pulled out from them at too late an age to fully recover in many cases.
I feel "sorry" for boomers who had relatively small incomes, and thus were unable to save much. For many boomers, i.e. the ones with lots of "disposable" income, I have less empathy...
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Old 07-24-2011, 07:08 PM   #15
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I'm starting to suspect I'm the only one who thinks this whole generational-lumping idea is not very useful. "Are GenXers different from Boomers?" "Who got the better deal, who will be bitter?" There have always been folks in every generation who trusted government, and those who didn't. There have always been those who grew up in "fortunate circumstances" and those who didn't. A "GenXer" who grows up in the ghetto has a lot more in common with a "Boomer" who grew up in the ghetto than with a fellow "GenXer" whose mom and dad are neurosurgeons.
Seems to me that generational "bins" and racial "bins" are not very useful. Socioeconomic levels and maybe a rural/urban distinction is far more telling. And even there--individual variation within the group is so wide and important that we're better off talking about people, attitudes, and behaviors than referring to people by their "tags."
I'd make a crummy sociologist.
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Old 07-24-2011, 07:28 PM   #16
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I must be an Gen Xer...


Or just someone who has a clear understanding of the realities of life....
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Old 07-24-2011, 11:53 PM   #17
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Seems to me that generational "bins" and racial "bins" are not very useful.
They are extremely useful to hack writers, who comprise at least 95% of journalists.

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Old 07-25-2011, 05:30 AM   #18
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There have always been folks in every generation who trusted government, and those who didn't. There have always been those who grew up in "fortunate circumstances" and those who didn't. A "GenXer" who grows up in the ghetto has a lot more in common with a "Boomer" who grew up in the ghetto than with a fellow "GenXer" whose mom and dad are neurosurgeons.
Fully agree (from a boomer who never had a "silver spoon" growing up..)

What pi**es me off is when I'm lumped with all the "typical" boomer's of the 60's by those much younger. That's like saying that my parents were "the greatest generation" (they weren’t)...
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Old 07-25-2011, 06:09 AM   #19
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I'm starting to suspect I'm the only one who thinks this whole generational-lumping idea is not very useful....

No... it is a generalization.

If we want to generalize... there are 3 catogories with 2 subcategories each that cuts across generations:

  1. Rich
    1. Blew all the money and in trouble
    2. Still Rich
  2. Solidly Middle Class (with decent earnings)
    1. Saved and invested (either them or their company) and they will be ok
    2. Did not save or invest (or enough)... they are in trouble and will lower their standard of living
  3. Low wage earner or poor... either way, they will be under a strict budget with a low standard of living.
    1. May have been dilligent and lucky and saved a little... maybe
    2. Living off of SS... maybe.


If there is a generational thing with boomers.... it might be this:

Lesson learned for the middle class... don't p!ss away your money! However, I know too many gen x and gen y middle class people that do not LBYM. So I doubt it!
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Old 07-25-2011, 06:23 AM   #20
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I know an old woman in her 80's... husband died in his early 40's (she was the about same age) Her husband did not have a high paying job. He may have had some life insurance from his company... but doing the math... he died back in the 70's... so it would not be much. Since company based life insurance is typically based on a multiple of one's earnings.

Somehow, she managed to get a job (relatively low paying), raise 3 kids, and pay off a house (which she still lives in).

She is in her mid 80's and is living off SS and still has a small nest egg of about $30k.

She worries about money of course... especially unexpected bills (like home repairs) and mainly her cost for prescription drugs (which may have changed a little now that medicare has some coverage... and I guess the doughnut hole may be gone now).


When I consider her situation and how she persevered... I tend to not feel too sorry for some higher paid middle class schmucks that scr3wed themselves.

They blew their money along the way and did not save for rainy days or retirement... I have little sympathy!!! Since they did not smooth their consumption along the way... they will have to balance the account in retirement. Sure it will be a sad story.... but of their own making! Some may say they lost their job in their 50's during this meltdown. Well many of us did too... but we managed it to make it our decision by LBYM, saving, investing, and working toward that goal instead of consuming every last penny!

That may sound harsh... there may be a few exceptions... but the vast majority of them did it to themselves!
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