What is a Baby Boomer?
What exactly is a Baby Boomer? Baby Boomers are individuals who were born between 1946 and 1964, starting right after World War II. As time wears on, the vast majority of these individuals have started to retire from their jobs, and in the coming years, the 65+-year-old demographic will be the largest in the United States. This has sparked concerns among many economists, but the question remains – Who are the Baby Boomers and why are they so important? Here are some interesting facts about this unique generation.
- By the year 2030, Baby Boomers will make up roughly 20% of the American population.
- Florida, West Virginia, Maine, and Pennsylvania are the states with the highest proportion of Baby Boomers and senior citizens.
- On average, Baby Boomers will outlive their parent’s generation by nearly a decade. This is due to a decrease in tobacco use, improved medical care, and a better diet.
- Heart disease and cancer are the two leading causes of death for Baby Boomers and older Americans in general. Alzheimer’s and suicide are also two other prominent causes.
- The average income for 65 to 69-year-olds is $37,200, but this figure tends to drop substantially once individuals live past 80.
- The 65 and older group has the largest voter-participation rate among any demographic.
- Only 1/3 of the Baby Boomer population is currently employed.
Simple Tips for a Financially Secure Retirement
Retirement is a vast topic, with many different aspects, and the majority of Americans have difficulty understanding how to prepare for retirement. This is extremely important since most of one’s retirement funds will consist of private income. Here are some basic ways to increase your chances of retiring in financial security.
- Make sure that you have enough money to cover basic emergency expenses, such as medical care. This is imperative if you are 65 years of age or older.
- Pay off your credit cards. Accumulating enormous amounts of credit card debt can hinder your retirement plans.
- If your employer offers a retirement match plan, it would certainly be wise to take them up on this offer. Depending on your company, your employer will match your own retirement funds at a rate of 50% to 100%.
- Take full advantage of your retirement accounts.
- Set clear financial goals. Whether you want to travel, or simply pay off your mortgage, it is important to create a feasible, step-by-step plan for reaching your financial goals.
Basic Retirement Statistics
How exactly do Americans plan to retire? This is a complex question, but the following statistics will give the current state of Baby Boomers in relation to retirement plans.
- Starting in 2011, approximately 10,000 Baby Boomers will reach retirement age each day. This will continue to occur for the next 19-20 years.
- 35% of Americans over the age of 65 classify social security as their primary means of income.
- 64% of workers have a retirement plan, and less than 50% of workers will enroll in an employer-provided plan.
- 40% of Baby Boomers plan to never retire.
- Baby Boomers have roughly 50% of the total consumer spending power.
- 25% of Baby Boomers have had to postpone their plans to retire due to financial hardships.
- Baby Boomers reported that roughly 63% of their income was invested in 401k(s).
- 70% of people are expected to work at least once during their retirement.
- 4% of the 65 and older population lives below the federal poverty line.
- 44% of Baby Boomers plan to move into smaller homes after retiring.
Shocking Baby Boomer Retirement Statistics
As exciting as the prospect of retirement may seem, many people in this generation are simply not prepared. Many Baby Boomers who were experiencing financial difficulties prior to retirement are now worrying about whether or not they will have the funds to retire comfortably. A significant portion of older Americans may even be forced to continue working past their retirement age. The statistics below will expose some exceptionally important, yet commonly unknown retirement facts.
- Approximately 36% of Baby Boomers expect to retire after the age of 70.
- Only 27% of this population feels financially confident enough to retire.
- 60% of Baby Boomers have saved for retirement; the remaining 40% have no retirement savings at all.
- Only 48% of Baby Boomers reported being satisfied with their current financial situation.
- 46% of the Baby Boomer population admitted to having no formal retirement plans.
There are many different causes of these alarming statistics. Some of these causes include:
- No Savings – Many Americans do not save a sufficient amount of money. This can lead to precarious retirement situations.
- High Levels of Debt – Loans, credit cards, and other sources of debt threaten to derail the retirement plans of many Baby Boomers. If you have more debt than income, it will be nearly impossible to support yourself for 20 to 30 years after retiring.
- Lack of Education – Many Baby Boomers do not feel that they were adequately educated about retirement. This has led to many Americans making poor financial decisions prior to retirement.
In short, retirement can be a source of great pleasure or struggle for many people. There are many factors that influence this, but Baby Boomers who prepare financially tend to have a more enjoyable retirement. As this population continues to age, our economy and society will undoubtedly change along with it.