At various and sundry places, I have read about the sorry financial state of a significant percentage of baby boomers - folks born between 1946 and 1964 and thus including yours truly. Rather than being prepared for a stable and long retirement, the cartoon below sums it up for millions:
* Boomers have set aside approximately $21.7 trillion - problem is, it's not nearly enough considering that 1 in 5 boomers are already retired and many will live another 20+ years
* Nearly 50% of boomers are not on track to be able to afford the basic expenses in retirement
* Contrary to claims by some investment firms, research shows that the typical retirement account for a worker nearing retirement is only $42,000. Worse - 55% of current workers do not have any employment-based savings at all
* For workers between 55 and 64:
60% have less than $100,000 'socked away' for retirement
75% have less than $30,000 saved for retirement
46% have less than 10,000 saved
* The typical Social Security check is now $1,230 - which leaves most boomers about half a million dollars short to fund their retirements at a level of around 70% of their current lifestyles
* Many [most?] baby boomers will be less well off then their parents. The median net worth for U.S. households headed by people aged 55 to 64 was almost 8 percent lower, at $143,964, than those 75 and older in 2011. Some claim that 'boomers have all of the money' but tend to forget that wealth is relative, and a fairly small percentage of boomers control a very large percentage of the wealth
* A bit of good news - About 80% of boomers own their homes. Of the 14.5 million 65+ households that own their home outright, the typical homeowner reports having an average of roughly $150,000 in home equity. The 6.5 million 65+ homeowners with a mortgage reported higher home values than owners without a mortgage, but their mortgage debt reduces the reported equity to an average of around $93,000.
And in typical boomer fashion, 70% believe that they are doing a good job regarding retirement saving!!! When I compare our retirement finances with those above, I feel pretty good. Then I have to wonder, why are we [and most of our friends and relatives] better off than most folks - some important components: we generally did not purchase everything that came to mind, we did not splurge on extravagant vacations and other money sinkholes, we have been fortunate in the real estate market, we have generous parents and decent employment retirement plans, and we actually believe in savings!