Gen X-ers less confident about their retirement savings than baby boomers
Americans today are more worried about their retirement savings than they were at the end of the 2009 recession, according to a new Pew Research Center Poll.
Almost four-in-ten adults (38 percent) said they are “not too” or “not at all” confident that they will have enough income and assets for their retirement, up from 25 percent in a Pew survey conducted in late February and March of 2009.
Retirement savings concerns are heightened among Gen X-ers than among baby boomers closer to retirement age, which Pew calls “a major shift.” In 2009, so-called “Gloomy Boomers” in their mid-50s more most worried about having enough retirement savings to sustain their current financial position. Today, it is the older children of baby boomers—the age group that suffered the steepest losses in household wealth in this economic collapse—that is most concerned.
More than half (53 percent) of respondents between the ages of 36 and 40 said they are either “not too” or “not at all” confident that they are amassing sufficient retirement savings. In comparison, boomers ages 60-64 express similar concerns.
Three years ago, it was boomers between the ages of 51 and 55 who were the most concerned about having enough retirement savings. Only 18 percent of 36-40 year-olds were worried about this issue, a third of the share who are worried today.
A companion Pew Research analysis of data compiled by the Federal Reserve Board in its Survey of Consumer Finances suggests that Gen X-ers in their late 30s and 40s have seen their median net worth drop at a far greater rate than for any other age group in the past 10 years and since the beginning of the recession.
The Pew findings about retirement savings confidence are mirrored in Gallup surveys, which have charted a trend that began before the housing market collapse or the recession, Pew noted. The percentage of adults who fear they won’t have enough money to live comfortably in retirement has grown from 32 percent in 2002 to 66 percent in 2011, according to Gallup.
Not surprisingly, Americans with less education, lower family income ($30,000-$74,999) and who are in their late 30s and early 40s are expressing the least confidence that their retirement savings will sustain them.
Millionaire Corner 2012 wealth level studies of affluent households find that investors are most likely to have discussed retirement issues with their financial advisors. Fifty-one percent of Millionaire households have received retirement planning advice (boomers between the ages of 55-64 are the most likely (60 percent) across age levels to have received this advice, while those under the age of 55 are most likely to say they will seek this advice).
Half of Millionaires we surveyed also said they have received advice about establishing sufficient cash flow for liquidity needs.
Donald Liebenson writes news and features for Millionaire Corner. He has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, Fiscal Times, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, and other outlets. He has also served as a marketing writer for Chicago-based Questar Entertainment and distributor Baker & Taylor.
A graduate of the University of Southern California, he is married with a college-age son. He also writes extensively about entertainment.