Baby Boomers Face Uncertain Financial Future

A study report released today by National Association of Realtors found that a majority of the 78 million baby boomers, those born between 1946 and 1964, face uncertainties when it comes how to retire. The study was to find what kind of homes baby boomers will buy when they approach retirement. However, it also shows that their financial readiness not only impact the size of houses they will purchase, but also their retirement ages. Unfortunately, according to the study, most people were unsure of their financial future, with 75 percent saying they are not financially prepared for retirement and many expressing anxiety about their ability to retire.

many of them may work five or 10 years beyond the traditional retirement age of 65

Not just because they are healthier, but they have to.

Some other key findings in the study include:

  • For those baby boomers that married later and had children at a later age, they probably will continue to work beyond the traditional retirement age;
  • One-third of baby boomers expect to go back and forth between periods of work and periods of leisure, and another 35 percent want to work at least part-time or start a business;
  • The median age at which baby boomers expect to stop working is 70, but 27 percent say they never intend to stop working;
  • Most boomers live in two-income households, with a median income in 2005 of $64,700, which is 31 percent higher than the median for all households.
  • For baby boomers earning $100,000 or more, more than 9 in 10 are homeowners.  Among middle-income boomer homeowners, home equity accounts for fully half of their net worth.  However, 19 percent are renters, 37 percent say they have just enough to make ends meet and 17 percent say they are having financial difficulty.
  • A quarter of baby boomers own one or more other kinds of real estate in addition to a primary residence.
  • Almost one in four boomer households have a net worth of $500,000 or more and 97 percent of them are homeowners. More than a third expect to help children or grandchildren with a downpayment on a home.
  • Forty-two percent of survey respondents would like to retire in the South, 32 percent in the West, 15 percent in the Midwest and 12 percent in the Northeast.
  • Although most boomers are married couples and 27 percent have children under the age of 18, nearly two out of five baby boom households are nontraditional households, most of which are headed by women.

Click here for more details about the report.

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