Monday, June 18, 2007

Boomers put off retiring

Is it any real surprise that boomers can't retire? At 27, I'm worried that I'm not putting enough into my retirement funds. I can't imagine waiting until 35-45 to start really thinking about where my retirement funds are going to come from, but apparently many baby boomers did just that. Worse, they had fewer children to support, more education, and greater access to jobs (a family could double its productive hours after the 1960's thanks to women entering the workforce in droves).

So what happened? Were they too busy buying consumer electronics, driving up the cost of home ownership with the housing pricing wars (increasing their % of wages on houses to buy into "good" neighborhoods with "good" schools) or going on vacations? Did they neglect their company retirement vehicles or embrace only the company match and fail to save other funds on their own?

What makes me go "hmm" is the fact that boomers nearing retirement are also less likely to be married. Is it at all surprising that you are not going to do well financially (or physically and emotionally) when you have decided to do it all on your own?

The big question is whether we, their children, are going to learn from watching their mistakes. Will we save for retirement, stay married (not divorce because we are bored or want a change of pace), and not rely on tax income to fuel our retirement (social security)?


Jim said...

Are you trying to say social security isn't going to be enough for them to enjoy the golden years? They were fed the concept that the government would just take care of them if they paid into that system, but too many of them are taking out from the system now and there isn't enough money to go around.

I'm considering retirement, a long time away since I'm only 25 and have got something to show already. Even if I stopped putting any more into it right now, I would have a pretty nice nest egg built up by the time I'm 65 letting it just grow for decades. My overall goal of course is what anyone would like financially, the ability to have your money make more money than you can. That is wealth. The only problem beyond that is making sure the future generations know what to do with money as well so it doesn't corrupt them.

Beyond the Consumer said...

No, I really don't think social security is going to be enough. There are going to be too many people trying to draw benefits. Either the SS tax rate for American workers is going to go up, SS benefits are going to decrease, or other government benefits are going to be significantly cut.