Pacific Grove, CA Seniors Have Surprisingly Positive Outlook About Retirementby Richard Kuehn on 08/08/12
USA Today recently partnered with United Healthcare and the National Council on Aging to gauge the attitudes of Americans aged 60 and older. The results of the phone surveys from 2,250 of them were surprisingly positive. Despite the brutal recession we just went through and the still tepid economy and real estate market, most seniors surveyed were feeling pretty good. William Frey, a demographer at the Brookings Institution believes the results are due to the fact that many of those surveyed made it successfully to retirement age just before the recession hit. Therefore, they had most of their funds in risk free accounts so they didn't lose much or any of it. Baby boomers that are hoping to retire shortly aren't so lucky. Of the phone survey respondents referred to in the article, he said, "People in retirement have dodged a bullet. They've gotten to the promised land in time to avoid all of the bad stuff." Baby boomers, he said, will likely have to work longer to enjoy their retirements and as a result, he believes that today's retirees could be the last wave of happy seniors. That's because many companies are stopping traditional pension plans and cutting back on 401K matching funds, making it even more difficult to build up the nest egg you need to retire comfortably. "I think the era of broad prosperity for American seniors will end with the first wave of Baby Boomers, now entering their 60's. Times are tougher for their later Boomer brothers and sisters who entered the labor and housing markets in the late 1980's during tougher economic times," he said. Unfortunately, he is probably right. Many seniors which are now ready to retire can't. The value of their retirement funds have fallen dramatically during the recession and have not yet recovered. Real estate values have plummeted, making it more difficult for you to cash in your biggest asset and downsize to a retirement community or something more comfortable. Money will be the biggest issue baby boomers have to face, it's just getting more and more expensive to retire. In the recent survey conducted, 69% of retirees feel very confident or somewhat confident that their financial savings will be sufficient to last for all of their retirement years. That's great, although it leaves another 31% who aren't so sure, and the statistic for baby boomers just now turning 65 is likely to be even greater. If you haven't done so already and are nearing retirement, consult a financial planner. Most people underestimate how expensive it is to live when they retire, so consulting with someone in the know will give you a better handle on what you should have put away as well as how to invest it.