As much as we Boomers like to believe we have reinvented retirement, there are some forces we are pushing hard against with limited success. The reality of the American job market, lack of sufficient retirement savings, and other challenges are vexing for Boomers who want to work in their retirement years.
Each year for the past eighteen years, the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies (TCRS) has a retirement survey of American workers. This year's survey results, published in December 2017, reveal some interesting and, in some cases, troubling attributes of aging Boomers. Some key findings of the survey:
- Only 26 percent of Boomers plan to immediately stop working and retire when they reach what they consider to be retirement age. Already, two-thirds of them are working or plan to work past age 65 or do not plan to retire, and 54 percent plan to continue working after they retire.
- 38 percent of Boomers expect Social Security to be their primary source of income when they retire, while 39 percent expect that primary source to be retirement savings.
- The median savings of all household retirement accounts for Boomers is $164,000.
- Only 42 percent of Boomers are keeping their skills up to date so they can continue to work past 65.
- Only 28 percent of Boomers have a backup plan for retirement income if they're unable to work prior to their planned retirement.
Next Avenue's Richard Eisenberg did an excellent analysis of the survey with some pertinent comments from Catherine Collinson, the president of the TCRS, and helpful suggestions.
In addition to Boomers, the TCRS survey studied two other generations, Millennials and Gen Xers. You can get a copy of the survey results by downloading a PDF from the link below.