WASHINGTON – A new study confirms what others already have concluded: Many Baby Boomers haven’t saved a dime for retirement, which can’t help but mean trouble as they reach retirement age.
This is National Retirement Planning Week, an effort by consumer advocates, educators and financial-service organizations to promote comprehensive retirement planning.
However, according to Cathy Weatherford, president and chief executive of the Insured Retirement Institute, 42 percent of Baby Boomers have no retirement savings at all. Still, there are things they can do to prepare for the future. “It’s never too late to sit down with a financial professional, assess where you are and see what you can do to improve your financial well being,” she said. Weatherford added that many people have assets they had not taken into consideration that can contribute to a more secure retirement. Assistance is available at retireonyourterms.org.
Of Boomers who have saved money, the study said, only one in four is confident that their savings will last through their retirement years. Weatherford emphasized that planning later in life isn’t all about trying to catch up on missed opportunities but trying to do the best you can with the options that are still available. “That might be working a little longer,” she said. “It might be planning on downsizing out of a bigger house to a smaller house. It might be moving to a less costly city or area.”
Weatherford said paying down credit-card debt is a good first step, but the most important step is saving. Experts generally recommend putting aside 10 to 20 percent of your monthly income toward retirement, and Weatherford said that for many Boomers, there are still years of earnings ahead. “The youngest Boomer is just 54,” she said, “so there’s still some time yet to really get a plan in place and work towards a good, clear goal.” About 50 million Baby Boomers will reach age 65 over the next 10 years.
The study is online at myirionline.org.