Views of retirement and preparations for it vary by generations, according to the TransAmerica Center for Retirement Studies, but one thing all have in common is that they think their generation will have a more difficult time achieving retirement security than earlier generations.
The report said that view is held by four out of five persons surveyed across all three generations studied: baby boomers, born 1946-1964; generation X, born 1965-1978; and millennials, born since 1979. One reason is that at least two-thirds in each are concerned that Social Security will not be able to pay the benefits that they have been accumulating.
Not surprisingly, more baby boomers named saving for retirement as their top financial priority than in the two younger generations; also, because they tended to have more investments at the time of the 2008-2009 recession, Boomers are less likely to say they have fully recovered and are more likely to expect that they will never fully recover.
One result is that boomers are more likely to participate in retirement savings programs and of those who do participate, that generation’s savings rate is the highest. They are also more likely to have household emergency funds set aside, and of higher amounts.
Fifty-one percent of baby boomers expect to either work past age 65 and another 15 percent do not plan to retire at all; the comparable numbers among generation X are 41 and 14 percent. In contrast, 60 percent of millennials expect to retire at or before 65. In all three generations, just above half expect to work after retiring, in most cases part-time.