Showing posts with label scary facts about retirement. Show all posts
Showing posts with label scary facts about retirement. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Fascinating Statistics about Baby Boomers

What does it mean to be a Baby Boomer?  As we have all been told repeatedly over the years, we are the generation that was born after the end of World War II, in the years between 1946 and 1964.  Once the war was over, the soldiers returned home, got married and started families.  These young soldiers and their wives, who still remembered the Great Depression that preceded the war, were proud to buy their first homes in the suburbs where they hoped to provide a better life for their children than the one they had known before the war.  These children became known as Baby Boomers.

The very existence of the Baby Boomer generation has had a tremendous impact on American society, beginning with the need to construct new schools when we were children and, later, started families of our own.  Now that we are reaching age 65 at the rate of 10,000 a DAY, we will also be having a tremendous effect on both America's medical system and retirement system.

Although it is easy to make generalities about any group of people, the truth is that you cannot lump us all together.  We are a complicated bunch of people who embrace every political, economic, religious and philosophical aspect of American life.  When I do research for this blog, I am constantly running across interesting facts about our generation and thought I would share some of the more fascinating statistics with my readers.  If you want more details, I have also included my sources at the bottom of this blog post.

Baby Boomer Statistics Affecting Retirement

Every 10 seconds one of us turns 65 (this amounts to between 3 and 4 million Boomers a year).  This means that we are the force behind the rapid expansion in the number of over-55 communities, senior apartments and skilled nursing facilities.

Not only are we currently reaching the age of 65 at the rate of about 10,000 a day, but we will continue reaching retirement age at this rate for the next 20 years!  This will result in more than double the number of senior citizens in our country by 2050.

Nearly half of all American workers (which includes our adult children) have less than $10,000 in retirement savings.   However, even when you only consider older workers, one-fourth of workers in the 46 to 64 year old age group have NO retirement savings or personal savings.

Baby Boomers tend to carry more credit card debt than younger adults in our population.  Approximately 56 percent of current retirees still had outstanding debts when they retired.

Seventy percent of American workers plan to work after retirement, and forty percent of Baby Boomers say they expect to work "until they drop."  (Check the medical statistics below, however; many of us will not be able to keep working for the rest of our lives, even if we want to.)

In 1945, there were 42 workers for every person on Social Security.  Today there are only about 2.5 workers per Social Security beneficiary, and this number is expected to drop even more in coming years.

Without savings, the financial situation for many Baby Boomer retirees will be difficult.  The average retiree only received about $1,230 a month in Social Security benefits in 2012.

Baby Boomer Statistics Affecting the Medical System

By the time we reach 65, about two out of three of us have at least one chronic disease.

On average, we have seen seven different doctors in order to get our medical conditions treated, and this number is expected to grow to fifteen different doctors as we age.  This can create confusion due to conflicting instructions and lack of communication between the various physicians who treat us.

Boomers buy 61 percent of the over-the-counter medications and 77 percent of all prescription drugs that are sold in the U.S.

Boomers and the Economy

Our generation is the largest buying group in the U.S., and we account for 40 percent of our nation's consumer demand.

We control 70 percent of the total net worth of all households in the U.S.  This amounts to about $7 trillion.

We have about 80 percent of all the money currently deposited in savings and loan associations.

We like to travel.  Boomers account for 80 percent of all leisure travel.

On the other hand, Americans over the age of 55 now account for 20 percent of bankruptcies in America.  Over 60 percent of these bankruptcies were caused by our medical bills.  In 75 percent of the bankruptcies that were caused by medical bills, the people actually had health insurance!  This means that having health insurance is not enough to protect our financial situation if we do not also have adequate retirement savings.

Other Interesting Statistics

Boomers watch more TV than any other age group.  (Perhaps we should stop criticizing our teenage grandkids for watching too much TV!)

We also read more newspaper than any other age group.  (This did not surprise me, since most of my adult children and grandchildren barely read the newspaper. They tend to get all or most of their news online.)

We use technology in our jobs, we are internet-savvy, and we enjoy shopping online.  (While many of our parents may still resist using some forms of technology, our generation embraces it.)

We are involved in our communities, with about 29.3% of us regularly volunteering.

About 55 percent of boomers plan to move to a new location when they retire.  About half of those will move to an area that is more than a three hour drive from where they live now.  They will be looking for homes that are smaller and require less maintenance.  This has helped to fuel the housing boom in senior communities and housing.

Despite some of the grim financial and medical statistics listed above, about 34 percent of Boomers love being empty nesters and say that their time alone makes them feel closer to their spouses.  This may also be related to the fact that Boomer women can expect to be sexually active until age 66 or older (according to Time Magazine, April 26, 2010).

The bottom line appears to be that, while Boomers can expect to have to deal with serious financial and medical issues in the future, there are still many reasons for them to look forward to enjoying the coming  years.

More retirement information:

If you are interested in more information about retirement, check out the index articles listed below.  Each ones contains an introduction and links to more articles on that topic.

Gifts, Travel and Family Relationships

Great Places for Boomers to Retire Overseas

Great Places to Retire in the United States

Health and Medical Topics for Baby Boomers

Money and Financial Planning for Retirement


You are reading from the blog:

Photo of couple is courtesy of

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Frightening Facts About Retirement

Are you planning a picture perfect retirement?  Do you dream of spending your Golden Years with paint brush, fishing pole or golf clubs in hand?  Although undoubtedly the day will come when you will have to stop working, whether you want to or not, your financial well-being may not be as comfortable as you had hoped.

According to Yahoo!Finance, in an article from U.S.News entitled "8 Scary Retirement Facts," the 2007 decline in the economy caused havoc for the retirement plans of substantial numbers of aging Baby Boomers.  Sadly enough, their financial problems may be even more severe because our life expectancy continues to climb, even as their savings dwindle.

Scary Facts About Retirement for the Baby Boomer Generation

Here are a few facts from the U.S.News article that you may want to consider as you work on your retirement nest egg:

1.  Today, one in six senior citizens is living below the poverty line, which is $22,350 for a family of four, and even less for a single person.

2.  Currently, there is one working age adult between the ages of 15 and 64 for every five senior citizens.  By 2050, the ratio will change to one working age adult for every three seniors.  There will be fewer working people to support us, and we will be living longer than ever!

3.  The number of senior citizens will more than double from 40 million to 89 million by 2050.  This will put a huge strain on the economy.

4.  Right now, the median cost of an assisted living facility is $3,300 a month.  In California, where I live, I have read estimates of $6,000 a month.  In Alaska, it is $6,813 a month.  Today, assisted living is not affordable for people who are living solely on Social Security.  This will become an even greater problem as we Baby Boomers age.  While Medicaid is often the payer of this expense for many low and moderate income retirees, this is one more burden that will be placed on the government and working adults.  Those who do not qualify for Medicaid will have to pay these costs out-of-pocket.

5.  The economic losses of a few years has already taken a toll on people who are age 55 and older.  This age group accounts for approximately 20% of all bankruptcies, often because of medical expenses.  Surprisingly, older Americans also have more credit card debt than younger adults.

6.  Baby Boomers will need to have more savings in the future than ever, just to survive during their retirement years.  For many people, their lack of savings will mean they will need to work much later in life than they had planned.  This will not be easy for the numerous Baby Boomers who lost their jobs during the recession, often forcing them to take their Social Security benefits earlier than they had planned.

7.  While some Baby Boomers do know that we need to save more, it appears that the message is not getting through to many Americans.  According to a 2009 Career Builder survey, over one-third of Americans admitted that they do not contribute to retirement accounts.

8.  Age discrimination continues to make it hard for senior citizens to find and keep jobs.

All this information may seem discouraging.  However, it is meant to be more of a warning to those who want to make sure they have done everything possible to prepare for their retirement.  Preparing for retirement certainly brings to mind the old saying, "Hope for the best and prepare for the worst!"  The better prepared we are, the more likely we will manage to have a comfortable retirement when the time comes.

If you are looking for information about financial planning, where to retire, medical concerns and changing family relationships, use the tabs or pull down menu at the top of this article to find links to hundreds of additional articles.

You are reading from the blog:

Photo courtesy of