Baby Boomers set for disappointing retirement

Baby Boomers worry about retirement
Baby Boomers worry about retirement

Baby Boomers are widely considered as the generation who have had everything: free higher education, secure jobs, booming property prices, and generous final salary pensions. Life is considered so cushy for these retirees that the government even launched a consultation to see whether they were being unfairly favoured. However, this rosy picture of life for Boomers neglects the reality for one in three people in this age bracket.

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A new study has revealed that 34% of working Baby Boomers - aged 51-70 - are worried they won't have enough money to live on in retirement.

The researchers at Chase De Vere, asked people to rate their level of comfort in retirement, and only a fifth of people were confident they would have enough to live comfortably. Some 46% felt they had enough to live adequately, and the rest were actively concerned about their prospects in retirement.

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It's not hard to see why, because the researchers also asked about the last time they increased their pension contributions, and while 13% said 'in the past year', 15% said it was more than three years ago, and 58% said they had never increased their payments.

Patrick Connolly, Certified Financial Planner, Chase de Vere, says: "We are facing a retirement time bomb with people living for longer and not saving enough for their own their futures. Many people think that the 'have it all' Baby Boomer generation are immune from these problems having benefited from secure employment, good quality pensions and huge property price rises. However, while some Baby Boomers have fared very well, this certainly isn't a universal picture."

There are those who were loyal members of final salary schemes that subsequently failed and dramatically reduced payouts. There are also those who fell victim to pension scams, and those who never worked for a company providing a pension scheme - and never considered their prospects for retirement.

Connolly points out: "Time is running out for these people to get their finances on track. If they don't they face the prospect of having to work until much later in life, enduring a frugal existence in retirement or being a financial burden to their families".

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For younger people

For younger age groups this should be ringing alarm bells. If this age group, with all their perceived advantages, are struggling to make ends meet, it should be alarming for younger people who carried student debts, faced unaffordable housing, and face saving for retirement on parsimonious defined contribution schemes.

Their great advantage is that they have youth on their side, and so plenty of time to turn their retirement prospects around if they take action quickly. By increasing their pension payments in their 20s, 30s and 40s, they can reap the rewards of compound interest, so that their pensions grow large enough to offer a decent retirement income, without them having to assign a large proportion of their income to pension payments in later life.

But what do you think? Have you earned a comfortable retirement? And are your retirement prospects due to whether you are a Baby Boomer or Generation X? Let us know in the comments.