Royce Shook

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Three generations prepare for retirement

We live longer and many Boomers have retired, but the next two generations are approaching retirement and, are thinking about it seriously. The following posts are from a report called What Is “Retirement”? Three Generations Prepare for Older Age explores American workers' perspectives, attitudes, and preparations for longer lives and the meaning of “retirement.” 

The report is based on the 19th Annual Transamerica Retirement Survey, one of the largest and longest-running surveys of its kind, this report examines three generations currently represented in the workforce: Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Millennials.

What does “retirement” mean to you? In selecting from a series of words associated with retirement, Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Millennials most often cite “freedom,” “enjoyment,” and “stress-free.” The three generations share much in common, yet their retirements will be different from previous generations. The retirement landscape is ever-evolving because of increases in longevity, the dynamic nature of the workforce and employment trends, the transformation of employer-sponsored retirement benefits, and potential reforms to Social Security benefits.

Seven in 10 workers (72 percent) are looking forward to retirement. Baby Boomers (81 percent) –the generation closest to retirement –are more likely than Generation X (70 percent) and Millennials (68 percent) to feel this way. Achieving success will not necessarily be easy. Seventy-six percent of workers believe that people in their generation will have a much harder time achieving financial security in retirement compared with their parent's generation, a sentiment that is shared by Millennials (79 percent) and Generation X (81 percent), but to a lesser extent by Baby Boomers (69 percent).

All three generations are already thinking in terms of longer lives. Thirteen percent of workers are planning to live to age 100 or older, a finding that is higher among Millennials (17 percent) than Generation X (11 percent) and Baby Boomers (9 percent). Many workers envision extending their working lives beyond age 65, but relatively few are adequately preparing themselves by focusing on their health, keeping their job skills up to date, and financial planning for a long retirement.


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