Boomers Worried about Retirement Funds

October 13, 2005 ( - A new study reports that the number of Baby Boomers worried about retirement has doubled, with those ages 41 to 49, more likely to voice such concerns.

A MetLife news release said that the study, conducted by its Mature Market Institute with Zogby International, aimed at comparing the latest data on Baby Boomers’ feelings about retirement with those from a 2001 poll.

“Lamenting that they do not have the same retirement security that their parents had with defined benefit pension plans, more and more Boomers do not have a comfortable outlook toward retirement,” said Sandra Timmermann, director of the Institute. “While it is troubling that Boomers are concerned about finances, perhaps more worrisome is that fewer are taking the steps necessary to ensure financial security in retirement.”

Other findings included that:

  • retirement vehicles are unchanged. Most Boomers cite savings or investments, pensions, 401 (k) plans and Social Security as their primary source of retirement income.
  • only two-thirds (66%) of those surveyed believe they are saving at the rate needed to maintain their lifestyle, a decline from 77% in 2001.
  • 60% would prefer to retire before age 65. 17% say they will keep working indefinitely, a 10% increase. Of those who plan to continue working, 69% will do so to stay active and engaged, up from 42% in 2001.
  • 20% of women now say they will have to scale back “a lot.”

Impacts on GLBT

In questions aimed at better understanding the impact of impending retirement on Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender (GLBT) Americans, the survey found that Boomers in these groups are particularly likely to worry about their later years, 41% compared to 33% in the heterosexual population. Staying healthy later in life is the most frequently cited consideration for satisfaction in retirement among GLBT Boomers while financial concerns are second.

Those in the GLBT cohort have significantly greater apprehension about being alone once they retire. One in seven (14%) report lack of companionship as their greatest fear, compared to just six percent of heterosexuals.

GLBT Boomers are just as likely as heterosexuals to expect to continue working beyond retirement age, but they are more likely than the heterosexual population to say that their reasoning is financial. They are also more likely (40%) than heterosexuals (28%) to express concern about physical limitations that may inhibit their ability to function as they get older.

Zogby International conducted interviews of online participants chosen from a panel of people ages 41 to 59 who have agreed to participate in Zogby polls online.