MetLife: Rift in Retirement Expectations Between Mothers, Daughters

May 8, 2007 ( - Daughters are more than twice as likely as their mothers to enter retirement steeped in debt of $25,000 or more and be forced to work far longer than their mothers, according to a recent survey by MetLife that looked at generational differences.

According to the survey of 1,267 women, 22% of daughters are expected to rack up $25,000 or more in consumer debt (not including mortgages), compared to 12% of mothers as they head into retirement.

The survey also showed that three-quarters of mothers retired before age 65, but only 37% of their daughters expect to retire before that age, 17% of daughters say they will be age 70 or older when they retire and 6% say they may never retire.

Nearly an equal amount of mothers (45%) and daughters (46%) say they will use their home as a source of retirement income, either through selling the home or tapping into equity. However, about three-quarters (77%) of daughters say their retirement will be funded by an employer-sponsored plan, compared with 46% of mothers who say that is the case.

Some of the other results of the survey include:

  • 34% of daughters say their biggest financial adjustment at retirement will be living on a reduced income or budget, a concern shared by 28% of mothers.
  • 65% of mothers believe the quality of their retirement has been excellent or very good, while only 46% of daughters say that about their mothers.
  • 56% of daughters believe their own retirement will be better than their mothers and 41% of mothers agree.
  • 90% of mothers consider Social Security as a current or future source of retirement income, compared to 75% of daughters.

For the full study go here .