Tough Retirement Realities for Baby Boomers

According to a new report from the Stanford Center for Longevity, titled Seeing Our Way to Financial Security in the Age of Longevity, Baby Boomers have accrued less savings and more debt compared to prior generations, which puts them in an especially vulnerable financial position as they move through retirement.

Key findings:

  • Approximately 30 percent of baby boomers had no money saved in retirement plans in 2014. Mid-boomers (born 1954-59) had the lowest level of retirement plan balances across all cohorts, $209,000, compared to war babies ($280,000) and early boomers ($290,000).
  • Among households with debt, Baby Boomers had an average debt level over $110,000, which was more than 50 percent higher than that of people born in the 1930s.
  • The proportion of homeowners over age 65 who haven’t paid off their housing debt rose to 35 percent in 2012 from 23.9 percent in 1998, and the median amount they owed doubled from $44,000 to $82,000.
  • Among the bright spots, however, is that entrepreneurship among boomers appears strong when compared to younger age groups. This invites discussions on how policymakers can help boomers enter and sustain successful business ventures.