Redefining Retirement - Baby Boomers stay longer in their Careers!
Can BABY BOOMERS Afford To Retire AT 60?
OR are Wealthy Boomers Seeing Finances through Rose-Colored Glasses?
Every day in 2006 another 8,000 Baby Boomers turn 60, and the affluent among them are optimistic about themselves and their futures.
Yet, the aging "me-generation" may not be matching their financial plans to their vision of an active, generous
retirement, according to a nationwide survey commissioned by Bell Investment Advisors, a wealth management firm in California.
The survey, conducted among 500 60-year-old high-net-worth investors across the US by Opinion Research Corporation, found that these Boomers
feel "great about their lives overall." Four in 10 believe that age 60 today is more like being 50 a generation ago. Perhaps, as a result of
this sense of well-being, some 48 percent of those surveyed said they plan to work as long as they are able, either in a full-time or
part-time capacity, and 94 percent plan to help their children financially.
However, the survey reveals a dichotomy: While Boomers are redefining retirement, they are not redefining their investment strategies.
"We found that affluent Boomers have a false sense of complacency once they hit the million-dollar mark in retirement savings," says Jim Bell,
president and founder of Bell Investment Advisors. "With so many people living well past 80 or 90 years of age,
million is just not enough to take them comfortably through their golden years." While a majority of the respondents believe they have
enough to retire on comfortably, 39 percent of respondents have less than million saved for retirement. Only one in five believes they
need to increase their retirement savings.
The survey also found that many Baby Boomers are planning to work as long as possible in their current career to add to their retirement
savings. "The problem with this strategy is that although they may live longer, they may not be able to work as long as they hope, if health
issues arise," says Bell. "Boomers need to acknowledge that health care will likely cost more than they currently think." he adds.
Two other findings highlight how affluent Boomers at 60 have built their net worth and how they plan to invest for the future.
Survey by Bell Investment Advisors:
Of those surveyed, 37 percent claim to have financial security from equity in their home or other real estate investments. Only 29 percent
of those surveyed report investing in the stock market. "While real estate has recently produced outsized returns, boomers should not be
deluded into thinking that this trend will continue. Over time, the stock market has been the best asset class to consistently outperform
inflation," explains Bell.
When it comes to investing, 38 percent of the affluent Boomers plan to invest more conservatively in the future to preserve what they have; 24
percent hope to accumulate more wealth to fund a better retirement. "Boomers should not be investing more conservatively as they approach
retirement," notes Bell. "With longer life expectancies and more active lifestyles, they need investments that will overcome inflation and build
purchasing power. What may have worked for the Boomers' parents is no longer valid today," said Bell.
Boomers also show up in the survey as generous. Some 94 percent said they would help their children financially: 60 percent plan to pay for
all or part of their children's education; 43 percent plan to help children with down payments on homes, and 35 percent plan to help
finance their grandchildren's educations. Bell warns again this. "Don't give up your retirement savings to fund education for your children or
grandchildren," he says. "With the low-interest rates of student loans, the financial situation can not only be manageable for students, it can
also teach them sound money management habits for the future."
Other Survey Findings:
o Men are more likely than women to define retirement as "gradually scaling back"
o One-third of the respondents plan on pursuing personal interests and passions without regard to making money, such as charitable work,
and more women than men in this survey define retirement this way
o Real estate has been an extremely popular investment for those in the West (47%)
o Men are far more likely than women to feel they are at the "top of their game" professionally at 60 (34% vs. 19%)
o Regionally, there are significant differences in Boomers'retirement outlook, with fewer than half of those in the Northeast
feeling they have enough saved for retirement (46%), compared with 62% of those in the West who believe they have enough saved for retirement.
Bell Investment Advisors commissioned this survey of 500 individuals turning 60 this year who have at least million in investible assets,
excluding their primary residence. Bell Investment Advisors offers investment management, comprehensive financial planning and career and
life planning services to help investors plan and achieve their personal and retirement goals.
To view a summary of the survey results, please go to www.bellinvest.com
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