Monday, July 8, 2013

The baby boomer divide

Gallup's latest poll on personal finances found that the older baby boomers feel much better about their financial situation than those on the younger side of the Baby Boomer Generation.

One explanation for this difference is that the older boomers have more equity in their homes and were not hurt as much by the Great Recession. The younger boomers are also paying their kids' exorbitant college tuition, which the older generation has already finished paying (and the amounts were significantly smaller even when adjusted for inflation).

There is yet another explanation. Members of the younger boomer group feel uneasy about their personal finances because they see a massive wave of older boomers in front of them depleting public retirement resources. 
Gallup: - The population of Americans aged 65 and older will swell dramatically in the next 15 years as the older generation of today is replaced by the huge number of baby boomers who were born between 1946 and 1964. Any signs of heightened financial worries on the part of baby boomers as they age could be cause for concern, given that there are so many of them, and given concerns that future retirees may not have adequate financial resources to sustain themselves in an era with fewer pensions and potentially less income from sources like Social Security.
The chart below shows the assets of the three major government trust funds as a percentage of annual cost to support these programs. It also shows the life expectancy estimates for the youngest and the oldest baby boomers.

Source:  U.S. Social Security Administration
  • OASI = Old-Age and Survivors Insurance (Social Security retirement trust fund)
  • DI = Disability Insurance (Social Security disability trust fund)
  • HI = Hospital Insurance trust fund (part of Medicare)
The oldest baby boomers are likely to benefit from the Hospital Insurance program and will certainly take full advantage of the Social Security retirement fund. The younger boomers however are expected to see these programs go bust (per chart above) while they still have years to live. It's unlikely the federal government will have the will or the resources to provide them the same benefits that the older boomers enjoyed without the support of these trust funds. That means the younger group has no choice but to put away money in order to fund their retirement. And that certainly adds a bit of stress to their current financial situation as the Gallup poll clearly shows.
From our sponsor:
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Bookmark this post:
Share on StockTwits