Baby boomers face grim realities for retirement, says the Insured Retirement Institute in a study released Tuesday.
Boomers “face a dangerous combination of being under-saved and long-lived,” IRI, an association of retirement industry representatives, says in the report.
“Those at the point of retirement with no savings and who are unable or unwilling to delay retirement are in the worst position, and will need to take the most drastic steps to reduce expenditures by moving to less expensive areas, downsizing and eliminating, if possible, high-cost budget items such as transportation.”
Among the issues that make retirement difficult for boomers is the fact that 40 percent of boomers have no retirement savings and 69 percent do not have a defined benefit pension plan, according to the report.
Of the boomers who do have retirement savings, 59 percent have saved less than $250,000 and 37 percent have saved less than $100,000. At the same time, a 65-year-old male in good health has a 50 percent chance of living to age 87 and a 25 percent chance of living to age 93, and a 65-year-old female to age 89 or 95, respectively, IRI says.
IRI has a few suggestions for boomers without sufficient savings, including delaying retirement until age 70 to maximize Social Security and moving to an area of the country with a lower cost of living.
Younger boomers, age 50, who make the current maximum contribution to a 401(k) of $6,000 until age 70, will add more than $239,000 to retirement savings at a 5.5 percent average annual rate of return.
But many boomers, who will have to close the income gap somehow, are not looking at their retirement expectations realistically, IRI says.
“This state of affairs leaves millions facing difficult choices, and those who are not yet retired and who do not take steps now to improve their outlooks, will be forced to make significant compromises in their standard of living to avoid seeking help from family, friends or other assistance programs,” IRI predicts.