Baby boomers, members of the generation that once believed in never trusting anyone over age 30, are now facing the prospect of aging into their golden years without the money to enjoy them, according to a survey by Clever Real Estate.

Noting that retirement isn't cheap, the report said that census data shows that adults 65 and older spend an average of between $36,000 and $48,000 a year.

While most of the 1,000 baby boomers who responded to an online survey said they believed they could retire by age 68, their finances said otherwise, Clever Real Estate said.

Financial experts recommend having roughly eight times your salary stashed away for retirement by age 60. That would be around $456,000, based on boomer respondents’ average annual income of $57,000 a year. Unfortunately, the average boomer respondent’s retirement savings was a reported $136,779—about 30% of the recommended amount.

Boomers not only struggle to put aside retirement savings, but have difficulty saving for emergency expenses and paying off debt as well. One-third of boomer respondents (31%) said they did not have an emergency fund, while 40% said they are still paying off credit card debt.

Clever Real Estate asked respondents how they would spend $10,000 if they had it. One-third (36%) said they would pay off debt and over half (53%) said they would use that money to save for an emergency fund.

Boomers are more likely to count on Social Security as their primary source of retirement funds, according to the survey findings, particularly since there has been a sweeping shift away from the pension plans that employers once used to offer their workers. However, an April 2019 report by the Trump administration found that in 2020, Social Security will need to start dipping into its $3 trillion reserve fund to continue making full payments to retirees, Clever Real Estate said. 

While about three in 10 baby boomers surveyed said they prioritized saving for retirement as a financial goal, many said that building an emergency fund and paying off credit card debt were their top financial priorities.

Clever Real Estate suggests that boomers take several additional steps to put themselves on the path to financial solvency. After paying off loans and credit card debt, boomers should reduce spending and create a realistic budget by examining bank statements to determine where money is going and then start cutting out unnecessary expenses.

If you are a homeowner, downsizing a property might be the right move financially, depending on the amount of equity you’ve acquired and the state of the market. Renting can be surprisingly affordable in certain areas and cuts out expenses like property taxes, water and sewer utilities, maintenance and repairs.

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