The retirement crisis in America is not contained to any one generation. Across the country, people of all ages are struggling with stagnant wages, rising living expenses, and an overall sluggish economy. Some are closer to their golden years than others, but one thing is clear: There are three unique generations with very different retirements ahead of them.
Many workers are simply trying to recover from the financial meltdown that took place more than five years ago. According to the 15th Annual Transamerica Retirement survey, one of the largest and longest-running national surveys of its kind, 35% of workers believe the Great Recession has not yet ended. That figure rises to 40% among Baby Boomers. Meanwhile, 65% of workers believe the recession has ended, but they have mixed views about the strength of the recovery. Only 14% say they have fully recovered financially from the historic downturn.
“Experts have long written about the changing retirement landscape over the past century,” said Catherine Collinson, president of the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies. “Times are changing so rapidly that the retirements of Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Millennials will not only be a radical departure from their parents’ generations but from each other as well.”
Let’s take a look at the current state of affairs for the three major generations:
1. Baby Boomers, born 1946-1964
Baby Boomers are the least confident generation when it comes to retirement. Only 14% of respondents said they are very confident, and 41% believe their standard of living will decrease, the worst percentage among all generations. Many Baby Boomers were already well into their working careers when the retirement landscape changed from defined benefit plans to 401(k) or similar plans.They did not experience the full…