Baby Boomers See Retirement Delayed at Least 4 Years says Survey

Many baby boomers are expecting retirement to be delayed at least 4 years according to CPA financial planners surveyed by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

That’s even with re-surging confidence in the stock market, which, with recent gains, is helping replenish retirement accounts. Fifty-two percent of CPA financial planners said their clients – who typically have between $500,000 and $5 million in assets – are at least somewhat confident in the stock market now. That’s a turnaround from a year ago when 54 percent said their clients were not very confident.

“Boomers have been scarred by the economic turmoil of the past few years and face complex challenges going forward,” said Clark M. Blackman II, chair of the AICPA’s Personal Financial Planning Executive Committee. “While more optimistic about the markets, many Boomers remain uncertain about the U.S. economy and their own situations as they contend with job loss – their own and their children’s – lower home values and rising education costs.”


The first group of Baby Boomers started to turn 65 earlier this year.  According to government statistics, this group of Americans equals 77 million and represent about 37 percent of the nation’s total population age 16 or older.

The survey also found that 51% of CPA financial planners said at least one client was turned down for a mortgage or refinance in the past year. The most common reasons: Lower home values and higher underwriting standards.

“These survey results show optimism tinged with some caution,” said Lyle K. Benson, president of L.K. Benson & Co. in Baltimore, Md. and member of the AICPA’s Personal Financial Planning executive committee. “Having weathered the economic storm, clients are turning to CPA financial planners to help make sense of the new reality and get back on track toward their financial and personal goals.”

The online survey was conducted between January 12 and February 1 and made available only to members of the AICPA’s Personal Financial Planning practice section. There were 372 responses. The confidence rate is 95 percent, with a margin of error of plus or minus 5 percentage points.

For a copy of the survey, see here.

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  • Admin,

    On at least one occasion you had asked why I attacked the press releases of one company on which you reported in the past. It was because they never expressed whether readers should have any concern in the reliability of the data (or even if they had determined a margin of error) they used in reaching their conclusions.

    It was apparent that they had little-to-no-control over the source of their data but this was never clarified in any of their press releases. Worse their company information all but bragged how well educated their senior management was; this makes their disregard for expressing concern for the reliability of the source and quality of their data that much worse.

    The survey you cite above serves as a model for how data should be gathered and conclusions expressed. The now nonexistent company claimed to have the education to know the difference but did not show consideration to their press release readers in expressing it. To those who know the difference, it demeaned our entire industry. It is good that company can no longer spew out such press releases.

      • Admin,

        Yeah. I know a lot of CPAs. But they are not the only ones to be concerned about the quality of the data they use in deriving their conclusions.

        Talking about that, have you seen the website Lyn Link has built to try and sell a book? He rips into our industry using very questionable information. Why is he calling himself the Reverse Mortgage Critic? He is more negative than critic. The man lacks originality except when he attacks the industry.

        It seems Lyn is willing to tear down the industry for the sake of selling a few books. I don’t want you to get into trouble but that sad to say is my conclusion.

  • What is interesting is how society defines work. At the peak of the stock market and then the housing market, when retirement became available several of my peers planned to leave their current positions and work for charitable organizations or enter into a line of business they had always hoped to do when they were younger. Few of my peers wanted to simple buy a rocker, sit on their front porch, and either watch their roses bloom or their grandchildren grow.

    The Baby Boomers watched the Korean War generation (the silent generation) enter into active but less purposeful retirement with little in the Boomers’ eyes to commend it. The “hippy” generation seemed dissatisfied with that outlook; they wanted more. So while the downturns may redirect their working activities, the news above does not seem to be a change in how my peers view working well into retirement. The downturns threw a wrench in the activities at which they were looking forward to work and perhaps the amount of time they were willing to apply to such endeavors.

    Of course this is an imprecise summary of anecdotal information. It certainly does not provide insight into how the majority of Baby Boomers are looking at the issue. It would be informative to find out.

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