One in Four Baby Boomers Say They’ll Never Retire

Forty-four percent of baby boomers express little or no faith they’ll have enough money to retire, a recent poll says. And one in four who are still working say they’ll never retire.

The Associated Press-LifeGoesStrong.com poll states that many baby boomers, while they are starting to retire, are agonizing about finances and expect they will need to work longer than they had planned. Just 11% say they are “strongly convinced” they will be able to live comfortably, and 55% are either somewhat or very certain they could retire with financial security.

With government budget talks aimed at addressing retirement income and entitlement programs for seniors, the poll also finds that 64% of boomers see Social Security as the keystone of their retirement earnings; outpacing pensions, investments and other income.

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Excluding their homes, 24% of boomers say they have no retirement savings, according to the report, and despite the worries and dearth of savings cited by many of those polled, only about a third of boomers say it’s likely that they’ll have to make do with a more modest lifestyle once they retire. Only about 1 in 4 expect to struggle just to pay their expenses.

Find out more about the AP-LifeGoesStrong.com poll.

Written by Elizabeth Ecker

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  • The problem for survey takers is the presumed target for most of the reductions in Social Security and Medicare benefits divides Baby Boomers. Those born before 1957 form one group and those born after 1956, the other. The one place where this type of problem has been seen most clearly in the last three decades is in unions.

    One family watched in dismay as father, the preceding union President, and son, the current union President, fought over whom excess defined benefit plan assets should benefit. Father was in the older group and son, the younger. The younger group was losing retirement benefits as retirement benefits were being shifted to a far less generous defined contribution plan while the older group was having their benefits in the defined benefit plan frozen into annuities.

    After calculating the dollar amount needed to annuitize the benefits of the retirees and fund the present value of the benefits of those not retired into the new defined contribution plan, several tens of millions of dollars in excess assets were found. The employer was elated since the restructuring would cost it nothing. When this happened before in the early 90s and the amount was only a few million, the answer was to make a one time distribution to retirees of the excess funds rather than incurring a 50% excise tax on the excess funds.

    Since the Taft-Hartley agreement was being amended anyway to close down the old defined benefit plan and create the new defined contribution plan, those who were not retired wanted the benefits for that year increased to swallow up the excess benefits before they were transferred into the new defined contribution plan, while the retirees wanted the excess benefits annuitized or paid out to them since they had been in the plan the longest. The battle became so rancorous that at one union meeting with members and retirees in the late evening, a fierce fist fight broke out between the father and the son spreading quickly to non-retirees and retirees. Despite the presence of LAPD, additional police officers had to be called in to completely break up the fracas.

    How the dispute was settled is not as important as understanding these issues will create very disturbing divisions between even Baby Boomers. Those divisions will impact surveys more so in the future than even now.

  • The problem for survey takers is the presumed target for most of the reductions in Social Security and Medicare benefits divides Baby Boomers. Those born before 1957 form one group and those born after 1956, the other. The one place where this type of problem has been seen most clearly in the last three decades is in unions.

    One family watched in dismay as father, the preceding union President, and son, the current union President, fought over whom excess defined benefit plan assets should benefit. Father was in the older group and son, the younger. The younger group was losing retirement benefits as retirement benefits were being shifted to a far less generous defined contribution plan while the older group was having their benefits in the defined benefit plan frozen into annuities.

    After calculating the dollar amount needed to annuitize the benefits of the retirees and fund the present value of the benefits of those not retired into the new defined contribution plan, several tens of millions of dollars in excess assets were found. The employer was elated since the restructuring would cost it nothing. When this happened before in the early 90s and the amount was only a few million, the answer was to make a one time distribution to retirees of the excess funds rather than incurring a 50% excise tax on the excess funds.

    Since the Taft-Hartley agreement was being amended anyway to close down the old defined benefit plan and create the new defined contribution plan, those who were not retired wanted the benefits for that year increased to swallow up the excess benefits before they were transferred into the new defined contribution plan, while the retirees wanted the excess benefits annuitized or paid out to them since they had been in the plan the longest. The battle became so rancorous that at one union meeting with members and retirees in the late evening, a fierce fist fight broke out between the father and the son spreading quickly to non-retirees and retirees. Despite the presence of LAPD, additional police officers had to be called in to completely break up the fracas.

    How the dispute was settled is not as important as understanding these issues will create very disturbing divisions between even Baby Boomers. Those divisions will impact surveys more so in the future than even now.

  • The problem for survey takers is the presumed target for most of the reductions in Social Security and Medicare benefits divides Baby Boomers. Those born before 1957 form one group and those born after 1956, the other. The one place where this type of problem has been seen most clearly in the last three decades is in unions.

    One family watched in dismay as father, the preceding union President, and son, the current union President, fought over whom excess defined benefit plan assets should benefit. Father was in the older group and son, the younger. The younger group was losing retirement benefits as retirement benefits were being shifted to a far less generous defined contribution plan while the older group was having their benefits in the defined benefit plan frozen into annuities.

    After calculating the dollar amount needed to annuitize the benefits of the retirees and fund the present value of the benefits of those not retired into the new defined contribution plan, several tens of millions of dollars in excess assets were found. The employer was elated since the restructuring would cost it nothing. When this happened before in the early 90s and the amount was only a few million, the answer was to make a one time distribution to retirees of the excess funds rather than incurring a 50% excise tax on the excess funds.

    Since the Taft-Hartley agreement was being amended anyway to close down the old defined benefit plan and create the new defined contribution plan, those who were not retired wanted the benefits for that year increased to swallow up the excess benefits before they were transferred into the new defined contribution plan, while the retirees wanted the excess benefits annuitized or paid out to them since they had been in the plan the longest. The battle became so rancorous that at one union meeting with members and retirees in the late evening, a fierce fist fight broke out between the father and the son spreading quickly to non-retirees and retirees. Despite the presence of LAPD, additional police officers had to be called in to completely break up the fracas.

    How the dispute was settled is not as important as understanding these issues will create very disturbing divisions between even Baby Boomers. Those divisions will impact surveys more so in the future than even now.

  • The problem for survey takers is the presumed target for most of the reductions in Social Security and Medicare benefits divides Baby Boomers. Those born before 1957 form one group and those born after 1956, the other. The one place where this type of problem has been seen most clearly in the last three decades is in unions.

    One family watched in dismay as father, the preceding union President, and son, the current union President, fought over whom excess defined benefit plan assets should benefit. Father was in the older group and son, the younger. The younger group was losing retirement benefits as retirement benefits were being shifted to a far less generous defined contribution plan while the older group was having their benefits in the defined benefit plan frozen into annuities.

    After calculating the dollar amount needed to annuitize the benefits of the retirees and fund the present value of the benefits of those not retired into the new defined contribution plan, several tens of millions of dollars in excess assets were found. The employer was elated since the restructuring would cost it nothing. When this happened before in the early 90s and the amount was only a few million, the answer was to make a one time distribution to retirees of the excess funds rather than incurring a 50% excise tax on the excess funds.

    Since the Taft-Hartley agreement was being amended anyway to close down the old defined benefit plan and create the new defined contribution plan, those who were not retired wanted the benefits for that year increased to swallow up the excess benefits before they were transferred into the new defined contribution plan, while the retirees wanted the excess benefits annuitized or paid out to them since they had been in the plan the longest. The battle became so rancorous that at one union meeting with members and retirees in the late evening, a fierce fist fight broke out between the father and the son spreading quickly to non-retirees and retirees. Despite the presence of LAPD, additional police officers had to be called in to completely break up the fracas.

    How the dispute was settled is not as important as understanding these issues will create very disturbing divisions between even Baby Boomers. Those divisions will impact surveys more so in the future than even now.

  • The problem for survey takers is the presumed target for most of the reductions in Social Security and Medicare benefits divides Baby Boomers. Those born before 1957 form one group and those born after 1956, the other. The one place where this type of problem has been seen most clearly in the last three decades is in unions.

    One family watched in dismay as father, the preceding union President, and son, the current union President, fought over whom excess defined benefit plan assets should benefit. Father was in the older group and son, the younger. The younger group was losing retirement benefits as retirement benefits were being shifted to a far less generous defined contribution plan while the older group was having their benefits in the defined benefit plan frozen into annuities.

    After calculating the dollar amount needed to annuitize the benefits of the retirees and fund the present value of the benefits of those not retired into the new defined contribution plan, several tens of millions of dollars in excess assets were found. The employer was elated since the restructuring would cost it nothing. When this happened before in the early 90s and the amount was only a few million, the answer was to make a one time distribution to retirees of the excess funds rather than incurring a 50% excise tax on the excess funds.

    Since the Taft-Hartley agreement was being amended anyway to close down the old defined benefit plan and create the new defined contribution plan, those who were not retired wanted the benefits for that year increased to swallow up the excess benefits before they were transferred into the new defined contribution plan, while the retirees wanted the excess benefits annuitized or paid out to them since they had been in the plan the longest. The battle became so rancorous that at one union meeting with members and retirees in the late evening, a fierce fist fight broke out between the father and the son spreading quickly to non-retirees and retirees. Despite the presence of LAPD, additional police officers had to be called in to completely break up the fracas.

    How the dispute was settled is not as important as understanding these issues will create very disturbing divisions between even Baby Boomers. Those divisions will impact surveys more so in the future than even now.

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