High anxiety: Half of baby boomers doubt they will ever retire

Half of baby boomers don't expect to retire, according to a new AARP survey.
Half of baby boomers don’t expect to retire, according to a new AARP survey.
(Ernesto Benavide / AFP/Getty Images)

Baby boomers are in a state of stress, with half unsure of their retirement prospects and the vast majority blaming political gridlock for damaging their economic security, according to interest group AARP.

Nearly half of voters ages 50 to 64 who have yet to retire say they’re dissatisfied with their financial situation, AARP found in a recent survey. A majority believe the economic downturn will shrink their retirement savings, forcing them to rely more on Social Security and Medicare.

Nearly three quarters believe they’ll have to delay retirement and continue working, while nearly as many don’t think they’ll live comfortably once they reach it.

Half don’t think retirement will ever come, compared to 43% of younger voters.

Since 2005, the median wealth of a boomer household has sunk more than 17% to $149,348, according to recent Census Bureau figures. Many no longer plan to leave their children an inheritance.


Worries about health care, inflation, taxes, nest eggs and more have boomers scoring a 70% on AARP’s anxiety index, compared to 59% of younger voters and 46% of people ages 65 or older.

Researchers said the results are surprising, considering boomers are often considered to be a big-living demographic looking forward to their golden years.

“You see these numbers, and they’re anything but,” said pollster Greg Strimple in a statement.

What’s to blame? According to 82% of boomers, at least part of their economic malaise was caused by the impasse on Capitol Hill.


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