Actively Aging: Why Baby Boomers aren't retiring - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Actively Aging: Why Baby Boomers aren't retiring


Eau Claire (WQOW) - Retirement is something to fear for and look forward too, but many Baby Boomers are reaching it at later dates.

People are like plants, we go through seasons of life that bring change. Retirement is like the harvest. It's long-awaited and rewarding, but the Baby Boomer generation is having a hard time reaping the rewards of a lifetime of work.

“As the baby boomers started turning 65 in 2011,” said Andy Schlafer, CFP, Robert W. Baird and Company, “What we learned by and large as a generality, a lot found themselves behind in retirement.”

Robert W. Baird and Company gives a few reasons for why it may be tough for Baby Boomers to retire, for example, pension plans have all but vanished, Social Security is anything but secure, the Great Recession hit many portfolios hard and people in general are not really ready to retire at the normal retirement age.

Carmen Ouimet was able to comfortably retire, but she wanted to stay busy so she decided to get a job at May's Floral.

“When I was working l worked for a company that had good benefits,” Ouimet said, “That's probably the reason I went to work there because my husband was a truck driver. So I had good benefits and I have insurance that has traveled with us to our retirement and so we are very lucky to have that and of course we were ready to take our social security at 62 because we were ready to leave the jobs that we had because we had that luxury which I understand some people don't and I understand that can be very difficult especially with health insurance.”

Ouimet is right, it is difficult.

“It was the first generation that had to do it themselves,” Schlafer said, “Until this point, their parents generations had pensions. Today the numbers we're seeing, less than 3% of public employees have a pension. They're the first generation that had a 401K and had to use IRAs and do it themselves. The statistics tell us that right now of all Americans, the average retirement savings balance is about $50,000 and when you couple that with two social securities it's just really not enough to live on.”

While the reasons are rampant, the problem persists, which is why Schlafer said the best advice comes down to planning and preparing for their own retirement.

Schlafer said that a young person coming out of school should put away 10% of their wages for the rest of their life so that they will be able to retire at a good age, with the kind of spending they are used to.

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