Boomers burning up their retirement savings

By Andrew Rickard | July 14 2016 09:46AM

More than a third of Baby Boomers have had to cut back on their spending in order to compensate for a financial shortfall in retirement.

A study commissioned by the Bankers Life Center for a Secure Retirement reveals that 38% of middle-income Boomers in the United States have had to adjust their budgets in order to make up for not having enough money when they retired, and only 28% say they were financially prepared when they stopped working.

Carrying debt

Many middle class Boomers are spreading themselves too thin: 81% of the respondents who are working are carrying debt, while 77% of those who are retired still owe money. What's more, 60% of Boomers admit that they are spending as much or more than their household income. Asked for the reasons behind their overspending, 55% point to bills, debts, loans or other expenses and 15% blame health or medical issues.

"Between their debt burdens and continued spending, 69% of Boomers don't believe or don't know if they have enough money to live comfortably to age 85, which, according to the Social Security Administration, is their average life expectancy," reads the report.

Putting off retirement

Putting off retirement could help Boomers make ends meet, since it would both give them more time to save and increase their government benefits by about 8% for every year they wait up to age 70. However, the study found that relatively few are able or willing to keep working; although 78% of middle-income Boomers who are still at their jobs say that they will wait to age 65 to start collecting Social Security, only 38% actually do so.

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