According to “Transitioning into Retirement: The MetLife Study of Baby Boomers at 65,” 45% of boomers are completely retired and 14% are retired, but working part-time. Of those still working, 37% said they will retire in the next year, and on average plan to do so by the time they are 68.
Half (51%) of those who are retired said they retired earlier than they had expected. Of those who retired early, four in 10 say they did so for health reasons. The majority (85%) of respondents consider themselves healthy, and almost all (96%) retirees said they like retirement at least somewhat. Seventy percent like retirement a lot.
Almost two-thirds of respondents (63%) are already collecting Social Security benefits, and on average began doing so at the age of 63, defying the conventional wisdom that people would choose to wait to receive benefits until a later age in order to receive a higher payout. Among those in the survey, just over 60% are confident that the Social Security system will be able to provide adequate benefits for their lifetime.The data shows that 43% of those polled are optimistic about the future. Of the 19% who are pessimistic about what is ahead, 49% fault the government and 21% blame the economy. The 65-year-old Boomers do not consider themselves old; on average they will not consider themselves to be old until they are 79, a year older than reported in 2007.
“Many of the boomers weathered the recession well and have been able to stop working. Half of all boomers feel confident that they are on track or have already hit their retirement goals,” said Sandra Timmermann, Ed.D., director of the MetLife Mature Market Institute. “We found that more are homeowners today than in 2008, that the value of their homes decreased by only about 5.2% on average, that the majority feel they’re in good health and that 83% have grandchildren. Overall, it’s a pretty confident group of Americans.”
Additional survey findings include:
- The average retirement age for the 1946 boomers is 59.7 for men and 57.2 for women;
- Twenty-four percent have a living parent;
- Eight-four percent are parents; 83% are grandparents, up from 77% in 2008;
- Of those still working, 61% plan to retire at the same age as they planned one year ago;
- Thirty-one percent of boomers who are 65 think they were at their sharpest mentally in their 40s; only 20% say they’re at their sharpest today;
- Homeownership increased significantly among the studied cohort since 2008, from 85% to 93%; and
- Seventy-one percent are married or in a domestic partnership; 12% are divorced or separated; 10% are widowed and 7% are single.