Boomers Reducing Spending But Not Saving More

Although 61% of Baby Boomers are spending less, the money they are saving is not going toward retirement.

According to the Scottrade/BetterInvesting 2008 American Retirement Study, only 40% of those between 45 and 64 years of age indicated they are saving more to alleviate their financial concerns, yet more than half of those polled said they do not believe they have saved enough for retirement.

Thirty-eight percent of baby boomers indicated they are not even sure how much they should have saved or need to save, and nearly a quarter (24%) have less than $25,000 saved so far.

Even if confronted with a windfall of $5,000, only 15% of boomers said they would deposit the money in an IRA or other retirement account, while almost half (48%) indicated they would pay down debt. Almost a third, (32%) would put the money in a savings account, according to the release, and just 3% would go on a shopping spree.

More than half (51%) of respondents over 55 said they wish they had started saving for retirement at a younger age and 40% said they wish they would have saved more. Forty-three percent said they could have saved more than they did.

In 2007, 83% of Americans polled had begun saving for retirement, but in 2008 the number dropped to 78%. Less than a third of Americans said they have thought about retirement more than a few times in the last year.

Still, 51% of survey respondents indicated they are very or extremely concerned about retirement. Other top financial concerns were managing day-to-day expenses (46%) and being able to pay for unexpected major expenses (47%)

The 2008 American Retirement Study polled 1,000 Americans 18 years of age or older in early January 2008.