Middle-Income Boomers Still Struggling After Financial Crisis

Only 37% think they will have a satisfying retirement.

Middle-income Baby Boomers—those with an annual household income between $30,000 and $100,000 and less than $1 million in investable assets—are still struggling in the aftermath of the 2007 financial crisis, the Bankers Life Center for a Secure Retirement found in a survey.

Twenty-eight percent are now making more conservative investments, and 26% no longer invest at all. Only 16% expect to have savings. A mere 34% expect to retire debt free. Only 19% expect they will pay off their mortgage, and just 16% expect to leave an inheritance. Before the financial crisis, 35% of Baby Boomers expected to work part-time in retirement. Today, 48% expect to work part-time.

“Though they’ve weathered the storm, for many Boomers, the new retirement means working longer,” says Scott Goldberg, president of Bankers Life. “We see this trend as an opportunity for individuals to enjoy both the financial and emotional benefits of staying employed, even part-time.”

Fifty-one percent of middle-income Boomers believe the economy has recovered somewhat, but only 2% think it has fully recovered, and 47% do not think it has recovered at all. Among the 65% of middle-income Boomers who have not felt a personal benefit from any economic recovery, 52% say they have less savings than before the financial crisis.

While 41% of middle-income Boomers felt well- or very well-prepared for retirement before the financial crisis, that has dropped to 31%. Before the crisis, 44% thought they would have a satisfying retirement. Today, that is 37%. Before the crisis, 65% of middle-income Boomers felt confident in meeting their daily financial obligations, and that has now dropped to 57%.

In fact, 68% of this group thinks they may face another financial crisis. All told, as the Bankers Life for a Secure Retirement says in its report, “10 Years After the Crisis: Middle-Income Boomers Rebounding But Not Recovered,” “The crisis has resulted in Boomers remaining pessimistic about their chances for a secure retirement.” The full report can be downloaded here.