According to a recent AARP study, around a quarter of the 96,000 Gen Xers and Baby Boomers living in Monroe County are struggling to save up for retirement — and for the Baby Boomers in particular, that’s a pretty scary thought, since many people in this generation have already begun to retire.
The Baby Boomer generation began turning 65 just four years ago; by 2030, it’s estimated that this age group will make up 20% of the U.S. population. This has caused an overwhelming sense of a vague but impending “retirement crisis” across the country — and Monroe County is no exception.
The study is aptly named “High Anxiety: Monroe County Gen X and Baby Boomers Struggle with Stress, Savings, and Security,” and it included 800 voters ages 35 to 69 throughout the county. AARP also conducted similar studies in other counties throughout the state, as well as a “High Anxiety” study that analyzed New York State as a whole.
As the Rochester Business Journal reported recently, voters ages 50 and up are the most anxious; they simply haven’t been able to rebound from the Great Recession quite as well as younger Gen Xers have done.
The majority (56%) of voters from these two generations are concerned about having enough money for a comfortable retirement, while 23% aren’t expecting to retire… ever. Out of both groups, 24% have no savings account set up for retirement.
However, there are some stark differences between Gen Xers and Baby Boomers as far as financial security and financial optimism go. Many Gen Xers (75% ) are still trying to pay off student loan debts or expect to incur student loans from their children, and they don’t expect to receive Social Security payments as they older, either.
Nationally, a recent GOBankingRates survey found that nearly two-thirds of American adults have less than $1,000 in a savings account — if they even have a savings account at all. One surprising find was that Gen Xers tend to have less money saved up compared to Baby Boomers, but also compared to older Millennials (ages 25 to 34).
The highest percentage of adults nationally with no savings is 31.6%, and that belongs to Young Generation X (ages 35 to 44), followed closely by Older Generation X (ages 45 to 54) at 30.8%.
Many residents in Monroe County believe that a state-facilitated retirement plan would be the best option for retirement savings; this is supported by 67% of the county, while it’s only supported by 40% of residents across the state.