Author Topic: Here’s How Much the Average Working Boomer Has Saved for Retirement  (Read 5043 times)

familyandfarming

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Here's a link to an article I saw on Apple News. Mind blowing.

Quote
The first is a survey of 1,000 working Americans conducted recently showing much, or little, they have saved for retirement. And the picture isn’t so much bleak as devastating.

Less than half of those surveyed have saved $100,000: Not even close to enough to support a median income of around $40,000 a year in retirement. One in six say they have saved nothing. A third are currently making no contributions. And it’s not just the young, who do at least have decades to make up the ground.

Respondents who are still working, with a median age of 60, have average savings of around $112,000.


https://www.barrons.com/articles/retirement-savings-baby-boomers-51656006852

ScreamingHeadGuy

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I love those tables in the summary.  Boomers, millennials, and Gen-Z -that covers everybody, no?

rab-bit

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Quote
One quarter of those surveyed, and 30% of millennials, said they were planning to rely on “cryptocurrencies” to finance some of their golden years.

Hula Hoop

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I love those tables in the summary.  Boomers, millennials, and Gen-Z -that covers everybody, no?

Hah!!

G-dog

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Is 1000 people really a statistically representative population for this study?

 I always read these studies, and usually they are this sort of doom and gloom, but this one was gloomier than most.   

DragonSlayer

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I love those tables in the summary.  Boomers, millennials, and Gen-Z -that covers everybody, no?

Gen X, forgotten again. That's okay. At this point, I think we prefer to be forgotten. Just leave us be.

StarBright

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I love those tables in the summary.  Boomers, millennials, and Gen-Z -that covers everybody, no?

Gen X, forgotten again. That's okay. At this point, I think we prefer to be forgotten. Just leave us be.

My guess is that in a random sampling they didn't actually get enough Gen X respondents to be statistically correct/significant?  Gen X is the smallest generation by far and probably due to general life circumstances the least likely to be able to respond to a survey.

former player

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This is why there is social security and old age pensions.

ixtap

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This is why there is social security and old age pensions.

We each have a Gen X sibling that pretty much brags about not having any retirement savings. Highly doubtful my other sibling has any, either, as they always almost get out of debt, then something big happens. Like a cancer diagnosis just as COVID shutdowns start big. At least his other sibling is doing well.

mm1970

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I love those tables in the summary.  Boomers, millennials, and Gen-Z -that covers everybody, no?
ah ha ha

A median age of 60...well, that's still boomer, but the youngest boomers are turning 58 this year.

4tify

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Re: Here’s How Much the Average Working Boomer Has Saved for Retirement
« Reply #10 on: June 25, 2022, 01:27:27 PM »
I love those tables in the summary.  Boomers, millennials, and Gen-Z -that covers everybody, no?

Gen X, forgotten again. That's okay. At this point, I think we prefer to be forgotten. Just leave us be.

Gone quietly with our Stashes and cheering from the sidelines.

ATtiny85

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Re: Here’s How Much the Average Working Boomer Has Saved for Retirement
« Reply #11 on: June 25, 2022, 03:25:49 PM »
I love those tables in the summary.  Boomers, millennials, and Gen-Z -that covers everybody, no?

Gen X, forgotten again. That's okay. At this point, I think we prefer to be forgotten. Just leave us be.

Gone quietly with our Stashes and cheering from the sidelines.

Lol, exactly! Keep us out of the press.

Dicey

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Re: Here’s How Much the Average Working Boomer Has Saved for Retirement
« Reply #12 on: June 26, 2022, 12:41:59 AM »
The sample group is too small to be anything useful.

Related: earlier this week I logged in to an inherited IRA account I have at Fidelity. I use it to feed my DAF and I wanted to top it up in reaction to a recent Supreme Court decision. There's only about 40k in the account, 'cuz apparently the market's down. Who knew? Anyway, a Retirement Calculator popped up and I decided to have a little fun with it, using that balance, which was autofed into the calculator, plus estimated Social Security. Alas, it looks like I'm one of those sad statistics. According to Fidelity, we can never stop working.

Except of course it's not my/our only retirement account. We have rental properties, DH has a Defined Benefit Pension with COLA, and we have other  savings, retirement and taxable accounts at various institutions. So am I rich or do I "only" have $40k saved for retirement? Lies, damn lies, and statistics.

BTW: the article is paywalled and you know I'm too cheap to pay for clickbait.

bacchi

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Re: Here’s How Much the Average Working Boomer Has Saved for Retirement
« Reply #13 on: June 27, 2022, 09:46:56 AM »
I love those tables in the summary.  Boomers, millennials, and Gen-Z -that covers everybody, no?
ah ha ha

A median age of 60...well, that's still boomer, but the youngest boomers are turning 58 this year.

Why do 2% of boomers plan to retire younger than 50 then? I can only assume the question was misread and they put down the age that they actually retired.

10 and 12% of Gen Y and Z, respectively, plan to retire before 50. I'm skeptical of that but more power to them.

ChpBstrd

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Re: Here’s How Much the Average Working Boomer Has Saved for Retirement
« Reply #14 on: September 21, 2022, 10:25:53 AM »
I've been thinking more and more about how American culture produces a result indistinguishable from feudalism. In feudalism, if you ever tried to leave your place as basically a sharecropper on land owned by the nobility, you'd simply starve to death. To escape a system that worked you and exploited you until your very last breath, you'd have to think in a very nonconformist and creative way, develop artisan skills, and reject the messaging around you, much like FIRE people today.

In America, if you do what everyone else is doing and believe the predominant messaging, you will live the same life as a medieval serf. Sure, you'll have higher material comforts, but you'll still work your entire lifetime and live in fear, held back by the unexamined superstitious assumptions around you.

Feudalism was a great way to get most of the population to toil their lives away for the benefit of the rich, but American culture is getting close to delivering the same results by rewarding the peasantry with social status signifiers, which only last as long as their productivity. Boomers and GenXers with minimal savings will have to work until their bodies break down. At that point they will die from a lack of medical care and be discarded.

charis

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Re: Here’s How Much the Average Working Boomer Has Saved for Retirement
« Reply #15 on: September 21, 2022, 01:53:17 PM »
My aunt and uncle in their 70s have no retirement, they both worked up to 2020, aunt still does a little (16k/year). Their combined SS is about 38k/year with paid off (albeit deteriorating) home and one car. Uncle had a pension but he cashed it in and that money's been gone for a couple of years on various endeavors.  Their lifestyle hasn't changed in 40 years

sadiesortsitout

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Re: Here’s How Much the Average Working Boomer Has Saved for Retirement
« Reply #16 on: September 21, 2022, 02:18:25 PM »
My parents live off their Social Security income and are very happy doing it. Granted, it's only been a year, but they seem to be doing well and told me they are actually saving some money.

I mean, FIRE is better for sure, but not everyone with no retirement savings is in dire straits. If you have a decent SS check, a paid-off house in a LCOL area, and a modest lifestyle, it's doable.

ixtap

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Re: Here’s How Much the Average Working Boomer Has Saved for Retirement
« Reply #17 on: September 21, 2022, 02:35:26 PM »
There are a lot of people out there living off SS and using any savings only as an emergency fund.

My brothers were born in the mid to late sixties and by all reports have nothing saved for retirement. No 401ks, IRAs or even enough savings to be considered a robust emergency fund if they get laid off in the next recession. One SIL seems to be in the same position.  All three couples are a perfect storm of bad luck and bad decisions piled on top of each other and seem to be pretty representative of what boomers and Gen X have in common.

brandon1827

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Re: Here’s How Much the Average Working Boomer Has Saved for Retirement
« Reply #18 on: September 21, 2022, 02:48:34 PM »
I agree that it's much too small a sample size to be of any relevance. My parents are boomers and are both past traditional retirement age. Mom paid into a 401K for over 35 years working in banking. That in addition to her SS and she's doing quite well even though she didn't want to retire at 68 and was forced to by a minor stroke. Dad retired a few years back with just SS. Went back to work after a year claiming to be bored. I'm not sure if that's the truth or if he just couldn't make it on SS alone. He lives in a very lcol area and doesn't spend much, so I think boredom is probably the truth. Regardless, they're both doing okay without a huge investment portfolio or vast amounts of cash in savings.

spartana

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Re: Here’s How Much the Average Working Boomer Has Saved for Retirement
« Reply #19 on: September 21, 2022, 04:38:32 PM »
"According to the US Census Bureau, US boomers will remain the second-largest population group in 2022, comprised of 69.6 million people ages 58 to 76".

How can a study of 1000 people out of 70 million even be useful? And as mentioned, does it include thos boomers of any age who already retired early (even very early)?

scottish

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Re: Here’s How Much the Average Working Boomer Has Saved for Retirement
« Reply #20 on: September 22, 2022, 06:10:46 PM »
"According to the US Census Bureau, US boomers will remain the second-largest population group in 2022, comprised of 69.6 million people ages 58 to 76".

How can a study of 1000 people out of 70 million even be useful? And as mentioned, does it include thos boomers of any age who already retired early (even very early)?

Assuming it's actually a random sample, the 95% confidence interval is about +-3% which is pretty good.     The real question isn't the sample size, but whether it's a representative sample.

Kathryn K.

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Re: Here’s How Much the Average Working Boomer Has Saved for Retirement
« Reply #21 on: September 22, 2022, 08:01:00 PM »
Regarding methodology and sample size, n=1000 isn't terrible but is a bit low for something like this. Regarding representativeness, there's really no such thing as random sample unless it's random digit dialing over the phone (but then there's the whole thing of who will answer a random call these days).  So to get around this as best as possible, the sample you do get is corrected (weighted) to match the actual population using Census data (or similar data for outside the US). However, the methodology section for this study (at least what was posted online: https://anytimeestimate.com/research/retirement-savings-2022/) doesn't mention anything about weighting or margin of error so take this one with a grain of salt.

Cassie

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Re: Here’s How Much the Average Working Boomer Has Saved for Retirement
« Reply #22 on: September 27, 2022, 12:02:54 PM »
I know a few people that thought it was a great idea to buy a new big house in their 60’s and still working in their 70’s. Health will eventually force them to quit working and then they can’t afford the house. Really a dumb way to live.

lifeisshort123

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Re: Here’s How Much the Average Working Boomer Has Saved for Retirement
« Reply #23 on: September 28, 2022, 11:26:01 AM »
I know a few people that thought it was a great idea to buy a new big house in their 60’s and still working in their 70’s. Health will eventually force them to quit working and then they can’t afford the house. Really a dumb way to live.

Maybe, on the other hand, at least maybe they got to enjoy it for a few years and “live their dream” before it is too late.  I recently saw a rerun of the Suze Orman show.  A woman had no income except SS and Disability, was never going to work again, had income each month of $1000 or so, with a $13k emergency fund.  She wanted to buy a record album collector’s edition for $400.  Suze denied her, saying she didn’t have enough in savings, investment, etc.  My view was, this woman clearly has a difficult life.  She is disabled, has minimal income, minimal savings.  Buying this album, and the fact she collects albums by this artist was something that was a part of her identity, and gave her tremendous joy.  I’d have approved the purchase because well, her situation is unlikely to change.  She will continue to be extremely poor, and reliant entirely on government benefits for a meager existence.  If that meagerness can be counteracted by a small amount of happiness with an album, why not.  FIRE will never be attainable for this individual, or even standard retirement.

I love FIRE, but based on personal family experiences, you have to also live for today.  What motivates all of us is different.  I’d probably not sink that much into a house like that as a percentage of my NW or Income, but I spend money on all kinds of stuff people might find wasteful and silly.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2022, 11:29:44 AM by lifeisshort123 »

Dave1442397

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Re: Here’s How Much the Average Working Boomer Has Saved for Retirement
« Reply #24 on: September 28, 2022, 02:29:31 PM »
I know a few people that thought it was a great idea to buy a new big house in their 60’s and still working in their 70’s. Health will eventually force them to quit working and then they can’t afford the house. Really a dumb way to live.

Maybe, on the other hand, at least maybe they got to enjoy it for a few years and “live their dream” before it is too late.  I recently saw a rerun of the Suze Orman show.  A woman had no income except SS and Disability, was never going to work again, had income each month of $1000 or so, with a $13k emergency fund.  She wanted to buy a record album collector’s edition for $400.  Suze denied her, saying she didn’t have enough in savings, investment, etc.  My view was, this woman clearly has a difficult life.  She is disabled, has minimal income, minimal savings.  Buying this album, and the fact she collects albums by this artist was something that was a part of her identity, and gave her tremendous joy.  I’d have approved the purchase because well, her situation is unlikely to change.  She will continue to be extremely poor, and reliant entirely on government benefits for a meager existence.  If that meagerness can be counteracted by a small amount of happiness with an album, why not.  FIRE will never be attainable for this individual, or even standard retirement.

I have to agree with Suze Orman here. $400 for a collector's edition of an album is fine for someone making a good income, but when it's 40% of her monthly income, that's just nuts. Getting the album will give her a quick dopamine hit, and then what? She gets to listen to music she could have bought for maybe $5 on CD.

I'm all for buying stuff that makes you happy if you can afford it. I just spent $350 on a Charnel House book, but that money came from my personal spending money, not the family budget.

iris lily

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Re: Here’s How Much the Average Working Boomer Has Saved for Retirement
« Reply #25 on: September 29, 2022, 09:30:29 AM »
I agree that it's much too small a sample size to be of any relevance. My parents are boomers and are both past traditional retirement age. Mom paid into a 401K for over 35 years working in banking. That in addition to her SS and she's doing quite well even though she didn't want to retire at 68 and was forced to by a minor stroke. Dad retired a few years back with just SS. Went back to work after a year claiming to be bored. I'm not sure if that's the truth or if he just couldn't make it on SS alone. He lives in a very lcol area and doesn't spend much, so I think boredom is probably the truth. Regardless, they're both doing okay without a huge investment portfolio or vast amounts of cash in savings.

Theoretically, my boomer household could live on Social Security and $100,000. That is, before we renovated this little old house in a small town. I’m not sure what our real estate taxes are going to be after renovation but they will be higher.

Our household Social Security income is about $50,000 annually, and this amount is based on salaries that were never outstanding. We are not software engineers or engineers of any kind!

Now in reality we are rolling in the dough because I have a pension on top of Social Security income and we also have big assets in the bank. So no, we do not have to live on Social Security income alone but we COULD because we have those frugal skills.

iris lily

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Re: Here’s How Much the Average Working Boomer Has Saved for Retirement
« Reply #26 on: September 29, 2022, 09:32:56 AM »
I know a few people that thought it was a great idea to buy a new big house in their 60’s and still working in their 70’s. Health will eventually force them to quit working and then they can’t afford the house. Really a dumb way to live.

Maybe, on the other hand, at least maybe they got to enjoy it for a few years and “live their dream” before it is too late.  I recently saw a rerun of the Suze Orman show.  A woman had no income except SS and Disability, was never going to work again, had income each month of $1000 or so, with a $13k emergency fund.  She wanted to buy a record album collector’s edition for $400.  Suze denied her, saying she didn’t have enough in savings, investment, etc.  My view was, this woman clearly has a difficult life.  She is disabled, has minimal income, minimal savings.  Buying this album, and the fact she collects albums by this artist was something that was a part of her identity, and gave her tremendous joy.  I’d have approved the purchase because well, her situation is unlikely to change.  She will continue to be extremely poor, and reliant entirely on government benefits for a meager existence.  If that meagerness can be counteracted by a small amount of happiness with an album, why not.  FIRE will never be attainable for this individual, or even standard retirement.

I have to agree with Suze Orman here. $400 for a collector's edition of an album is fine for someone making a good income, but when it's 40% of her monthly income, that's just nuts. Getting the album will give her a quick dopamine hit, and then what? She gets to listen to music she could have bought for maybe $5 on CD.

I'm all for buying stuff that makes you happy if you can afford it. I just spent $350 on a Charnel House book, but that money came from my personal spending money, not the family budget.

I’ve been addicted to videos on romance scammers lately, and it’s disheartening how many little old ladies with limited resources send money to their Nigerian boyfriends. In many cases it’s not even little ladies with limited access, they are ladies with $1 million to send to their Nigerian boyfriends.


Cassie

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Re: Here’s How Much the Average Working Boomer Has Saved for Retirement
« Reply #27 on: September 29, 2022, 10:13:37 AM »
IL, I don’t understand it either. On 90 day fiancé when younger good looking guys marry a older woman that is not good looking I wonder how people can be so gullible. They must have rose colored glasses on when they look in the mirror:)).

spartana

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Re: Here’s How Much the Average Working Boomer Has Saved for Retirement
« Reply #28 on: September 29, 2022, 11:21:17 AM »
IL, I don’t understand it either. On 90 day fiancé when younger good looking guys marry a older woman that is not good looking I wonder how people can be so gullible. They must have rose colored glasses on when they look in the mirror:)).
Hey are you talking about me? LOL!! Says she of the younger (now ex) DH and younger current BF. Both had more money then me so I guess not ;-).

 I am also fascinated by those kind of online romance fishing scams - probably more often an older male/younger female but have seen the reverse too. It's sad and must be incredibly frustrating for the family as they watch granny or grandpa give away all her/his assets, even selling their home and going into deep debt, for a person they've never even met. Just dumbfounding to me.

As to the OP,  I know several people above tried to explain the mathematical statistics behind 1000 people being representive of 70 million people but I still can't see it. It just seems unreasonable to me. Everyone I know who is boomer over 65 has saved for retirement. Most of the younger butt-end boomers in their mid 50s, and older Gen X, have also saved for retirement. However most did or plan to work until FRA of around 67 or longer. It's not that they cant retire on their savings, most just want to live a more lavious lifestyle.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2022, 11:32:05 AM by spartana »

spartana

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Re: Here’s How Much the Average Working Boomer Has Saved for Retirement
« Reply #29 on: September 29, 2022, 11:29:41 AM »
I know a few people that thought it was a great idea to buy a new big house in their 60’s and still working in their 70’s. Health will eventually force them to quit working and then they can’t afford the house. Really a dumb way to live.

Maybe, on the other hand, at least maybe they got to enjoy it for a few years and “live their dream” before it is too late.  I recently saw a rerun of the Suze Orman show.  A woman had no income except SS and Disability, was never going to work again, had income each month of $1000 or so, with a $13k emergency fund.  She wanted to buy a record album collector’s edition for $400.  Suze denied her, saying she didn’t have enough in savings, investment, etc.  My view was, this woman clearly has a difficult life.  She is disabled, has minimal income, minimal savings.  Buying this album, and the fact she collects albums by this artist was something that was a part of her identity, and gave her tremendous joy.  I’d have approved the purchase because well, her situation is unlikely to change.  She will continue to be extremely poor, and reliant entirely on government benefits for a meager existence.  If that meagerness can be counteracted by a small amount of happiness with an album, why not.  FIRE will never be attainable for this individual, or even standard retirement.

I have to agree with Suze Orman here. $400 for a collector's edition of an album is fine for someone making a good income, but when it's 40% of her monthly income, that's just nuts. Getting the album will give her a quick dopamine hit, and then what? She gets to listen to music she could have bought for maybe $5 on CD.

I'm all for buying stuff that makes you happy if you can afford it. I just spent $350 on a Charnel House book, but that money came from my personal spending money, not the family budget.
And it's probably not just a one-off purchase. I assume if she's a collector then she has multiple album collections (and will likely buy more) which may have been one reason she has no retirement saving built up.

Daisy

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Re: Here’s How Much the Average Working Boomer Has Saved for Retirement
« Reply #30 on: September 29, 2022, 01:24:27 PM »
I love those tables in the summary.  Boomers, millennials, and Gen-Z -that covers everybody, no?

Gen X, forgotten again. That's okay. At this point, I think we prefer to be forgotten. Just leave us be.

Gone quietly with our Stashes and cheering from the sidelines.

Lol, exactly! Keep us out of the press.

Amen!

from a fellow Gen-X'er

iris lily

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Re: Here’s How Much the Average Working Boomer Has Saved for Retirement
« Reply #31 on: September 29, 2022, 07:37:19 PM »
IL, I don’t understand it either. On 90 day fiancé when younger good looking guys marry a older woman that is not good looking I wonder how people can be so gullible. They must have rose colored glasses on when they look in the mirror:)).
Hey are you talking about me? LOL!! Says she of the younger (now ex) DH and younger current BF. Both had more money then me so I guess not ;-).

 I am also fascinated by those kind of online romance fishing scams - probably more often an older male/younger female but have seen the reverse too. It's sad and must be incredibly frustrating for the family as they watch granny or grandpa give away all her/his assets, even selling their home and going into deep debt, for a person they've never even met. Just dumbfounding to me.

As to the OP,  I know several people above tried to explain the mathematical statistics behind 1000 people being representive of 70 million people but I still can't see it. It just seems unreasonable to me. Everyone I know who is boomer over 65 has saved for retirement. Most of the younger butt-end boomers in their mid 50s, and older Gen X, have also saved for retirement. However most did or plan to work until FRA of around 67 or longer. It's not that they cant retire on their savings, most just want to live a more lavious lifestyle.
not talking about you, blondie! I am not worried about you blowing money on a boy toy.

spartana

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Re: Here’s How Much the Average Working Boomer Has Saved for Retirement
« Reply #32 on: September 29, 2022, 11:08:34 PM »
IL, I don’t understand it either. On 90 day fiancé when younger good looking guys marry a older woman that is not good looking I wonder how people can be so gullible. They must have rose colored glasses on when they look in the mirror:)).
Hey are you talking about me? LOL!! Says she of the younger (now ex) DH and younger current BF. Both had more money then me so I guess not ;-).

 I am also fascinated by those kind of online romance fishing scams - probably more often an older male/younger female but have seen the reverse too. It's sad and must be incredibly frustrating for the family as they watch granny or grandpa give away all her/his assets, even selling their home and going into deep debt, for a person they've never even met. Just dumbfounding to me.

As to the OP,  I know several people above tried to explain the mathematical statistics behind 1000 people being representive of 70 million people but I still can't see it. It just seems unreasonable to me. Everyone I know who is boomer over 65 has saved for retirement. Most of the younger butt-end boomers in their mid 50s, and older Gen X, have also saved for retirement. However most did or plan to work until FRA of around 67 or longer. It's not that they cant retire on their savings, most just want to live a more lavious lifestyle.
not talking about you, blondie! I am not worried about you blowing money on a boy toy.
LOL! Yeah I'm too much of a cheapskate for that ;-).

It's funny because just today they had this cat-fishing scam thing on TV. So many older people getting fleeced out of everything.  Sad. I mean if you're going to give your gold digger all your money at least meet them first!


zolotiyeruki

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Re: Here’s How Much the Average Working Boomer Has Saved for Retirement
« Reply #33 on: October 04, 2022, 10:09:25 AM »
Speaking of statistics, I'm surprised that nobody has pointed out the selection bias in the article:
Quote
Respondents who are still working, with a median age of 60, have average savings of around $112,000.
You've cut down your statistic to "people 50 and older who are still working." So, um, yeah, when you exclude all of the boomers who are retired (and thus presumably have enough to retire) or dead, the average savings is going to look smaller than if you took an average of everyone in that age demographic. 

kite

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Re: Here’s How Much the Average Working Boomer Has Saved for Retirement
« Reply #34 on: October 04, 2022, 05:00:09 PM »
Quote
One quarter of those surveyed, and 30% of millennials, said they were planning to rely on “cryptocurrencies” to finance some of their golden years.

I read this kind of idiocy and just shake my head that those 30% are eligible to vote.

Dave1442397

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Re: Here’s How Much the Average Working Boomer Has Saved for Retirement
« Reply #35 on: October 04, 2022, 05:05:44 PM »
Quote
One quarter of those surveyed, and 30% of millennials, said they were planning to rely on “cryptocurrencies” to finance some of their golden years.

I read this kind of idiocy and just shake my head that those 30% are eligible to vote.

You have to remember that someone has to hold down the left side of the IQ bell curve. At least, that's what I tell myself when I encounter idiots.

 

Wow, a phone plan for fifteen bucks!