Sorry!! The article you are trying to read is not available now.
Thank you very much;
you're only a step away from
downloading your reports.

The Boomer Outlook: Retirement? What Retirement?


Plan on working until the end.

After practicing my toe-wiggling and thinking cosmic thoughts, I've come up with three retirement options:

1. Win the lottery.

Marry rich.

3. Die young.

I never thought much about retirement because I'm a romantic at heart. Not a Don Juan-type (despite my best efforts), but an undergraduate version of Blake, Keats, Shelley, and Wordsworth. The Romantic poets had enough of science, rationality, and the Age of Enlightenment. They believed passion would carry them.

Great idea! I followed my heart into newspapers, not exactly a growth industry at the moment or even when I landed my first job as an ink-stained wretch in the early 1970s, long before Apple (AAPL), Dell (DELL), and Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) computers replaced the entrancing sound of clattering typewriters in the newsroom.

My father, an electrical engineer who grew up during the Great Depression, urged me to study math and said I'd be functionally illiterate in a technological society without it. Blech, I told him, I can tie my shoes and (as it turned out) write a brilliant drunk-hits-tree-and-other-signs-of-intelligent-life story without any of that sine, cosine, and tangent stuff.

But I quickly grasped the math when it came to my earning power as a reporter: Zilch. No problem -- what would I do with money if I had any? Without it, I've made ratty corduroy coats and frayed neckties a Baby Boomer fashion statement.

I'm not alone in my failure to prepare for geezerhood. A research paper by Daniel B. Radner published in 1998 by the Social Security Administration noted, "It is uncertain whether the Baby Boom generation as a whole will have enough resources in retirement to maintain their pre-retirement standard of living, even in the absence of policy changes."

Those changes probably mean higher taxes, lower benefits, and working longer to secure full benefits. I bet on all three.

The US Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics expects the number of people aged 55 and above in the labor force to increase by 12 million by 2018, suggesting that I won't be the only aging Child of the Sixties who can't afford to retire.

Baby Boomers, or the 79 million people born between 1946 and 1964, comprised about 38% of the nation's population in 1965, but their share is expected to drop to about 5%, or about 18 million, by 2050 as the actuarial tables catch up with the former long-hairs. How will the world survive without tie-dyed T-shirts?

Demographers still debate what caused the unusually high birth rates that defined the baby boom. Births spiked upward in 1946 and 1947 as troops returned from World War II. The continued high birth rate may have reflected a mix of optimism and increasing affluence among those who grew up during the Great Depression and fought in World War II.
< Previous
No positions in stocks mentioned.
The information on this website solely reflects the analysis of or opinion about the performance of securities and financial markets by the writers whose articles appear on the site. The views expressed by the writers are not necessarily the views of Minyanville Media, Inc. or members of its management. Nothing contained on the website is intended to constitute a recommendation or advice addressed to an individual investor or category of investors to purchase, sell or hold any security, or to take any action with respect to the prospective movement of the securities markets or to solicit the purchase or sale of any security. Any investment decisions must be made by the reader either individually or in consultation with his or her investment professional. Minyanville writers and staff may trade or hold positions in securities that are discussed in articles appearing on the website. Writers of articles are required to disclose whether they have a position in any stock or fund discussed in an article, but are not permitted to disclose the size or direction of the position. Nothing on this website is intended to solicit business of any kind for a writer's business or fund. Minyanville management and staff as well as contributing writers will not respond to emails or other communications requesting investment advice.

Copyright 2011 Minyanville Media, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Featured Videos