Traverse City Record-Eagle

Archive: Tuesday

October 23, 2012

Retirement worries grow for 30-somethings

WASHINGTON (AP) — Younger Americans in their late 30s are now the group most likely to doubt they will be financially secure after retirement, a major shift from three years ago when baby boomers nearing retirement age expressed the greatest worry.

The survey findings by the Pew Research Center, released Monday, reflect the impact of a weak economic recovery beginning in 2009 that has shown stock market gains while housing values remain decimated.

As a whole, retirement worries rose across all age groups — roughly 38 percent of U.S. adults say they are "not too" or "not at all" confident that they will have sufficiently sized financial nest eggs, according to the independent research group.

But the concerns are increasing the greatest among younger adults approaching middle age, whose equity in their homes represents most of their net worth. About 49 percent of those ages 35-44 said they had little or no confidence that they will have enough money for retirement, more than double the 20 percent share in that age group who said so in 2009.

Baby boomers born between 1946 and 1964 also reported having more retirement anxieties than before, but now to a lesser degree compared to their younger counterparts. About 43 percent of Americans ages 45-54 expressed little or no trust in their retirement security, up from 33 percent in 2009. Among Americans ages 55-64, the share expressing little or no confidence was 39 percent, up from 26 percent.

Just three years ago, it was baby boomers ages 51 to 55 who had the most anxiety over whether their income and assets would be sufficient.

Richard Morin, a senior editor at Pew who co-authored the report, said the shift in attitudes was somewhat surprising.

"I think most people would expect those on the cusp of retirement — ages 55 to 64 — would be the most concerned about financing their retirement, (so) the finding that the peak is now occurring among adults roughly 20 years younger is notable," he said.

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