Baby boomers have redefined every life stage, and retirement is no different, according to a recent study from Merrill Lynch Wealth Management and Age Wave titled "Americans' Perspectives on New Retirement Realities and the Longevity Bonus." Here, Age Wave's Ken Dychtwald chats with Managing Editor Lorie Konish on what that new retirement reality may look like.
1. How are baby boomers approaching retirement differently from other generations? Boomers are really contemplating an entirely different work/life paradigm. Historically, people have been inclined to live a linear life paradigm. You learned when you were young, and then you worked for 40 years solid. Now the life plan is becoming cyclic. Boomers already have a pretty good track record at reinvention. We've changed jobs every three to four years. Twenty percent of the generation has changed religion. Fifty percent has changed spouses. It's also going to be an era of female power. Boomer women are the most highly educated, most empowered group of women in history. Boomer women have much more experience and practice at gliding through life's transitions, and they're going to glide through retirement. And there's going to be widespread poverty and suffering among this generation. A third of the boomers25 millionhave less than $1,000 in total net lifetime assets. It's a generation that unfortunately has lived far too much in the here and now, and they've not given enough thought to the there and then.
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