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Study Finds Five 'Types' of Boomers

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A recent study by Allianz Life Insurance Co. of over 3,000 adults between ages 44 and 75 identified five personality types of retiring boomers.

It should come as no surprise that the majority of boomers surveyed fit into the “Overwhelmed” category. Nearly one-third of boomers said they felt overwhelmed and concerned about their financial security. Part of that concern may be attributed to demographics, as this financial personality tended to have lower rates of education and income, high credit card debt, and few assets, according to the report.

“Overwhelmed” boomers said they were “pessimistic” or “in survival mode,” and one-third have been affected by job loss.

Boomers in their mid-50s with moderate income and assets are “Resilient” boomers, according to Allianz. Twenty-seven percent of boomers fit into this personality type, and one-fifth have been affected by job loss.

“Resilient” boomers were categorized as “pragmatic and grounded.” About half of these boomers said they plan to retire, although, generally, this personality type recognizes that they may have to work longer than expected. Most Resilient boomers plan to downsize their lifestyles in retirement and supplement income with Social Security.

One in five boomers could be classified as “Iconic” boomers. These boomers are older, already retired and are probably receiving a pension, according to the report. An optimistic group, generally, Iconic boomers feel they have “prepared well for the future and that they have a right to a comfortable retirement, even if it means leaving a smaller inheritance for their heirs,” according to the report.

Just 14% of boomers are of the “Savvy” personality type. Savvy boomers are older, and have been retired or semi-retired for at least five years. While they may have developed a more conservative approach to investing in retirement, their spending habits are little changed, despite market losses.

Savvy boomers are financially independent, and tend to have “large, diversified portfolios.”

The youngest boomers fall into the “Distracted” personality type. Seven percent of boomers fit this category, most of whom are in their late 40s or early 50s. Distracted boomers have the highest income, the report found, although many have seen their net worth drop “significantly.” They have cut back on spending, but are not re-examining their retirement plans or overall strategy.

While Distracted boomers would like to retire in their 50s, they expect they won’t be able to until their early 60s. According to Allianz, they rely on 401(k)s more than any other group and are “counting on receiving their full Social Security benefits.” Distracted boomers are worried that their retirement savings may not be enough, but need help growing those savings.


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