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Retirement Planning > Retirement Investing

Oldest boomers are now fully retired

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More than half of the oldest boomers and their spouses have fully retired and are not working, according to a new report.

The MetLife Mature Market Institute, New York, discloses this finding in a new survey of the oldest boomers (born 1946) to learn about their work and retirement status, finances and housing, family and their views of their own baby boomer generation, aging and the future.

The number of the oldest boomers who are retired continues to rise, with 52 percent fully retired now, up from 45 percent in 2011 and 19 percent in both 2008 and 2007. The vast majority of retired boomers (93 percent) like it somewhat or a lot, down only slightly from the 96 percent recorded in 2011.

When asked why they left the workforce, nearly four in 10 of these boomers (36 percent) say they reached retirement age and wish to retire. Just 17 percent report health as the main incentive for retirement. Significantly more identified being laid off or unable to find work as the reason for their retirement in 2012 (10 percent), up 6 percent in 2011.

Most retired oldest boomers note that retirement matches their expectations (76 percent). Those for whom retirement doesn’t meet their expectations point to health problems as the top reason, followed closely by lack of adequate money.

When asked about retirement income, more than half (58 percent) of currently retired oldest boomers have found theirs to be less than before they stopped working. A quarter says their retirement income is about the same. Sixteen percent say their income has increased a little or a lot in retirement.

Most retired oldest boomers, the report adds, saw no change in their standard of living when they retired (652 percent). Of the 18 percent who say their standard of living increased in retirement, nearly 47 percent cite lower expenses as a reason. And just over a quarter (26 percent) says Social Security was a driver.


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