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Middle-income boomers aware of new retirement landscape

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Middle-income Boomers expect their retirement to be markedly different from previous generations, defined by an extended period of physical vitality, more personal satisfaction and greater mental faculties, according to a recent study from the Bankers Life and Casualty Company Center for a Secure Retirement.

The study, “Retirement Care Planning: The Middle Income Boomer Perspective,” found that although they expect a more robust retirement in terms of physical and mental capability, as well a more rewarding one than previous generations, they are aware that some aspects of their retirement will be less rich.

Middle-income Boomers expect their retirement to include less health insurance from former employers (60 percent), less financial security (47 percent) and less care provided by family members (47 percent).

Where previous generations may have relied on their family members, nursing homes, and moving in with their children as a component to retired life, many middle-income Boomers realize they can expect a greater degree of self-reliance and independence from family. Technological advances that allow for the use of remote monitoring technology, independent living communities, outpatient care and inpatient care, funded by long-term care insurance, all will play a greater role in middle-income Boomer’s retirements than they have for previous generations.

Middle-income Boomers have had evolving attitudes towards retirement and have been able to calibrate the shift or responsibility onto themselves, rendering them in favor of this new, independent retirement. Eighty-four percent prefer to receive care at home. Just 11 percent preferred a nursing home with another 11 percent preferring to receive care at the home of one of their children.

Overwhelmingly, middle-income Boomers preferred that their spouse fulfill the caregiver role, with a home health aide for matters like bathing and dressing over their children.

Middle-income Boomers who have experience with adult caregiving themselves are decidedly more practical than their peers with none. A sound retirement plan, meeting with financial professionals and long-term care insurance were more common among caregivers than non-caregivers.

The study looked at 1,299 Americans from ages 49 to 67 with an annual household income of between $25,000 and $75,000.