Boomers haven’t been confident about retirement, and it shows: their confidence has reached its lowest level in five years. 

That’s according to the latest research report from the Insured Retirement Institute, “Boomer Expectations for Retirement 2015,” which found that in this fifth year of the survey, only 27 percent of boomers are confident that their savings will see them through retirement. In 2011, nearly 40 percent felt that way. 

Forty-four percent, however, expect that their financial situation will improve over the next five years. That is an increase from last year, when just 32 percent thought they could see a light at the end of the tunnel. 

But that optimism could be misplaced. The report also found that, in the past year, almost a quarter of boomers had problems making rent or mortgage payments, and 19 percent gave up contributing to a retirement account.

Just 19 percent have $250,000 or more set aside for retirement, while a frightening 40 percent have no retirement savings at all. That’s a really bad sign, because it’s almost double the number of unprepared in earlier years of the study. 

It gets gloomier. In the past year, 24 percent of boomers postponed retirement. Twenty-eight percent now expect to retire at age 70 or even later, while in 2011, just 17 percent of boomers looked to age 70 and beyond for a retirement date. 

When you consider that 75 percent are not confident in their financial preparations for retirement, 72 percent don’t think they have enough money for medical expenses in retirement and 81 percent don’t feel financially prepared to cope with long-term care needs, that’s not a happy picture. 

Boomers aren’t really ready to deal with such issues as Alzheimer’s disease and other cognitive problems, with 58 percent having made no provisions at all to deal with problems like that.

Of those who have, most common preparations are documenting their financial affairs and making sure their wishes have been recorded.

The report was released during a conference call with reporters to open National Retirement Planning Week 2015. The annual campaign promotes and encourages retirement planning.

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