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Most Baby Boomers are Saving Enough, But Many are at Risk of Significant Shortfalls

May 17 2007

 Most Baby Boomers are Saving Enough, But Many are at Risk of Significant Shortfalls

As the first wave of baby boomers reaches the traditional retirement age next year, the question of whether workers are preparing adequately for retirement has become more important than ever. Despite numerous media reports on boomers’ dire retirement prospects, by various measures the average baby boomer household is on track to retire comfortably. Nevertheless, a significant minority of boomers—particularly those at the bottom of the income and wealth distributions—is at risk of a substantial decline in living standards during retirement. Moreover, the baby boom generation faces a number of uncertainties that may leave them less prepared for retirement than what the data would suggest.

The U.S. retirement system has traditionally been described as a three-legged stool made up of Social Security, employersponsored retirement plans, and personal saving. It is important that Social Security and private pension plans remain stable and secure, and that all families, but particularly those with less income and wealth, have the opportunity and incentive to increase their own personal saving.

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