Boomers in the Middle

Written by
August 26th, 2010

In my constant effort to keep on top of all the current statistics regarding our aging population and how long term care insurance can benefit them, I came across this interesting study done by MetLife. Here is the synopsis, again all credit for information goes to MetLife:

Since 2007, the MetLife Mature Market Institute (MMI) has conducted a series of studies to better understand the Baby Boomer cohort — the population born 1946–1964. The MMI study, Boomers in the Middle, examines those of the Baby Boomer cohort born 1952–1958, and who will be 52–58 years old in 2010. Building on the MMI’s Boomers: Ready to Launch and Boomer Bookends studies, which examined the Oldest Boomers born in 1946 and Youngest Boomers born in 1964, this national survey establishes baseline data on Middle Boomers in financial, family, social, and retirement planning aspects of their lives.

  • More than half of Middle Boomers still have children living at home, and about half have grandchildren. Two-thirds have at least one parent still alive, making them a good example of the proverbial “sandwich generation.”
  • More than 60% of the Middle Boomers are working full-time with 68% of men and 53% of women in this category. Another 8% are working part-time, 6% are self-employed, and 5% are looking for work. An additional 7% are on disability, and 8% are fully retired.
  • Most Middle Boomers describe themselves as being in good health, but at the same time are concerned about being able to afford health care costs in the future.
  • Middle Boomers would like to retire at age 65 but do not think they will be able to do so until age 66, not a great difference in view of the economic turbulence they have experienced. Their plans to do so have not changed in the last two years despite economic challenges. They expect the largest portion of their retirement income (42%) to come from Social Security benefits, with another third from 401(k) and defined contribution plans.
  • Middle Boomers on average plan to take their Social Security benefits at age 65, well before they are eligible for full benefits, between ages 66 and 66 and 10 months. About one in five plan to apply for benefits as early as age 62. Almost one-quarter anticipate applying for benefits at a later date than they had originally planned; 69% have not changed their plans, and 6% are planning on an earlier than planned application.
  • The vast majority are homeowners (86%) with an average home value of $272,600. Fifteen percent would consider using a reverse mortgage for retirement income funding.
  • More than half of the Middle Boomers feel that they are behind in their retirement savings, while about one-third feel they are on track or have already achieved their financial goals, about equal to the Youngest Boomers.
  • About one-third expect an inheritance from their parents, averaging $181,000, while another 21% have already received an inheritance averaging about $120,000.
  • Seventy-two percent have been providing financial assistance and support to their grown children and grandchildren averaging about $38,000 over the past five years.
  • Almost two-thirds of Middle Boomers like the term “Baby Boomer” to describe themselves, a somewhat smaller percentage than the Oldest Boomers and larger percentage than the Youngest Boomers’ affiliation with that generational description.

Click here for the full report.

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