Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Boomer retirement expectations - normal service resumed? Maybe not.

According to the latest Del Webb survey of boomers  of employed 50 - 60 years old, most plan to retire from their current full-time career by the age of 65, compared to a median age of 67 in 2010.

Over half (57%) intended to retire from their current full-time career by age 65.

Del Webb believes that the retirement expectations are more in line with those of 20 years ago (1996), when 50-year-olds planned to retire at a median age of 63.

Consistent with prior boomer surveys, 41% are either likely or very likely to move at some point, with 29% currently undecided on a future move.

"Boomers are clearly feeling more positive about their situation and the housing market in general, with more expecting to retire sooner than just three years ago" said a chief honcho from PulteGroup, the parent company of Del Webb, the US's largest builder of communities targeted to pre-retirement and retiring boomers.

The report comes with the obligatory fancy graphic. 

There are a couple of reasons why I am sceptical about the results of the survey:

  • The headline data about the US housing market has recently been positive - I am not sure if that is sustainable.
  • Most importantly, most people don't really understand the financing of retirement. Many have no idea what their retirement income will be and even more have no idea how that will fund their lifestyle. 
I think the situation in the UK is closer to reality. Today it was announced that there are more over 65s working than ever before - but these numbers need to be increased.  

I think there is a tad of wishful thinking in the Del Webb survey that would like to think that the world is returning to 'normal'  - of one thing you can be sure - it isn't. Dick Stroud 

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