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Some Boomers Believe Money Situation Will Determine Retirement

JUN 29, 2011 10:25am ET
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Nearly three-quarters of middle-income Baby Boomers said in a recent survey that their financial situation, not their age, is what they will use to decide when to retire.

The study was conducted by the Bankers Life and Casualty Co. Center for a Secure Retirement. It focused on 500 Americans between 47 and 65 whose annual income is between $25,000 and $75,000.

Approximately one third said they expect to retire when they are older than 65 years old, while another 31% are unsure at what age they will retire.

More than half said they were not confident that they have saved enough to live comfortably once they retire; in fact, 14% do not have a pension, 401(k), IRA or any other type of retirement savings account.

Meanwhile, a J.P. Morgan survey said most Americans do not have an understanding of how to turn their 401(k) savings into a stream of retirement income.

An online survey of more than 1,000 401(k) account holders found most of them were completely in the dark about how to get savings to last through retirement.

Many are underestimating how much money they will need for retirement. About 45% said they would need less than 75% of their pre-retirement salary to live on. However, J.P. Morgan said its research finds the minimum guideline is a replacement ratio of 70% or more.

Nearly half of those surveyed said they were scared that they would outlive their retirement savings.

"On the positive side, some 91% of participants agreed that they were personally responsible for their own financial futures," says Diane Gallagher, vice president, product development, J.P. Morgan Retirement Plan Services. "However, there's still a significant gap between acknowledging responsibility and acting upon it."

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