The Social Security Administration’s Annual Performance Plan for FY 2012 states “nearly 80 million baby boomers will file for retirement benefits over the next 20 years – an average of 10,000 per day.” A large number by any measure. How well prepared is the baby boomer generation for retirement? A 2015 survey by the investment company BlackRock may help answer that question. The survey queried 4,213 baby boomers aged 55 to 65 (i.e., those nearing retirement age). They found that roughly half are positive about their financial future and are confident they are making the right saving and investment decisions. However, the same survey indicated an average retirement savings of only $136,200. The 4% withdrawal rule on that level of savings comes to $5,448 per year. (To be fair, the BlackRock CoRI retirement calculator predicts that a 55 year old with this savings could expect an annual income of $8,200 per year. A 65 year old could expect $6,177 per year.) Contrast these levels with the desired income of $45,500 for that same group. Although these numbers don’t include pension and social security benefits, it seems clear that the finances of many nearing retirement are at best marginal.
In addition, increasing health care costs, longer life expectancy and long term care needs, exponentially growing federal deficits, uncertainties about social security, and persistent low interest rates are all issues that will affect retirees over the next decade.
Fortunately, retirement is not all about finances, it’s also an opportunity to experience life’s opportunities free from the necessity of a schedule scripted by the expectations of the working world. But … what are you going to do with an extra 40 or 50 hours a week?
The intent of this site is to discuss these issues that those of us nearing retirement are going to face. So, expect posts on a wide range of topics ranging from the finances of retirement to how we’ll spend our time including my favorite pastime, sailing. I also expect to post on topics not directly related to retirement, such as higher education, where I have spent most of my career.
In summary, explore the site and please feel free to leave comments and suggestions, which I will do my best to respond to or answer.