Baby Boomer Retirement Confidence Slips Again

Signs of optimism spotted, with incremental improvement in retirement planning behaviors and savings

April 07, 2014- WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Insured Retirement Institute (IRI) today released a new report showing that Baby Boomers’ confidence in their retirement plans continues to decline, a trend dating back to 2011, when IRI first began tracking Boomers’ retirement expectations. During that time, the percentage of Boomers showing high levels of confidence in their financial preparations for retirement dropped from 44 percent to 35 percent. But while confidence continues to slip, IRI found slight improvements in several important measures, including the percentage of Boomers with retirement savings, their total savings, as well as the number of Boomers with a retirement savings goal and a planned retirement age.

“One of the most striking developments since we began this research series is the decline in Boomers who did not know when they would retire,” IRI President and CEO Cathy Weatherford said. “That number has been cut in half. While the research shows that they are deciding to retire later in life, the important thing is that they are grappling with important aspects of retirement planning and beginning to develop a clearer picture of where they are and where they intend to be.”

While Boomers’ current economic outlook has also soured, they are beginning to show optimism that their financial situation will improve, with 42 percent of Boomers expecting things to improve in five years, compared to 33 percent of Boomers who shared this view in 2013.

Other key findings from the report:

  • A quarter of Boomers postponed their plans to retire during the past year.
  • 28 percent of Boomers plan to retire at age 70 or later.
  • One in 10 Boomers prematurely withdrew savings from a retirement plan during the past year.
  • 80 percent of Boomers have retirement savings.
  • About one-half of Boomers with retirement savings have $250,000 or more saved for retirement.
  • 55 percent of Boomers have calculated a retirement savings goal, up from 50 percent in 2013.
  • Of those calculating a retirement savings goal, 76 percent are factoring in the cost of health care.
  • Three in four Boomers say tax deferral is an important feature of a retirement investment.
  • Nearly 40 percent of Boomers would be less likely to save for retirement if tax incentives for retirement savings, such as tax deferral, were reduced or eliminated.
  • Boomers planning for retirement with the help of a financial advisor are more than twice as likely to be highly confident in their retirement plans compared to those planning for retirement on their own.
One of the most striking developments since we began this research series is the decline in Boomers who did not know when they would retire


The IRI study is based on a survey of 800 Americans aged 51 to 67. The report was released during a conference call with reporters to open National Retirement Planning Week® 2014. The annual campaign promotes and encourages comprehensive retirement planning.

The entire report, “Boomer Expectations for Retirement 2014,” is available HERE.



About National Retirement Planning Week® 2014: National Retirement Planning Week® 2014 will take place from April 7 to 11. National Retirement Planning Week® and other coalition activities will demonstrate that it is possible to “Retire On Your Terms” if comprehensive retirement plans are properly developed and managed. To support these education efforts, the coalition has collected the latest resources to help consumers and financial professionals focus on long-term financial goals. These tools are available at:

About the Insured Retirement Institute: The Insured Retirement Institute (IRI) is the leading association for the retirement income industry. IRI proudly leads a national consumer coalition of more than 20 organizations, and is the only association that represents the entire supply chain of insured retirement strategies. IRI members are the major insurers, asset managers, broker-dealers/distributors, and 150,000 financial professionals. As a not-for-profit organization, IRI provides an objective forum for communication and education, and advocates for the sustainable retirement solutions Americans need to help achieve a secure and dignified retirement. Learn more at