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The Takeaway: Contrary to Predictions, Boomers Are Retiring at 65

Posted By Elizabeth Nolan Brown On April 5, 2012 @ 8:37 am In Bulletin Today | No Comments

[1]Conventional wisdom these days holds that conventional wisdom about retirement is wrong, or at least outdated-rendered obsolete by a bad economy, increasing longevity, etc. Recent reports have found boomers plan to work well into their 60s, 70s or beyond. But a new study from MetLife finds [2] that, contrary to predictions, older Americans are retiring. In fact, more than 60 percent of 65-year-olds-the leading edge of the boomer generation-are already collecting Social Security. Just don’t say that makes them old: On average, 65-year-old boomers say they won’t consider themselves old until age 79 (a year older than reported in 2007).

The study, “Transitioning into Retirement: The MetLife Study of Baby Boomers at 65,” is a follow-up to a 2008 study MetLife conducted on the oldest and youngest boomers, and includes many of the same respondents. Some notable findings:

  • 59 percent of the first boomers to turn 65 are at least partially retired (45 percent are fully retired, while 14% are retired but working part-time).
  • Of 65-year-olds still working, 37 percent say they’ll retire in the next year; on average, those still working plan to retire by age 68.
  • Many leading-edge boomers say they retired earlier than they had expected; of this group, 40 percent did so for health reasons.
  • 63 percent of respondents are already collecting Social Security benefits, and on average began doing so at age 63.

Furthermore, boomers aren’t just retiring-they’re enjoying retirement. Almost all (96 percent) of respondents said they like retirement at least somewhat; 70 percent said they like it a lot.

That doesn’t, however, mean they’re all confident in their retirement security: Only 43 percent said they’re optimistic about the future. Of the 19 percent who are actively pessimistic, about one-half fault the government and one-fifth blame the economy.

Thursday Quick Hits: 

Photo: Terry Vine/Blend/Getty Images


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[1] Image: http://aarpblog.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/240-boomers-retiring.jpg

[2] a new study from MetLife finds: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/metlife-study-finds-contrary-to-predictions-boomers-are-retiring-2012-04-03

[3] is suing Walmart for age discrimination: http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUS408404008920120403?irpc=932

[4] unprepared to manage their own 401(k) funds: http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/the-401k-americans-just-not-prepared-to-manage-their-own-retirement-funds/2012/04/03/gIQAnQV1uS_story.html?tid=pm_business_pop

[5] took control and landed the aircraft herself.: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/04/02/80-year-old-woman-lands-plane-after-pilot-husband-drops-dead/#ixzz1r4MhW6cl

[6] have been seeking treatment to stop their voices from sounding “old.: http://www.sacbee.com/2012/04/05/4391071/what-else-could-go-wrongboomers.html

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