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Boomers Predict Relaxing Retirement. Not.


Our parents may have moved to a warmer climate, traveled around the globe or retreated to the porch rocking chair in retirement. But boomers' ideas about how they plan to spend their retirement years don't seem nearly as relaxing or leisurely.

A new study finds that nearly one in two pre-retirees expects to work part-time or full-time in retirement - but in another line of work altogether.

They'll apparently need the income, because one in two also expects to be helping their adults kids financially. One in three expects to be providing some degree of financial support to their grandchildren. One in seven is prepared to help out their parents with money.

[ Read: Why part-time or contract work may be for you]

The findings of the Merrill Lynch report,  Americans' Perspectives on New Retirement Realities and the Longevity Bonus, were based on a survey of more than 6,300 people age 45 and older.

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Among the highlights:

  • 24 percent say their ideal work arrangement in retirement is to "cycle" between periods of work and leisure.
  • 52 percent say income is the top reason to work; 48 percent cite mental stimulation and satisfaction.
  • 16 percent say they want to start their own business.
  • 13 percent say they expect to work full-time.

And then there's the 17 percent who say they hope to  never  work for pay again.

Most adults have financial concerns in retirement. But interestingly, the study found that people who earn more than $250,000 annually are more worried than those making less about health care expenses in retirement (52 percent versus 37 percent) and outliving their savings (34 percent versus 28 percent).

Here's another surprise: 38 percent of pre-retirees think they'll miss a reliable income most in retirement. But 34 percent of retirees say social connections are what they miss most; 29 percent cited income.

Despite Americans' intention to work longer, nearly three in five retirees say they left their jobs for good earlier than they thought.

Here's why:

  • 34 percent cited health problems.
  • 27 percent said they had sufficient financial resources.
  • 24 percent  cited layoffs.
  • 16 percent say they wanted to spend more time with family.
  • 10 percent say they needed to look after a family member.

When asked what was most important to pass on to future generations, three in four cited values and life lessons. One in three said money and financial assets.

I'm pretty sure my kids are hoping I'm the one in three.

Photo: Goingslo/flickr 

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