Retirement advice for the growing and complex baby boomer market segment will require financial advisers with special expertise and knowledge in order to fully understand the unique circumstances and conditions that are impacting this group.
These circumstances will be compounded with many other macro factors .… inflation … interest rates … the performance of the World economies … share prices … currency instability … political uncertainties.
In addition they may be further clouded by other personal setbacks … a bad business decision … being retrenched … taking early retirement … being forced to retire … pension less than planned … prices of secure complexes for the over fifties being ridiculously high … don’t get as much as expected for the old house.
All these factors will compound the uncertainty and risk and increase the requirement for considered retirement advice. The bottom line is that retirees are faced with a crucial problem that has never been experienced before … up to 95% of people will be forced to retire without an adequate pension income.
Experts differ, of course, on that subject, but one, Laurence J. Kotlikoff, professor of economics at Boston University, presents a worst-case scenario. He thinks the future will be so bad that "we all need to start saving like crazy."
In a book written with Scott Burns, The Coming Generational Storm, he predicts government will deal with the costs of the aging population by printing more money, leading to high inflation, interest rates, taxes and unemployment—and reduced benefits.
However depressing these circumstances they will also create exceptional market opportunities and the need for creative retirement advice.
By 2030, 70 million Americans will be 65 years or older, and Tracey Flaherty, senior vice president, Natixis Global Asset Management, stressed that "mapping out solutions for more effective retirement planning is one of the most urgent public policy issues facing the nation today.
To establish the views and attitudes of state and local government workers to their plans and preparations for retirement the international financial services company ING conducted a study with the market research firm Synovate.
The results of this study indicated that state and local government employees experience similar retirement pressures to those experienced by their private sector counterparts. Of the 1 000 state and local government employees polled:
Bill Jasien, the Head of Government Markets at ING US Retirement Services commented on the data collected in this study: "It's clear that the burden of retirement planning has been increasing for all workers today – even the millions of government employees who have long relied on pensions as their main source of retirement income.
- 61% stated that they questioned their ability to save enough to ensure that they enjoyed a comfortable retirement.
- 41% claimed that their confidence in their ability to save for retirement had faltered as a result of the recent economic crisis.
Although the majority,72%, of them admitted that they had done little to address this situation.
As more government entities scale back on their pension programs to offset tight budgets and increased financial obligations, workers in this sector will need to better understand and leverage the savings opportunities offered by their employer’s defined contribution plans."
In a 2010 survey, 57% of workers said they expect to retire at age 65 or later, and 24% are ready to stretch their employment past age 70.
According to an article in USA Today, nearly one quarter of retirees are searching for employment and finding little success.
Traditionally, pensions, coupled with conservative investments, guaranteed retirees at least a modicum of confidence as they entered their golden years. However, rising healthcare costs, the market downturn and a lack of good retirement advice are just some of the reasons why Americans who had "envisioned a well-deserved respite after years of toil are now being forced to re-enter the workplace".
If the decision to leave your job falls on your shoulders -- and in many cases, it might not -- my retirement advice is you need to think long and hard about whether you can afford to retire yet.