Workplace

The leading edge of the boomer generation is retiring

Updated: 2013-05-23T22:22:03Z

By DIANE STAFFORD

The Kansas City Star

“Healthy, retiring rapidly and collecting Social Security”: The heading on the MetLife Mature Market Institute report, released Thursday, says it all.

The nation’s oldest baby boomers — now turning 67 — are not hanging on to their jobs at the rate expected. Fifty-two percent are fully retired. Fourteen percent are working part time.

Only 21 percent remain employed full time, contrary to forecasts that the generation would “work till they drop.”

Among the retired boomers surveyed for MetLife by GfK Custom Research North America, 38 percent said they were retired simply because they were ready to quit working, 17 percent said it was due to health reasons and 10 percent said it was caused by job loss.

But there was a bit of a surprise among the oldest boomers who still are working. Just since 2011, the age at which they intend to retire has jumped from 69 to 71.

Some of the oldest-boomer highlights from the new survey:

• 86 percent are collecting Social Security benefits, and 43 percent of them began drawing those benefits sooner than they had planned.

• 82 percent want to “age in place” and don’t plan to move.

• 31 percent say long-term care leads their retirement concerns, but fewer than one-fourth have private long-term care insurance.

• 8 percent owe more on their mortgage than the value of their home.

The nationally representative survey of 67-year-olds found that four out of five had neither of their parents still living. More than one in 10 was providing regular care for a parent or other older relative.

It also found that the age group averaged 4.8 grandchildren, and more than half of those surveyed believed their generation is leaving a positive legacy.

To reach Diane Stafford, call 816-234-4359 or send email to stafford@kcstar.com.

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