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July 08, 2021

When it comes to finances, not all boomers are in the same boat

There's a big difference between still being in your 50s and having said goodbye to 60 -- particularly when it comes to money.

Although often lumped together under the same category, subsets of the boomer cohort have led fairly different lives, have diverging priorities and subsequently varying levels of retirement preparedness, according to a recent report by the Insured Retirement Institute.

The biggest differences between early (mid-60s) and late (mid-50s) boomers has been the migration from the defined benefit pension plan (DB) to the defined contribution (DC) plan that has left many of those not yet retired on their own when it comes to investing.

The 'it's all yours, buddy' plans that many late boomers are relying on present them with a unique challenge when compared with the secure income plans their older siblings are living off of.

For this reason, late boomers may want to look into annuities in order to provide them with a guaranteed source of income throughout their years in retirement, the report states.

Life annuities and other guaranteed income products may be a good fit for younger retirees as the report found that close to one-fifth of late boomers and one-quarter of early boomers identify guaranteed monthly income as the most important thing they're looking for in retirement.

But that's tougher to find if you're working on your own. The report found early boomers were generally able to replace 70 per cent or more of their pre-retirement income in recent years while later boomers would be lucky to replace 60 per cent.

What's worse, more late boomers admit that they're already financially challenged even though many are still working. The biggest reason seems to be that 34 per cent of them are currently supporting an adult child compared to 21 per cent of early boomers.

Most boomers report helping out by providing free room and board, but also contributing to major purchases like cars or computers, helping pay for rent and groceries and of course, paying off credit card bills.

Do you see a major difference when comparing, say, your older brother's situation with your own? Do you feel you're falling behind?

By Gordon Powers, MSN Money



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...