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May 08, 2021

Boomers seek to create a new retirement reality

When it comes to retirement, baby boomers seem to be favouring lifestyle choices over wealth preservation, quite a different path compared to the generations that came before them, according to recent Bank of America Merrill Lynch survey.

The study found that retirement has been redefined – with people expecting to live and often work longer than any preceding generation, and taking different approaches to preparing for and living their best life during these years.

Most are seeking flexible work arrangements, such as part-time work (39%) or going back and forth between periods of work and leisure (24%), but not always for the same reasons.

Most boomers have "mixed feelings about living longer and transitioning into retirement," said Ken Dychtwald, CEO of Age Wave, the group that conducted the research.

"While they welcome the extra time to pursue new interests and spend more time with family and friends, they are concerned about outliving their assets and experiencing a serious health disruption. Even those who have saved adequately can be anxious and often overwhelmed by this complexity and the unknowns they face."

The majority of the baby boomers surveyed actually see retirement as a "longevity bonus" or a period of time when they can pursue other interests outside of their career.

The group also said they see the retirement phase of their lives as an opportunity to strengthen family ties, including more support given to both children and grandchildren.

Roughly half of parents said they expect to provide their adult children with some kind of support, whether it be education, financial, health care or housing. Similarly, 35% said they expect to provide for their grandchildren.

Does this reflect your view of the future? Or is it the life your parents are living now?

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...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...