Stalling Boomer exodus? Not anymore. A recent study shows that this demographic is actually retiring.
A recent MetLife study on the retirement outlook of Baby Boomers finds them to be, on the whole, robustly positive about their financial, health, and home situations. And despite the popular belief that retirement will elude Baby Boomers well past the traditional retirement age of 65, the study finds that 59 percent of the first Boomers to turn 65 are already at least partially retired, and 37 percent of those still working expect to retire within the next year.
Half of the Boomers surveyed for Transitioning into Retirement: The MetLife Study of Baby Boomers at 65 indicate that they've hit their retirement goals or are on track to do so. Nearly 100 percent of those already retired report that they like being retired, and the majority say they are in good health.
Almost half of respondents retired within the past few years, when they were age 62 or older. About one-fourth retired between the ages of 56 and 61. And 20 percent retired at age 62.
When questioned about their outlook for the future, just 19 percent of respondents indicate that they are pessimistic. Half of these cite the government as the reason for their doubt, while a small fraction blames the economy.
Yet most Boomers believe in the sustainability of Social Security in their lifetime. More than 60 percent of respondents already are collecting Social Security benefits, with most beginning to receive these funds at approximately age 63.
"Social Security will provide a substantial amount of their retirement income—42 percent for the middle Boomers and 33 percent for the youngest Boomers (those born in 1964). Their estimates may actually be too conservative, as Social Security on average provides about two-thirds of the retirement income of middle-class Americans," says John Migliaccio, director of research for the MetLife Mature Market Institute. "Once the best â€˜fix' for the Social Security system is determined and long-range sustainability measures enacted, confidence should increase in the future, hopefully along with increased opportunities from both employers and employees for additional benefits that encourage funding for guaranteed lifetime income."
Other general trends for Baby Boomers include marriage (71 percent are married or in a domestic partnership), parenthood (84 percent), and homeownership (93 percent)—evidence that Boomers have mostly made it through the recession intact and are poised to enjoy their retirement.