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This Is Not Your Parents’ Retirement: Comparing Retirement Income Across Generations – 2012


Retirement income for the boomer generation will be impacted by a rise in educational attainment, a drop in marriage rates and increase in divorce rates, and an increase in both earnings and family income equality, amongst other things. Based on this data, the Social Security Bulletin published this paper by authors from the Urban Institute, examining how retirement income at age 67 is likely to change for boomers and younger generations as compared to current retirees.

Key Points

This article assesses the retirement prospects of boomers and younger adults using a model that estimates the income, assets, and demographic characteristics of the future retired population. It projects that future retirees’ income will increase over time, and poverty rates will decrease. However, the amount of pre-retirement income that is “replaced” by retirement income is expected to be a lower percentage for boomers and younger adults than it was for earlier retirees.

Other article highlights include:

  1. Gains in retirement income are mostly going to the college educated, whites and high earners, as opposed to those with lower socio-economic status, which will increase the amount of retirement income inequality in the U.S.
  2. Boomers and younger adults are less likely to have enough post-retirement income to maintain their pre-retirement standard of living compared with current retirees because post-retirement incomes are not expected to rise as much as pre-retirement incomes.

How to Use

As with most studies on retirement, the findings suggest that local officials and community planners should support initiatives that educate residents about the need to plan financially for their future when they are no longer earning a regular income. Additionally, the report offers a high-level of data regarding retirement trends that can be used to help combat retirement income inequality.

View full report: This Is Not Your Parents’ Retirement: Comparing Retirement Income Across Generations – 2012 (PDF – 504 KB)

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