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Baby Boomers Envision Retirement II: Survey of Baby Boomers' Expectations for Retirement

This survey, conducted five years after AARP's 1998 benchmark study of baby boomers' expectations of retirement, investigated how this massive generation and the various segments within it have progressed in their planning and preparedness for retirement. Data were collected in 30-minute telephone interviews with a nationally representative sample of 1,200 Americans ages 38-57. In addition, an oversample survey was conducted among African American and Hispanic baby boomers to yield a total (when combined with those in the general sample) of 309 African American and 301 Hispanic participants. Some of the key findings of the survey are as follows:

  • Baby boomers are far more likely now than five years ago to describe themselves as knowledgeable about and favorably predisposed toward Social Security.
  • Boomers are more confident now than five years ago that Medicare will be available when they reach age 65.
  • Boomers remain optimistic about retirement, but their expectations, particularly those related to finance, have become much more conservative.
  • Boomers' primary definitions of retirement, however, are largely unchanged since 1998: as an opportunity to spend more time with family, to pursue hobbies and interests, and to enjoy leisure.

The survey was conducted by RoperASW for AARP. For further information, please contact Sarah Zapolsky of AARP Knowledge Management at 202/434-6305.