This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

'Work 'Til You Drop' May Have Been a Myth for Boomer Retirees

Stocks in this article: MET

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Conventional wisdom has it that baby boomers took it on the chin so hard from the Great Recession that they would have to postpone their retirements -- or, worse, never retire at all.

But a survey from New York City-based MetLife (MET) refutes that, saying boomers are retiring in fairly healthy numbers by age 67.

The study, Healthy, Retiring Rapidly and Collecting Social Security, provides the following facts going against the grain of popular perception about retirement:

  • More than half (52%) of the oldest boomers and their spouses have fully retired, up from 19% in 2007 and 45% in 2011.
  • 86% of the oldest boomers are collecting Social Security benefits. Of those, 43% started collecting earlier than expected.
  • Most are now empty nesters, but 13% care for parents or relatives.
  • The majority (82%) rate their health as good to excellent. They won't view themselves as "old" until they reach the average age of 78.5.
  • More than half of the oldest boomers feel their generation is leaving a positive legacy for future generations.

MetLife reports that 17% of the 52% of retired boomers said they had to retire for health reasons. Another 10% said they were forced into retirement by a job loss. But 38% said they retired at age 67 because, well, they were ready.

Apparently, even if those retirees didn't save all the money they wanted, they're living fairly comfortably. A clear majority of retirees surveyed told Metlife they did have a lower income in retirement, but that lower income hasn't tarnished their golden years (so far, at least.)

All in all, the study paints a somewhat rosy picture, which may come as a surprise to economists and financial pundits who figured retirees faced dire straits since the Great Recession.

"As the oldest boomers dive into retirement, even though some have been forced to do so earlier than expected, they seem to be 'Feelin' Groovy,' as this group would have said during their formative years," says Sandra Timmermann, a director at the MetLife Mature Market Institute. "They are poised to remain active and engaged. As their nests empty they seem to be largely feeling healthy and positive."

The outlook isn't entirely rosy.

"On the negative side, a good half of this group may not have achieved their retirement savings goals and are not confident about paying for the next phase of their lives," Timmermann says.

That group includes 43% of boomers getting Social Security benefits who took those benefits earlier than they wanted.

But the larger picture on baby boomers and retirement is an optimistic one. For tens of millions of boomers heading toward retirement, that may be the best news they hear all week.

Select the service that is right for you!

Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!


DOW 17,778.15 +421.28 2.43%
S&P 500 2,061.23 +48.34 2.40%
NASDAQ 4,748.3960 +104.0840 2.24%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs