What do recent college graduates and Baby Boomers have in common?

Jun 05, 2018

College grads have spent four years mastering a major or getting a nice solid liberal arts foundation. They’re looking for the right job that will let them apply their skills, continue to learn and grow, and make lots of money.

Baby Boomers have spent several decades collecting life experience. They’re trying to decide whether they can afford to retire and if they actually want to retire. The latter is a fairly new choice, thanks to living longer, healthier lives than previous generations. But what’s driving their decision-making?

Baby Boomers are less stressed about and more confident in their financial situation than their younger coworkers. But that confidence does not extend to their retirement savings. Baby Boomers’ top three financial worries are saving for retirement, job security, and emergency savings.

  1. Saving for retirement: Almost 2/3 of Baby Boomers expect to have to work later than they’d planned, with affordability the number one reason by far. And when asked why they’re not saving more for retirement, poor spending habits are the driver.

  2. Job security: Just because some older workers want to keep working, it doesn’t mean they will be able to keep working. Will their skills be needed? Will they be physically able to do their jobs or work full time? Will they be able to find part-time work?

  3. Emergency savings: Baby Boomers have more set aside for emergencies than the younger generations, but they’re still behind their goals: though 71% say they should have between four and 12 months’ wages set aside for emergencies, only 44% have actually done so.

Baby Boomers have a lot to think about as they look ahead to retirement, with questions about jobs and finances as front-of-mind as when they were applying for their first jobs. Throughout their lives, Baby Boomers have questioned the status quo and blazed new trails in just about every industry and aspect of life. Retirement is the next frontier they’re blazing through.

Whether they want to keep working or they need to keep working, older workers are staying in the workforce in greater numbers than ever before. But whereas their grandchildren are looking starry-eyed at the entry-level choices in front of them, Baby Boomers are thoughtfully contemplating their next phase of life, considering changing careers, working part-time or flexible hours, or refitting a job to fit their needs. The hope is that employers will understand the value that Baby Boomers and their life experience can bring to the workplace, the same way they understand the potential of the newly-graduated Millennial.

Data used in this article is from the 2017 John Hancock Retirement Plan Services Stress Survey. In June 2017, John Hancock Retirement Plan Services sponsored our third annual Financial Stress Survey. Working with the respected research firm Greenwald and Associates, we surveyed more than 2,000 workers to learn more about individual stress levels, their causes and impacts, and strategies for relief.

The content of this article is for general information only and is believed to be accurate and reliable as of posting date but may be subject to change. It is not intended to provide investment, tax, plan design or legal advice.

John Hancock Retirement Plan Services, Boston, MA 02210.


MGTS-P 36910-GE 05/18-36910 MGR053018455341

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These articles are not an edorsement of any particular product, service or orginization; nor are they intended to provide financial, tax or legal advice. They are intended to promote awareness and are for educational purposes only.