Westport, Conn. — The incoming glut of baby boomers prime for retirement planning services are more politically conservative (outnumbering liberals two to one) than previously thought, according to Boomers Ready to Launch, a survey on behalf of the Westport, Conn.-based MetLife Mature Market Institute during November 2007.


However, based on the survey results, although this group is financially healthy, being  conservative may not automatically lend itself to being ready and eager to obtain a financial services retirement package.

The survey reports that the majority (77%) of boomers born in 1946 report being in good to excellent health; with net worth, (excluding home value) averaging $257,800 and average annual income approximately $71,400. 


“Contrary to what most of us have believed about the baby boomers who came of age in the turbulent 1960s, the group is very much like the ‘Silent Generation’ that preceded them,” said Sandra Timmermann, Ed.D., director of the MetLife Mature Market Institute.


Zimmerman reports that the survey respondents are comfortable being identified as baby boomers and, contrary to claims that they're not ready to retire, only 18% dislike the term ‘retirement’ to describe their next transition. 


Perhaps the most revealing of the survey results is the 54% who acknowledge doing only a poor to fair job of ensuring that they have adequate coverage for their own long-term care needs, which speaks to the possibility that they do not feel old enough to have great concern about it. 


“They have not lost their connection to the youth culture they ignited,” she said. “On average, as far as they're concerned, they're not really going to be ‘old’ for another 17 years. All in all, this is a fairly affluent group who remain in good health with a lot more left to give.”


Timmermann asserts that this is the first time that the oldest baby boomers, including their lifestyles, perceptions and plans, have been examined in such detail. “Despite the social and political turbulence of their youth, these leading-edge boomers have established very traditional lifestyle characteristics. They were married once, had two children and feel they've done a decent job of caring for their family, their community and themselves. They really are more like Ward and June Cleaver than we may have thought, and they might be classified as ‘conventional.’ Just 2% say they attended the Woodstock Festival of 1969.”


Conducted by New York-based GFK Custom Research, North America, the MetLife Mature Market Institute survey examined the leading edge of the baby boomer generation—the first 2.9 million representatives of the 77 million-boomer cohort—as they arrive at their first opportunity to officially ‘retire.’ Age 62 is considered a ‘legislative birthday’ because it is the first milestone at which participants in the Social Security system can apply for regular retirement benefits. 

For more information, visit www.metlife.com/WPSAssets/15708378001198694051V1FBoomersReadytoLaunchHighlights.pdf


Sources: MetLife Mature Market Institute, Business Wire

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