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Boomers Bank on Themselves, Not Uncle Sam to Fund Retirement

COUNTRY Survey: Half of Younger Americans Want More Help from Washington to Retire

March 18, 2013


BLOOMINGTON- The closer Americans get to their golden years, the more they say retirement is out of reach. According to the latest COUNTRY Financial Security Index® survey, only one third of Americans overall think a middle-income family can save for a secure retirement. Those nearest retirement are most skeptical, with just 28 percent of 50 to 64 year olds thinking it’s possible.

Despite an earlier start on saving for retirement, these Baby Boomers’ savings were the hardest hit by the economic downturn.

  • Fifty-nine percent of 50 to 64 year olds started saving for retirement before age 40. Just 38 percent of those currently over age 65 did the same.
  • However, 38 percent of Boomers had to delay retirement by at least two years due to the downturn, the highest of any age group.

Boomers are not expecting Washington to make up the difference though. Only 31 percent believe the government should do more to fund Americans’ retirement, compared to 34 percent of Americans overall.

“Boomers might be slamming the door on more government assistance because of the national debt or they’re satisfied with Social Security as is,” says Joe Buhrmann, manager of financial security support at COUNTRY Financial. “The Boomers showed younger generations it’s never too early to save. Start setting aside money in your 20s if possible and establish a long-term financial plan to stay on track and meet your goals.”


Gen Y Optimistic, But Off to Slow Start

March 18, 2013

Compared to those nearing retirement, 18 to 29 year olds are far more optimistic about their retirement prospects. Nearly half also believe the government should do more to help Americans fund retirement.

Americans overall Baby Boomers (50-65 years old) Gen Y (18-29 years old)

It is possible for a middle-income family to save for a secure retirement




Government should have a greater role in funding Americans’ retirement




March 18, 2013

Perhaps because they anticipate more help from the government, 42 percent of 18 to 29 year olds have not started saving for retirement yet. This is 20 points higher than Americans overall, and the highest of any age group.

“Younger Americans might want to save, but a sluggish job market can make just paying bills a challenge. Saving for retirement as well doesn’t seem possible,” adds Buhrmann. “However, it’s hard to know what government funding will be available when they retire. If they can, a great way to start saving is with a small automatic deduction into a 401(k) or investment retirement account.”


Clocking Out By 70?

March 18, 2013

Even in this uncertain economic reality, many Americans of all ages are still expecting to retire around the traditional retirement age of 65.

Forty-four percent say between 65 and 67 is a reasonable retirement age.

However, nearly a quarter (23 percent) expect to retire later between 68 and 70 years old.

Eighteen percent plan to retire early at age 64 or younger.

To access video interviews about the latest COUNTRY Index data, please visit The next COUNTRY Financial Security Index survey will be released April 16, 2013.

The COUNTRY Financial Security Index®

Since 2007, the COUNTRY Financial Security Index has measured Americans’ sentiments of their personal financial security. The COUNTRY Index also delves deeper into individual personal finance topics to better inform Americans about the issues impacting their finances. Survey data, videos and analysis are available at and on Twitter at @FinanceSecure.

The COUNTRY Index was created by COUNTRY Financial and is compiled by Rasmussen Reports, LLC, an independent research firm, based on a national telephone and online survey of at least 3,000 Americans.

The margin of sampling error for a survey based on this many interviews is approximately +/- 2 percentage points with a 95 percent level of confidence.

Learn more about our Index surveys and our survey methodology.

About COUNTRY Financial

COUNTRY Financial ( serves about one million households and businesses throughout the United States. It offers a full range of financial products and services from auto, home and life insurance to retirement planning services, investment management and annuities.


Brittney Jennings
Ogilvy Public Relations
(312) 397-6061

Chris Brooks
COUNTRY Financial
(309) 821-4510