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Retirement Dreams Fading for Many Middle-Income Boomers, Study Says

CHICAGO, Aug. 18, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Battered retirement accounts, diminished home values and lack of personal savings are shattering the retirement confidence of middle-income Baby Boomers, the latest study released by the Bankers Life and Casualty Company Center for a Secure Retirement (SM) (CSR) reveals.

The CSR's Middle-Income Boomers, Financial Security and the New Retirement study, which focused on 500 middle-income Americans between ages 47 and 65 with income between $25,000 and $75,000, found that nearly one-third (21 percent) of Boomers have not seen any rebound in the value of their retirement accounts, 16 percent report owing more on their mortgage than their home is worth, and one-fifth (19 percent) have less than $10,000 in retirement savings.

Since the economic meltdown, America's middle-income Boomers have had to reshape their expectations about retirement and make significant adjustments in their lives in light of the financial realities of the new retirement norms.  

And despite the bleak economic outlook, Boomers are demonstrating a commitment to saving for retirement.  According to the CSR study, one-fifth (18 percent) say that they are saving more money now than before the economic turbulence of the last few years and more than half (55 percent) are spending less on discretionary items than before the recession.

The study also reports a high number of Boomers are maintaining their retirement contributions.  Twenty percent of middle-income Boomers whose employers contribute to their retirement plan report that their employer reduced matching contributions.  However, almost all (95 percent) of those surveyed who participate in their employer's plan maintained or increased their personal contribution.

Although a majority (52 percent) of Boomers report having a 401(k) and 48 percent say that they own an IRA, the study found that 14 percent of middle-income Boomers do not have a 401(k), IRA, pension or any other type of retirement account.

The study also cites one-third (32 percent) of those surveyed who own a home have already paid off their mortgage.  However, close to half (48 percent) do not expect to have it paid off before they retire.

"Strive to pay down debt, take full advantage of your retirement savings opportunities at work and be realistic about the amount of money you will need to live the retirement lifestyle you want," said Scott Perry, president of Bankers Life and Casualty Company, a national life and health insurer.  "Also, consider speaking with a professional advisor to create a financial plan that supports your vision of retirement."


The Bankers Life and Casualty Company Center for a Secure Retirement's study Middle-Income Boomers, Financial Security and the New Retirement was conducted in March 2011 by the independent research firm The Blackstone Group.  The complete report can be viewed at

About the Center for a Secure Retirement

The Bankers Life and Casualty Company Center for a Secure Retirement is the Company's research and consumer education program.  Its studies and consumer awareness campaigns provide insight and practical advice for how everyday Americans can achieve financial security during retirement.

Established in 1879 in Chicago, Bankers Life and Casualty Company focuses on the insurance needs of the retirement market.  The nationwide company, a subsidiary of CNO Financial Group, Inc. (NYSE: CNO), offers a broad portfolio of life and health insurance retirement products designed especially for seniors.

SOURCE Bankers Life and Casualty Company Center for a Secure Retirement