ó At 64 years old, Bob Mock has worked as a
self-employed skating instructor for nearly 40 years,
and he has no plans to slow down.
learned a long time ago, if you want a raise, you work
harder or you work more," said Mock, who works
between six and seven days a week. "Thatís what I
no pension or corporate retirement plan to fall back on,
Mock has been contributing to a SEP-IRA and a Roth IRA
savings plan for the past four decades.
have a good financial program that I have set in motion
for myself because there is no pension plan for skating
coaches," he said. "So you have to make sure
that you are looking forward and making sure that youíre
funding those accounts.
donít need anybody to help me," Mock said.
"All I need is the opportunity to work and I go. I
make sure I have all my financial records, such as
income taxes, organized. Each year I look at what I have
to put into retirement and I just do it.
I keep working because thatís what I like to do."
previous generations could rely on pensions that
provided a fixed monthly income for life, many baby
boomers reaching retirement age realize the onus of
funding retirement falls squarely on their own
shoulders. Many also did not save as well as their
stock market can be risky for those over age 60 who
cannot afford to take heavy losses on money they need to
live on. And those who have managed to squirrel away a
few dollars in the bank are getting the lowest rate of
interest on their savings in history. Even 10-year
Treasury bonds are stuck around 2 percent. While yields
may be headed higher in the future, who knows if it will
happen in time to help those who need to retire sooner
rather than later?
boomers ó born between 1946 and 1964 ó fall into two
broad categories, said George Walper, president of
Spectrem Group, a Chicago market and research consulting
firm focused on the investment and retirement needs of
are covered by pensions and, for those folks, retirement
looks pretty good because they get a monthly
check," Walper said. "The other group has
worked the latter part of their career with only a
401(k). If they werenít contributing enough or didnít
invest well enough, they may be a little short for
did some focus groups last year and the happiest group
of baby boomers were school teachers; city, county and
state workers; and anybody else who was covered by
pensions because they had pretty reasonable monthly
assets have benefited from strong equity markets in
recent years. Following a strong stock market in 2013,
assets at the end of that year ó the most recent data
is available ó had grown to $19 trillion, compared to
$16.3 trillion at the end of 2012, according to Spectrem
2013, there was $7.8 trillion in company 401(k)
retirement plans; $6.2 trillion invested in IRAs; $3.9
trillion in public sector retirement accounts; and
$985.4 billion in 403(b) retirement plans.
what about those who have been unable to save for
to the Washington, D.C.-based Pew Research Center, as of
Jan. 1, 2011, the oldest members of the baby boom
generation celebrated their 65th birthday. Everyday for
the next 19 years, 10,000 baby boomers will turn 65 each
of them will have no choice but to stay in the workforce
as long as their health will allow.
many of them spent everything they earned for living
expenses, their kidís college and everything
else," said Thomas Mackell Jr., former chairman of
the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, Va., and author of
"When the Good Pensions Go Away."
read statistics recently saying to have a decent normal
retirement you need $2 million saved up," said
Mackell, a senior consultant to the International
Longshoremen Association, AFL-CIO for political,
legislative and public affairs. "You need $250,000
to protect you if you have no health insurance.
very substantial number of baby boomers will never be
able to afford to retire," he said. "Iíve
talked to a number of individuals who tell me they will
work until they drop."
for some people like Mock, working until the end may not
be entirely due to financial necessity.
the baby boomers, we are highly identified with our
jobs," Mock said. "We become part of our jobs
and our jobs become part of our lives. I think thatís
the big difference.
many of us baby boomers we work much longer into our
years because of how we identify ourselves. I think thatís
really important and really interesting"