5 Impacts the Pandemic Had on Baby Boomers’ Retirement Plans

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Baby boomer couple looking at their finances
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The coronavirus pandemic changed nearly every aspect of our lives, including our plans for retirement.

For baby boomers — who are either in retirement, or very close to it — COVID-19 had an especially significant impact on post-work plans, according to a recent survey from the Center for a Secure Retirement and CNO Financial Group.

As the coronavirus spread, boomers found themselves stepping up financially to help others. However, doing so left members of that generation less able to focus on securing their own retirement.

Following are some key ways the pandemic has changed baby-boomer retirement dreams.

The findings are based on a survey of more than 2,500 middle-income boomers — defined as Americans who were born between 1946 and 1964, and who have an annual household income between $30,000 and $100,000 and less than $1 million in investable assets.

1. Their top ‘non-negotiable’ retirement priorities have changed

Grandfather using a tablet with his grandchild
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Sometimes, life seems like a party that is never going to end. Then, something comes along to remind you that someday, the punch bowl will be empty.

Facing your mortality has a way of snapping priorities into focus. Prior to the pandemic, 56% of boomers said maintaining financial security and independence was their top “non-negotiable” retirement priority.

But now, it’s back to the basics for more boomers. The top retirement priorities are now:

  1. Spending lots of time with family and grandchildren (43%)
  2. Maintaining financial stability and independence (35%)
  3. Maintaining an active lifestyle (34%)
  4. Being able to travel (30%)
  5. Living close to family and friends (25%)

2. They’ve supported other family members financially

Woman in a wheelchair giving money to her adult child
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The pandemic was a time to close ranks, even when we had to remain physically separated from one another. Many middle-income boomers say they helped loved ones financially as COVID-19 raged.

In fact, 41% of those surveyed said they have had to support other family members at some point.

3. They’ve not been able to save as much for retirement

Older woman with empty wallet
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The need to dig into their wallets to help others has left baby boomers less able to save for their own retirement.

Among middle-income baby boomers who offered cash to support family during the pandemic, 75% say they have not been able to save as much for retirement as they planned.

4. They’ve delayed plans to move

Sad baby boomer retiree in a chair

Many of us spend years dreaming of moving to an idyllic retirement destination. But the pandemic has put those visions on ice for many baby boomers.

Among middle-income baby boomers who helped support family during the pandemic, 65% report delaying moving plans. Perhaps in the end, the coronavirus pandemic will cause more boomers to stay put for good, realizing there is no place like home.

5. They’ve re-evaluated retirement finances and expenses

Retired couple
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Digging into your wallet to help others usually results in a need to rejigger your own budget. And that appears to be the case for boomers who helped others during the pandemic, with 51% saying they have re-evaluated finances and expenses for retirement.

If you are in the process of such an overhaul, Money Talks News partner YNAB (You Need A Budget) can help make your job much easier.

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