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Will Working Seniors Be Able to Afford Retirement Sooner Than Later?

For a growing number of baby boomers, retirement is on the back burner. Census data recently released showed that the percentage of workers 65 and older grew from 12.1% in 1990 to 16.1% in 2010. The largest increase—more than 4 percentage points—was for women in that category. With growth of 3.2 percentage points, men weren’t far behind. According to the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI), one reason why seniors may be postponing retirement is a lack of confidence that they’ll have enough funds to live comfortably once they stop working. Nearly 30 percent are “not at all confident”; 21 percent are “not too confident.” It’s apparent boomers will continue to put off retirement even longer.

Question 1:

What can you presume from the information above?

a) Workers 65 and over are concerned they’ll be able to retire with enough money.
b) A growing number of women over 65 are going back to work.
c) In 20 years, a record number of households 65+ will fall below the poverty line.

Question 2:

What would strengthen the argument above?

a) There are more two-income households among workers 65+ than in the past.
b) More people over 65 want to keep working instead of retire.
c) Compared with the previous 10 years, 7 percent more workers 65+ today say they havepostponed retirement in order to stay on their company’s medical plan.

Question 3:

The EBRI research also showed that many retirees are struggling with debt. Nearly 40 percent of this group reports having a problem with their level of debt. And only 52 percent said they would “definitely be able to” find $2,000 if an unexpected expense would come up in the next month.

Which of the following statements, if true, would suggest this generation of seniors may need to reevaluate their spending in retirement?

a) Today’s seniors are having a difficult time keeping up with rising costs and a strugglingeconomy.
b) The only option retirees have to pay off debt is to go back to work.
c) Seniors have spent frivolously during their working years.


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