The Last Generation to Retire
Text by Rebecca Hanlon
One of the solutions to addressing the demand of the Baby Boomer population is to not panic, says Bryson Roof, a certified financial planner with Roof Advisory Group in Harrisburg. "We often try to bring clients back to look at the bigger picture and not just one aspect of this issue," he says. "People can get overwhelmed by looking at 401(k)s, Social Security and pensions. To simplify it, we coordinate those assets to say, 'What would you like to be paid when you retire?'
Baby Boomers were the first generation to truly embrace 401(k)s, Roof says, and they’ve been a great advocate for saving at an early age. There's no better time than the present to start saving, Roof says. Even setting aside just $100 a month can add up for someone in their 20s and 30s.
But choosing the best retirement savings plan can look different for different people, Roof says.
A 401(k) can be a little different for someone used to a pension because it takes the responsibility off the employer and puts it on the employee, Roof says.
When it comes to banking on Social Security to be there for future generations, Roof says, it can get a little tricky. "If you think about Social Security when it was created, the average life expectancy was 62," Roof says. "Today, some people are retired just as long, if not longer, than their work history. And Social Security wasn’t designed for that."
For those retiring a little sooner, pension buyout is an option that many people don’t consider, Roof says. Most pensions set a monthly payout, but someone who buys out his or her pension has more control and can take out a larger chunk for those unforeseen expenses, such as an appliance breaking or roof repairs.
Perhaps the biggest piece of advice he has to give is that financial planning is paramount to financial success.
"We'll see what the generations after the Boomers want out of retirement," Roof says. "I think retirement will still be an option for those generations – it just might not look the way we expected."