Boomers Share Pessimism of the Future, Despite Partisan Differences
In Allianz Life’s 2012 Retirement and Politics Survey, two-thirds of the so-called transition boomers (pre-retiree Baby Boomers) said that they expect their retirement costs to be most affected by rising health care expenses. Broken down by political party affiliation, 64 percent of Republicans, 69 percent of Democrats, and 66 percent of Independents said the ever increasing cost of healthcare was their primary concern. Health care costs were followed by Social Security benefits concerns (53 percent of total respondents), tax changes (31 percent), rising national debt (26 percent), unemployment (19 percent), and education (4 percent).
Fiscal conservatism has led to a more aggressive approach to saving for retirement as 72 percent of respondents reported to have begun their efforts to save for retirement in their 40s, and 28 percent said they started in their 30s. Where respondents differed predictably came when considering who the next president will be. A Romney win would find 29 percent of Republican pre-retirees investing more aggressively and 30 percent more Democrats to become more fiscally conservative. An Obama win would cause 81 percent of Democrats to continue with their current strategy and 43 percent of Republicans to invest more conservatively.
“Regardless of political affiliation, Americans are facing tough challenges in the years ahead,” said Katie Libbe, vice president of Consumer Insights for Allianz Life. “It’s crucial that everyone starts the process of retirement planning as early as possible to build toward a future with some certainty and security.”