The majority of baby boomers and Gen Xers appear to be looking at their retirement years through rose-colored glasses. More than three in four feel confident they will have enough money to live comfortably in retirement, even though nearly 40% of baby boomers and about two-thirds of Gen Xers have less than $100,000 in retirement savings. Moreover, a worrisome percentage —21.7% of baby boomers and 27.8% of Gen Xers — has no retirement savings at all. The grim statistics are the highlights of a report released by the Insured Retirement Institute.

In addition to insufficient savings, significant portions of baby boomers and Gen Xers lack investment knowledge and have not taken important retirement planning steps such as calculating a retirement savings goal, the report found. Slightly more than half (51.4%) of baby boomers and less than half (40.7%) of Generation Xers have tried to calculate how much savings they will need for a comfortable retirement.

It wasn't all bad news. Baby boomers and Gen Xers who work with financial advisers, calculate their retirement savings needs and own annuities report having greater levels of retirement confidence, the study found. For example, among baby boomers who consulted a financial adviser, 42.8% reported feeling extremely or very confident about their retirement readiness compared with 32.3% who did not consult an adviser.  Gen Xers also registered similar gains in retirement confidence from working with financial advisers.

The report was drawn from two surveys conducted by Woelfel Research, Inc., on behalf of IRI. One survey polled 503 Americans, ages 50 to 66, in February and March 2012.  The other polled 802 Americans, ages 30 to 49, in November 10 - 22, 2011.

 Correia is the associate editor of Bank Investment Consultant, a SourceMedia publication.

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