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NH Boomers Set to Retire with Just $90K In their Pockets?

March 6, 2009

Concord, NH – Granite Staters looking to hit the “cash out” button as they head toward retirement may find the pay out is much less than expected, according to a new report from the Center for Economic and Policy Research. Those between the ages of 45 and 54 are predicted to have just over $90,000 at retirement, including stock investments, 401Ks and home equity.

Report author and economist Dean Baker explains where the money went.

"They had some amount in retirement funds that's been largely eroded by the plunging stock market. More importantly, they’ve seen their equity disappear as house prices have plummeted."

There’s been talk of cutting Social Security and Medicare, and President Obama recently held a financial summit during which that was discussed. Stephen Gorin, executive director of the National Association of Social Workers, New Hampshire chapter, says in light of the report, cutting the programs would be a mistake.

"It strikes me that that would be just disastrous. What we really need to do is expand our social insurance programs."

Baker adds that even New Hampshire residents who have been homeowners for decades may find their house is worth far less than they planned because of the burst housing bubble. The report paints a scenario that Boomers are going to be far more reliant on Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid than expected.

The full study, The Wealth of the Baby Boom Cohorts After the Collapse of the Housing Bubble, is at www.cepr.net.

Deb Courson, Public News Service - NH