They Didn’t Learn

We’ve all heard that experience is the best teacher; therefore, the longer we live, the more we should know. Unfortunately, some recent statistics are indicating that the baby boomers did not learn from the Greatest Generation. Baby boomers, those individuals born between 1946 and 1964, were raised by parents and influenced by others who lived through the Great Depression and World War II.

The Great Depression and World War II offered many lessons dealing with saving and sacrifice. Great fortunes are historically built during some of the most difficult economic times. Baby boomers who saw the aftermath of this pivotal, historical period and were influenced by parents, teachers, and others who lived through it have too often failed to put those historical lessons into practice.

Statistics reveal:

  • Fifty-nine percent of baby boomers are relying significantly or totally on social security for retirement income. This is up from 43 percent in 2014. The stability of the Social Security program is debatable, but cuts of up to 20 percent in real benefit income may become a reality in the coming years.
  • Forty-five percent of baby boomers facing retirement have absolutely no savings to support or supplement their golden years. This alarming number is up from 20 percent in 2014 who had no retirement nest egg.
  • Over 30 percent of baby boomers are continuing to work beyond the point they had anticipated retiring. Over a quarter of baby boomers say they will not be able to retire until after age 70. Contrast this with only 17 percent of boomers anticipated retiring after 70 just five years ago.
  • Thirty percent of baby boomers report they have stopped contributing to their retirement fund, and 16 percent have actually depleted their retirement savings by taking an early withdrawal. Only two years ago, 80 percent of baby boomers reported contributing consistently to their retirement.
  • Forty-four percent of baby boomers reach retirement age with significant debt loads. The percentage of retired people with debt a generation ago was only 30 percent.

If the baby boomers haven’t learned from history, hopefully the rest of us can learn from the baby boomers.

Our grandparents could depend on pensions and defined benefit plans that guaranteed their retirement. You and I have the privilege of raising the bar and establishing our own retirement level which is a huge advantage but only if we proceed with diligence and consistency as we move toward retirement.

As you go through your day today, learn from the baby boomers, and plan for your future.

Today’s the day!

Jim Stovall is the president of Narrative Television Network, as well as a published author of many books including The Ultimate Gift. He is also a columnist and motivational speaker. He may be reached by email at; on Facebook at; or follow Jim on Twitter @StovallAuthor.

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