In general, millions of baby boomers have struggled with their ability to build up their retirement savings over the last several years, but new data shows that this may be particularly true of older workers who are not currently married.
Today, 81.9% of married baby boomers say they have some amount of retirement savings put away, compared to just two-thirds of those who are unmarried, according to a new survey by the Insured Retirement Institute. Further, married boomers are also far less likely than their single counterparts to have to tap their savings prior to their official retirement dates, with only 13.7% of the former group doing so in the last year, compared with 21.4% of the latter.
Married boomers are also far more likely to continue making steady contributions to these funds than their single counterparts, as 66.6% of them have done so in the last year, the report said. Meanwhile, just 56.3% of single older workers could say the same.
On the other hand, far more married boomers are now planning to delay the date at which they retire than those that are single, the report said. Just 15.9% of unmarried older workers will push back the date at which they begin their post-career lives, compared with 23.1% of married people. However, this difference may be a function of the fact that 55.7% of those in a marriage have actually sat down and calculated their retirement savings goals, compared with slightly more than four in 10 single workers who did the same.
Interestingly, just more than one-quarter of single workers plan to have an employer-sponsored retirement plan, such as a 401(k) or IRA, as their primary source of income once they stop working, compared with nearly half of married boomers, the report said. In fact, 43.2% of single boomers say they don't think they'll have any retirement income at all from such a plan.
Perhaps as a consequence of the above findings, nearly two-fifths of married people polled said that they were confident about being financially secure in retirement, the report said. That compares to just 28% of single boomers.
Workers who wonder whether they will have enough in savings to retire comfortably may want to delay the point at which they stop working, which will both give them additional time to increase their savings and also push back the point at which they begin drawing on those accounts.