As millions of baby boomers approach and then pass the age at which they are allowed to retire with full benefits, a lot of attention is being paid to many older workers' lack of readiness to do so. Now, some experts wonder whether those difficulties can be a lesson to those in younger generations.
Baby boomers might have fallen behind in their retirement savings efforts as a result of the recent recession that ravaged many 401(k)s and IRAs among other investments, but their missteps in handling such an account might in turn be useful to their children as they approach an age at which retirement should be taken more seriously. By examining the ways in which they may have erred in their efforts to build up their nest egg, many current seniors might be able to impart knowledge of what not to do to those in Generation X or millennials.
However, older workers may face some difficulties in doing so, as financially independent adults may not want to feel as though they are being talked down to with regard to their own efforts.
"It's difficult," economist Anthony Webb of The Center for Retirement Research at Boston College told U.S. News and World Report. "Young people should not be made to feel bad if they are not doing enough for their retirement. Nobody wants another lecture."
Studies have shown that millennials and Gen Xers have relatively low financial literacy when compared to their parents. As such, it might be important for those who have dealt with the ups and downs of retirement planning to pass on their accrued experience in as gentle a manner possible. Many young people have heard for so long about the issues related to retirement benefits and possibilities that they may face, which have not been an issue for boomers (such as significantly diminished Social Security).
Many older workers may also want to practice what they preach with regard to retirement planning, and do more to ensure they can live happily and healthily once they stop working. This may include staying in one's job for an additional year or two as a means of continuing to build savings, while also pushing back the date at which they are drawn.