Adult kids saving more than baby boomers

Many parents regularly encourage their children to put a portion of their money aside for a rainy day and for their golden years, but it’s the parents who aren’t heeding their own advice, a new survey finds.

Baby boomers’ children in the 30s and above appear to be saving more on a regular basis than their parents who are now reaching retirement age.

A TD Ameritrade survey, as reported by Reuters, found that only 23 percent of boomers questioned said they were completely confident they will reach their savings goals by the time they hit age 65. Almost half of boomers, those born between 1946 and 1964, said they were somewhat confident. Boomers are reaching retirement age at a rate of around 10,000 a day.

But while 85 percent of boomers have retirement accounts – an IRA or a 401k or 403b retirement plan, – only 16 percent fund them regularly if they have both. By contrast, a quarter of “Gen Y” children — born between 1977 and 1989 — said they were funding both their 401k or 403b and their IRAs, and 23 percent of “Gen Xers” — born between 1965 and 1967 — said they were funding both.

The survey questioned 1,509 adults.

Of course, some boomers might argue that their adult children are able to save because many of them have moved back home.

5 comments Add your comment


December 20th, 2011
4:53 pm

Gen Y here. I contribute the maximum to both my 401k and my Roth IRA. I don’t live at home with my parents. I don’t have kids yet though, and I’d guess that’s another reason some Boomers find it difficult to save for retirement. Raising kids is expensive!

Still, amazed such a small percentage of people are contributing something to both…


December 20th, 2011
5:00 pm


I’ve got the 6 months’ living expenses in cash, fully funded Roth IRA, and I spread some more among a few brokerage accounts earmarked for different purposes (house, etc.). Altogether I’m saving about avg. 20% of my gross income. I’m not quite 30, but I hope to retire comfortably and not have to worry about money like many baby boomers do today.

I would guess that traditional pensions falling by the wayside and being replaced with 401K and companies simply transferring the responsibility of retirement to their employees has caused a lot of baby boomers concerns. No longer are people able to count on a monthly check from their former employer AND the government to fund their golden years…it’s up to you now.

Our unique American culture of entitlement, exceptionalism, rampant consumerism, and keeping up with Joneses can also be to blame. If people re-evaluated their “needs” and “wants”, I think many of us would be much better off than we think we are.


December 20th, 2011
5:09 pm

So if “Gen Y”are children born between 1977 and 1989 — and “Gen Xers” are born between 1965 and 1967, what does that make me (born in 1969). A Gen X-and-a-half?


December 20th, 2011
5:38 pm

Bacchus: What do you do for a living? I am around your age and make decent money, but I am still working to build my savings to 4 months of expenses and rent a house for the time being

I have to assume you either have family money and did not have to take out any loans to pay for school or have a fairly high-paying job.

Regardless, good on ya.


December 20th, 2011
5:39 pm

Kat: I hope you do, in fact, realize that 1967 was a typo and should have been 1977, for your sake.