Are Baby Boomers Feeling More Optimistic about Retirement?

Published on November 28, 2017

In a new study from Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America called “Generations Ahead,” 72 percent of baby boomers reported feeling financially prepared for retirement. This optimistic figure is nearly 15 percent higher than the number reported in 2010.

Other improvements since 2010 included a decline in the number of boomers who said that uncertainty about their financial future makes it hard to know when they can retire. This year, 32 percent agreed with statement as opposed to 50 percent in 2010 who said they were unsure about when they could retire, if ever. (Of course, the optimist group leaves nearly two-thirds of boomers who fear running out of money during their retirement years, but it appears the trend is moving in a positive direction.)

Paul Kelash, Vice President of Consumer Insights for Allianz Life, said these results are encouraging news for boomers; he further stated that “with proper focus and engagement, anyone can turn around a poor savings situation and start building for a successful retirement.”

Among the reasons he cited for this optimistic outlook among baby boomers is what he referred to as the “new frugality.” According to Kelash, 64 percent now see themselves as savers, not spenders. They are also paying attention to how much money they have and how they are spending it. As a result, boomers are taking responsibility for their own retirement security.

For those wanting to follow a similar strategy and plan on an optimistic financial future, self-directing a retirement plan can be a smart plan for meeting that goal.

Self-directed investors are those who take control of their retirement savings and make all their own investment decisions, based on non-publicly traded assets they already know and understand. Sure, budgeting helps, as does being less impulsive about spending. Additionally, being more disciplined about making contributions to retirement savings is key to financial health. To that end, opening and contributing to a self-directed retirement plan can put the boom into those retirement savings. For account holders who qualify, they can even take advantage of catch-up contributions from a prior year.

Types of retirement plans that can be self-directed include Traditional or Roth IRAs, SIMPLE IRAs in the workplace, SEP IRAs for the self-employed, HSAs for qualified medical expenses, and Coverdell ESAs for education savings. These plans allow for a broad array of alternative assets not allowed in typical retirement plans, such as real estate, commodities, precious metals, private equity, commercial paper, and any other asset classes not prohibited by the IRS. Including these investments in a self-directed retirement plan means freedom from the volatile stock market, the opportunity to build a more eclectic retirement portfolio, and the potential to create a more optimistic outlook for those retirement years.

Interested in learning more? Watch our educational videos, sign-up for our free white papers about self-direction, review our application forms, and contact Next Generation Trust Company to get your self-directed retirement plan set up. Our specialized team can answer your questions about the types of alternative assets these plans allow and will review all transactions to ensure you invest within IRS guidelines. Additionally, all assets remain under one umbrella with our sister firm, Next Generation Services, which does all administration and transaction processing to create a more streamlined experience for account holders. Contact us to discuss your self-directed future at 1-888-857-8058 or

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