Leading edge of U.S. baby boomers content: survey

Wed Dec 22, 2010 10:27am EST
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By Donna Smith

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Despite the economic turmoil of the last few years, the leading edge of baby boomers turning 65 next year are content with their lives and many want to continue working for as long as they can, a survey released on Wednesday found.

While many boomers turning 65 next year have concerns about financial security and health, the survey found 82 percent are optimistic about the next five years, according to a survey released by the AARP, an influential advocacy group for older Americans.

Seven in 10 said they achieved all or most of what they wanted in life and 78 percent said they were satisfied with the way things are going in their lives, the AARP survey said.

"They are pretty satisfied with what they have accomplished so far," said Steve Cone, AARP executive vice president.

"They are looking forward to being around for a good many years to come and unlike previous generations, 40 percent of (those working) say they never are going to retire. They are going to work until they drop," Cone said.

The survey of 801 people turning 65 next year was conducted by Woelfel Research Inc for the AARP. The results could have significance for companies facing an aging workforce and for real estate markets as the vast majority said they plan to stay where they are and grow old in their homes.

The more than 76 million-strong baby boom generation is generally defined as those born from 1946 to 1964. The first wave will turn 65 next year at rate of about 7,000 a day and become eligible for the Medicare federal healthcare program for the elderly.

They will not be eligible for full Social Security retirement benefits until age 66 as the United States has begun gradually raising the retirement age from 65 to 67.   Continued...

<p>A smiley face piece of jewelery worn by Dr. Funshine, aka Caroline Meeks, M.D. is seen as teaches a laughter therapy class to a group of seniors at the Clairmont Friendship Center in San Diego, California November 17, 2010. REUTERS/Mike Blake</p>