For Retiring Boomers, 401(k)s Fall Short

For many, it means postponing retirement or picking up part-time work

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 19, 2011 4:32 PM CST

(Newser) – With the first baby boomers beginning to retire, the Wall Street Journal takes a look at how well their 401(k)s are holding up. Conclusion, in the form of a question: What kind of part-time work would best suit you in your golden years? Most households don't have anywhere near the amount necessary in their 401(k) to maintain their standard of living, generally figured to be 85% of working income before retirement.

"Inevitably, we find that, for the average person, there is not enough there," says one financial adviser. One yardstick in the Journal article: For households led by people aged 60 to 62, the median 401(k) plan had about $149,000, which would generate about $9,000 annually for a couple. To generate $40,000—which combined with Social Security and other sources would get the typical household to that 85% mark—they'd need about $636,000 in their 401(k). Only about 8% of households can make that claim.

401ks are falling short for baby boomers in retirement.
401ks are falling short for baby boomers in retirement.   (Shutterstock)
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