Gen X'ers see little retirement help from employers

ALBANY -- New Yorkers have serious concerns about their future pensions as the promise of retirement seems to become further out of reach for Generation Xers and baby boomers, a poll said.

The AARP in New York commissioned a poll released Wednesday that found between 70 and 67 percent of Gen Xers and baby boomers said it is a "very significant problem" to save enough for retirement.

“Nearly half of boomers and even more Xers are today just getting by at best," Don Levy, the director of Siena College Polling Institute, said in a statement.

"Despite most Xers and nearly a third of boomers being concerned that Social Security benefits may not be there for them, few have done all they can to plan and prepare for their retirement.”

The Siena College survey for AARP of 806 New Yorkers ages 35 to 70 found that rising food costs are negatively impacting the finances of the middle class, specifically for 59 percent of the Gen X population -- those born between 1965 and 1980.

The survey found that three times as many middle class Gen Xers were having a difficult time managing their finances compared to baby boomers with similar incomes.

Thirty-nine percent of baby boomers, those born between 1946 and 1964, said the cost of food is a problem.

The respondents also cited utility bills as a problem -- 68 percent of Gen Xers and 58 percent of boomers.

Housing costs were an even greater concern: 81 percent of Gen Xers and 70 percent of boomers said the costs are hurting their financial condition.

New York has among the highest costs of living in the nation.

The poll comes as AARP is pressing for state and federal solutions to the lack of retirement options for aging New Yorkers.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo this year created the NY SMART (Saving More to Achieve Richer Tomorrows) Commission to study the lack of retirement savings for New Yorkers.

AARP said it's own research has shown that more than half of all private sector employees in New York can’t get a traditional workplace retirement savings plans such as a pension or 401(k).

For millennials, the problem is even worse: AARP said more than 60 percent of millennials lack access to retirement plans.

Nationally, AARP is launching a “Take a Stand” campaign to press the presidential candidates to further detail their proposed Social Security updates.

Among those polled by AARP, 55 percent said Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton would do a better job addressing the retirement needs of seniors compared to 30 percent for Republican nominee Donald Trump.

“We can ease the middle-class squeeze if our elected leaders restore trust by helping New Yorkers help themselves save and by safeguarding the future benefits they’ve earned,” said Beth Finkel, the director of New York’s AARP, said in a statement.

The poll was conducted from July 25 through Aug. 16  and had a margin of error of 4.1 percentage points.


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