For all the education the asset management industry has on the importance of saving for retirement, it doesn't appear to have gotten through to the younger crowd, many of whom have completely unrealistic expectations for their golden years.

Older Baby Boomers appear to be doing a better job of preparing for retirement than younger Boomers, though both groups are sorely underprepared for their golden years, MetLife found in a survey.

Forty-six percent of those age 62 or older say they are comfortable with what they have saved for retirement, but only 57% of the youngest Boomers, those age 45, are. To cope with the shortfall, those born in 1946, about 2.7 million Americans, have delayed collecting Social Security and fully retiring. A full two-thirds of this group are still working, half of them full-time.

The youngest Boomers, the 4.5 million Americans born in 1964, think of themselves as Generation X and would like to retire by age 64.

"Our conclusion from this data is that the oldest Boomers are behind in their savings, and many are delaying both Social Security and retirement," said Sandra Timmermann, director of the MetLife Mature Market Institute. "The youngest group, twice the size of the oldest group, is also behind on saving, which has ramifications for the entire economy as we move through the next 20 years. Our current economic downturn has impacted the oldest Boomers, who have fewer years to recover financially, and points to the need for the younger group to build a financial safety net as they look ahead to their retirement."

(c) 2009 Money Management Executive and SourceMedia, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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