The theme of this article is that boomers are feeling confident about their retirement years. But the amount of family resources currently devoted to the care of parents and children in their twenties caught my attention as well:
Boomers' Burdens: Their Kids, Parents 'Sandwich' Demands Aside, Study Finds, the Generation Is Comfortable, by Darryl Fears, Washington Post: As they step closer to old age, baby boomers ... say they are reaching deeper into their pockets to care for elderly parents and offspring in their twenties who are struggling to launch their own lives... and a larger percentage than in the past are helping their parents and their adult children financially.
According to the study, ... More than half -- 55 percent -- said that they either "expect to live comfortably" in retirement or will be able to "meet expenses with a little left over," the study found. But before they reach that point, they will pay great sums of money to help parents through one of the most vulnerable phases of their lives, and children who have jobs but do not earn enough to cover student loans, rents, mortgages or even car insurance. ... [I]n general, baby boomers feel comfortable enough to take on a substantial amount of family responsibility. Well over half of the respondents in the Pew study said an elderly parent is living with them, and 66 percent said they paid for a child to attend college. Nearly three-quarters of boomers -- 71 percent -- have at least one living parent, the study found, up from 60 percent of people in the 41-59 age range in 1989. In addition to having a living parent, 83 percent of boomers have at least one child. ...
The government is not the only one providing economic and social security. I wouldn't have guessed that over half of the respondents would have an elderly parent living with them, particularly since only 71% have a living parent. That doesn't exactly conjure up the image of carefree retirees living it up on their Social Security checks from the government (average monthly benefit = $955).