The Capital Region’s Gen-Xers and Baby Boomers
face major retirement savings hurdles that
could deprive them of financial independence in
their golden years, while increasing the need for
taxpayer-funded public assistance, an AARP survey
of voters in the two generations has found.
AARP commissioned the survey of voters
ages 35-69 in Albany, Schenectady, Saratoga and
“High Anxiety: New York Capital Region Gen-X
and Boomers Struggle with Stress, Savings and Security”
found majorities of voters are worried about
not saving or planning enough for retirement, and
with good reason, since around a quarter of them
have neither a work-sponsored nor personal retirement
savings account, AARP reported recently.
This high anxiety portends a potential exodus
from Capital Region. According to the report, 72
percent of the area respondents said they are “at
least somewhat likely to leave the state in retirement,”
as do 61 percent of Boomers.
The survey, which parallels an AARP statewide
survey, was released in October during a roundtable
discussion at the Glen Sanders Mansion in
Scotia that included Adam D. McNeill, principal,
True Living Financial, and Chuck Bell, programs
director, Consumers Union.
• 71 percent of Gen-Xers and 55 percent of
Boomers worry about not saving enough.
• 58 percent of Gen-Xers and 50 percent of
Boomers worry about not planning enough for
• 20 percent of Gen-Xers and 27 percent of
Boomers lack any kind of retirement savings account.
• 18 percent of working Gen-Xers and 20 percent
of working Boomers are not confident they’ll ever
be able to retire.
• 53 percent of Gen-Xers and 52 percent of
Boomers feel anxious about achieving a comfortable
The AARP said that among working survey
respondents, 12 percent of Gen-Xers, 22 percent
of Boomers and 41 percent of small business
owners and employees lack access to any kind of
employer-sponsored savings plan, either a pension
or a 401(k) type account.
This lack of coverage is much worse for younger
generations and private sector employees; statewide,
52 percent of private sector workers aged 18
to 64–over 3.5 million New Yorkers–lack access
to any kind of retirement savings plan through their
employer, according to AARP research.
The organization said workplace savings plans
are critical since Americans are generally 15 times
more likely to save for retirement when they have
an option available for them to do so at work.
AARP NY is proposing a state-facilitated,
payroll-deduction retirement savings option with
no ongoing taxpayer costs that could help millions
of New Yorkers help themselves achieve financial
independence in retirement and avoid the need for
taxpayer-funded public assistance.
According to AARP, the plan has the backing
of 68 percent of Gen-X and 65 percent of Baby
Boomer voters in the Capital Region. At a summer
White House Conference on Aging, President
Obama directed the U.S. Labor Department to
develop guidelines by the end of the year for states
to design and enact their own workplace retirement
Gen-Xers “are juggling multiple responsibilities–
caring for aging parents, trying to pay
for their own or their children’s college educations,
and working long hours,” said Beth Finkel,
director of AARP in New York state. “Lost is the
time to manage their finances. A state-facilitated
retirement plan would ease worries and promote
savings among those whose employers offer no
401(k) or pension.”
Despite their specific worries, 73 percent of
working Gen-X voters confident they’ll be able to
retire expect to do so by age 65, reflecting a reality
gap paralleling national trends and underscoring
the need for solutions, AARP said. But a lack of
solutions could have dire consequences. Some 80
percent of survey respondents worry insufficient
savings will make some New Yorkers reliant on