At the end of the recession in 2009, "Gloomy Boomers" in their mid-50s were most concerned about outliving their retirement nest eggs. But those worries are now more concentrated among adults between 36 and 40, according to a survey released Monday by the Pew Research Center.
Even with the economy slowly recovering and the stock market in the third year of a rebound, 38 percent of all adults say they are "not too confident" or "not at all confident" they will have adequate retirement resources. That's up from 25 percent in 2009.
But the no-confidence number jumps to 53 percent among those 36 to 40. In 2009, only 18 percent of that group was worried about running out of retirement assets. By contrast, only 34 percent of those 60 to 64 feel the same way, according to the survey of 2,508 adults.
A parallel Pew Research analysis of data collected by the Federal Reserve Board suggests that the biggest reason for worries for adults in their late 30s and early 40s is that they were hardest hit by declines in home values.
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Median home equity for the group plunged by 52 percent between 2007 and 2010 while it fell 30 percent among those 55 to 64 and 20 percent among those 65 and older.
Overall, the median wealth of adults 35 to 44 was 56 percent lower (in inflation-adjusted dollars) in 2010 than their counterparts in 2001. That's more than double the losses among those 55 to 64 (22 percent), the report said.
Another problem for the 35 to 44 group is that it failed to benefit from the stock market rebound. A larger share of the group (9 percent) got out of the market and missed out when prices began to increase in 2009. By comparison, the share of those 65 and older declined by 3 percent.
The 35-to-44-year-olds who held stocks indirectly through retirement accounts also fell by 9 percent, more than double that of those 45 to 54 (4 percent).
Whites (59 percent) and blacks (60 percent) are less confident than Hispanics (65 percent) that they will have enough assets to make it through retirement.
College graduates are more likely to have confidence in their retirement resources than those with a high school diploma or less (73 percent vs. 53 percent).
Steve Campbell, 817-390-7981