MetLife: 88% of Boomers Believe in Self-Reliance in Retirement

When it comes to family obligations and financial decisions considered across three different generations, an overwhelming majority of the Baby Boomer cohort believe in being self-reliant in retirement, according to a MetLife survey, “Multi-Generational Views on Family Financial Obligations.”

All three generations, including Gen Xers and Gen Yers, believe they have responsibility and obligation to: save enough for retirement to avoid having to ask family members for assistance; have a parent live with them if they need to do so due to a major health or financial issue; and make sure a spouse would have enough money if a financial provider dies suddenly, among others.

Incidentally, Baby Boomers are more likely than the two following generations to believe that life insurance should provide for surviving spouses, with 82% of having policies for their spouse, compared to 66% of Gen Yers and 76% of Gen Xers.


No matter which generation they belonged to, respondents strongly valued being financially independent in old age so as not to be a “burden on their children.” However, they also felt strongly responsible to protect elderly parents who aren’t as independent as they themselves strive to be, reports MetLife.

The best legacy for the next generation may be a sound financial plan now for the older generation, says MetLife. And for the older generation, even if they plan to try to stay in the home as long as possible, it’s wise to discuss “what if” alternatives as “housing decisions inevitably impact financial planning at all life stages.”

“Adequate financial reserves and spending plans for a potentially long lifetime ensures that an older parent is less likely to become a financial burden at some later point,” says MetLife.


View the MetLife Mature Market Institute survey findings here.

Written by Alyssa Gerace

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