401(K) 2012/Flickr

For city baby boomers and Generation Xers, the old adage “saving for a rainy day” has not stood the test of time, a new survey from AARP New York and Siena College has discovered.

“We wanted to understand how boomers and Gen Xers were approaching and how prepared they are for retirement,” AARP New York State Director Beth Finkel told Metro.

The survey, split evenly between ages 36-51 for Gen X and ages 52-70 for boomers, found that just one in five of the 800 New Yorkers that participated have made plans for retirement.

To Finkel, though, that wasn’t even the most startling statistic. “There are so many,” she said before sharing that 90 percent of participants said that saving is a problem and 52 percent have never researched what Social Security benefits they will receive.


With Social Security facing exhaustion by 2034 and two out of five survey respondents expecting to rely on it, “we have a runway of 18 years to build it up,” Finkel said. “If it’s not taken care of, every beneficiary will take a 25 percent cut. That’s not giving an ability to live.”

Additionally, 46 percent of participants said the government is not doing enough to make saving for retirement possible. That could change with initiatives like Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s NY SMART (Saving More to Achieve Richer Tomorrows) Commission and city leaders’ plans to implement an auto-enrollment saving plan for private-sector workers.

Until such changes happen, Finkel urges New Yorkers to “be proactive.”

“They have to take pen to paper and have to come up with some kind of roadmap,” she said, suggesting they use the free, anonymous calculators on the AARP and Social Security websites if “they don’t want surprises — they should have a pot of gold."

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