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Will the Baby Boomers be Less Well off Than Their Parents? Income, Wealth, and Family Circumstances over the Life Cycle in the United States

Richard A. Easterlin, Christine M. Schaeffer and Diane J. Macunovich
Population and Development Review
Vol. 19, No. 3 (Sep., 1993), pp. 497-522
Published by: Population Council
DOI: 10.2307/2938464
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2938464
Page Count: 26
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Will the Baby Boomers be Less Well off Than Their Parents? Income, Wealth, and Family Circumstances over the Life Cycle in the United States
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Abstract

This article assesses the retirement outlook of American baby boomers--those born between 1946 and 1964--compared with their parents with regard to income, wealth, and family situation (having a spouse present or grown children available, and the likelihood of living alone). Differences between trailing and leading edge boomers and between those better and worse off are considered. The analysis finds that, on average, the boomers' living levels in retirement are likely to be considerably better than their parents', except possibly for the poorest segment of the trailing edge. However, a noticeably smaller proportion of retired boomers will have a spouse or adult children, and a considerably larger proportion will live alone. This contrast reflects the fact that the boomers raised their economic status over that of their parents largely by remaining single or childless, or by having fewer children and combining mother's work with childbearing.

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