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Pennsylvania CPAs find baby boomers worried over finances.

The Pennsylvania Institute of CPAs (PICPA) surveyed 500 members with clients who are either in the baby-boom age bracket or employed by companies owned or managed by baby boomers. It found that generation, which accounts for 31% of the U.S. population, plagued by financial concerns.

PICPA President Edward J. O'Grady said, "Although members of this generation were born in postwar prosperity and reared during the expansion of the 1970s and 1980s, they now have a reserved attitude, due to structural changes in the economy and to the recent recession."

The baby-boom generation encompasses over 75 million Americans born between 1946 and 1964--those now between 28 and 46 years of age. The PICPA study divided the generation into first-wave--those 37 to 46 years old--and second-wave--those 28 to 36.

* The first-wave's concerns. Of the clients or company owners and managers in the first-wave, 49% were financially somewhat better off than the baby boomers' parents at the same age. Another 34% of the first-wave boomers were much better off than their parents.

A chief financial concern for 77% of the first-wave boomers was financing their children's education; for 32%, health care; and for another 32%, job security.

* The second-wave's financial concerns. Second-wave boomers were not as well situated as their older counterparts. While 45% of the second-wave boomers were financially somewhat better off than their parents, another 26% said they were worse off.

The principal financial concerns for second-wave boomers were as follows: buying a first home, cited by 54%; maximizing current income, reported by 47%; and funding children's college education, mentioned by 39%.

* Retirement. Sixty-six percent of the baby boomers may work beyond the average retirement age of 63. The average baby boomer begins retirement planning at age 41, although 70% of the CPAs polled recommend that retirement planning begin before 30.

Fifty-seven percent of first-wave boomers will delay retirement because of economic difficulties and a desire to increase savings. Among second-wave boomers, 39% cite a fear of reduced Social Security benefits as a reason to delay retirement, and 29% will work past 63 to fund their children's education.

* Funding children's education. Seventy-four percent of baby boomer parents start saving for a child's college education during the child's junior or senior high school year, even though 70% of the CPAs polled recommend parents begin saving when the child is in kindergarten.
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Copyright 1992, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Publication:Journal of Accountancy
Date:Aug 1, 1992
Words:390
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