Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

First Advisor

Frances C. Lawrence


There has been much concern that the financial status of the 76 million American baby boomers will be inadequate when they reach retirement. The overall purpose of the current study was to examine the baby boom generation's financial preparations for retirement. The family resource management conceptual framework of Deacon and Firebaugh (1988) provided the theoretical base for the study. Data were obtained from 398 baby boomers who responded to the 1999 Retirement Confidence Survey. Depending on the nature of the dependent variable, multiple linear regression or logistic analysis tests were used to determine relationships between the input, throughput, and output variables. A full model of 2-way interactions was compared to a reduced model of main effects using a likelihood ratio test. Relationships were explored between demographic (input) variables, personal and managerial responses (throughput variables), and dependent (output) variables representing retirement savings, expected sources of retirement income, and post-retirement employment plans. Paramount findings of the study were the relationships among household income, performing a retirement savings calculation and the output variables. Respondents with lower incomes anticipate important sources of retirement income to come from full-time or part-time employment, Social Security or other government income programs. Low income was also associated with working after retirement to make ends meet, to help support children or other family members, or to keep health insurance or other benefits. Lower levels of household income were negatively associated with performing a retirement savings calculation. Those who calculated the amount of savings needed for retirement were likely to have greater retirement savings, and were more likely to expect retirement income from money invested in a savings plan at work or other personal savings. They were also less likely to expect part-time or full-time employment, support from family members or Social Security to be important sources of retirement income. Not surprisingly, high income respondents were more likely to have higher levels of retirement savings. They were also likely to expect an important portion of their retirement income to be provided by an employer, a retirement plan at work, or other personal savings.