Where you are in the retirement planning stage of life has more of an impact on your chances of recovering your pre-2007 portfolio values than you might think. Having enough to retire on is important. But some Baby Boomers had an added boost that may not be available to younger investors, even if they work longer and contribute more to your 401(k).
The old “time is on your side” adage often applied to the earliest investor may only be partially true. While time does play a role in how much you recover should your investments falter in a downturn, it may only do so because you have a longer contribution horizon.
The newer “I’ll just simply work longer” response many middle aged investors are reciting of late may not be enough either. The result of their longer careers will have a similar impact on their retirement portfolios that their younger cohorts will experience: more lifetime contributions.
None of these two previously mentioned groups, what the Center for Retirement Research at Boston University describes as the Gen Xers (30-year-olds) and the Late Boomers (40-years-old), will ever equal the earning power of the stock market that the Early Boomers received. This group of fifty-plus-year-old investors, had they been invested during the heyday, or what is referred to in the report as the “run-up from 1982-2000″, will have benefited greatly. In terms of real retirement, they are far better off because of those years than their younger cohorts may possibly ever be.