‘Silver squatters’: Middle-aged and up could need financial help from family

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(NewsNation) — Nearly a quarter of Americans 55 and older will become “silver squatters,” requiring financial support from family once they retire, according to a new survey.

What’s a silver squatter?

Being a “silver squatter” means relying on family for housing and financial support; for example, when the parent moves into the adult kids’ basement.

According to Prudential’s 2024 Pulse Of The American Retiree Survey, nearly half of the affected 55-year-olds have yet to share this news with their family.

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“As a record number of Americans reach the traditional 65-year retirement age in 2024, a younger demographic of critically underprepared pre-retirees begins a 10-year countdown to protect retirement outcomes,” according to the American Retiree Survey.

Who needs housing support?

About 21% of the 55-year-olds surveyed said they expect to need housing support, compared to 12% of 65-year-olds and 9% of 75-year-olds. The survey was conducted by Brunswick Group from April 26 to May 2, 2024 among a national sample of 905, all aged 55.

According to the survey, 55-year-olds are experiencing a “deep savings shortfall.” They have median retirement savings of less than $50K, falling short of the recommended goal of having eight times one’s annual income saved by this age.

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Two-thirds of those surveyed said they fear they will outlive their savings, compared to 59% of 65-year-olds and 52% of 75-year-olds.

What’s Americans’ financial future?

Americans who are 55 “are far less financially secure than older generations, and face mental and emotional strain that extends beyond prevailing notions about the “midlife” crisis,” the survey reads. “These challenges are exacerbated by calculations that Social Security’s trust funds will be depleted as this generation reaches retirement age in 2035 — making this the first modern generation to confront retirement without full Social Security support, and in most cases without a defined benefit pension plan.”