Long Islanders are struggling to save for retirement and many expect to leave New York once they stop working, a new survey shows.
Of the region's baby boomers -- those who are ages 51 to 69 -- 64 percent say they are at least somewhat likely to leave New York when they retire, according to a survey of registered voters released Thursday by AARP. Younger residents -- ages 35 to 50, or Generation X -- are even more apt to leave, with 70 percent saying they are likely to depart New York.
"One of the reasons -- and this is kind of scary -- is that 75 percent of Gen-Xers we surveyed said they had not saved enough for retirement, and 65 percent of boomers said they have not saved enough," said Beth Finkel, state director of AARP in New York. "They're anxious about having a comfortable retirement."
Island residents were more likely to have departure plans than their counterparts statewide. Across New York, 55 percent of baby boomers and 66 percent of Generation Xers are at least somewhat likely to leave the state.
AARP found that 20 percent of Generation Xers on Long Island, and 25 percent of baby boomers here, have no retirement savings. By contrast, 30 percent of the state's Generation Xers and 38 percent of its baby boomers do not have retirement nest eggs.
Many Long Islanders feel they cannot afford to save enough for retirement, said Lawrence Levy, executive dean of the National Center for Suburban Studies at Hofstra University. "Not enough of them have put aside the amount of money they're going to need to live as long as they're likely to live," he said.
Throughout New York, 52 percent of private-sector workers ages 18 to 64 -- more than 3.5 million people -- do not have access to employer-sponsored retirement accounts, AARP reported in a separate study. "Unless something changes, they're going to have quite a shortfall when they retire," Finkel said.
The telephone survey of 800 Long Island registered voters, ages 35 to 69, found that 73 percent would support a proposal to create a state-facilitated retirement savings option for those who do not have access to workplace retirement savings accounts.
Finkel said AARP is in talks with state officials about creating such Work and Save programs in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and other states. Already, Illinois, Washington state and Oregon have signed similar programs into law, she said.