Members of the generation that once warned not to trust anyone over 30 are well past that life-defining age; and according to the 1998 Retirement Confidence Survey, a growing percentage of baby boomers are calculating how much money they will need to save by the time they retire.
Forty-five percent of workers in 1998 have ascertained the cost of retirement, up from 32% the year before, the survey results revealed.
This big jump is largely driven by the baby boomers, said Paul Yakoboski, a research analyst with the Employee Benefit Research Institute, a private public policy research organization.
EBRI co-sponsors the annual survey with the American Savings Education Council, a private-public partnership, and Matthew Greenwald & Associates, a Washington-based market research firm.
Among baby boomers born between 1946 and 1953, 50% have tried to figure out how much they will need for retirement, up from 38% in 1997.
Meanwhile, 47% of baby boomers born between 1954 and 1964 are investigating retirement savings, up from 32% last year.
By comparison, only 33% of Generation Xers have looked into the cost of retirement, up slightly from 30% in 1997, according to the survey..
"The big picture evidence is that workers are more focused on retirement," Mr. Yakoboski said.
At the same time, baby boomers -- like the majority of American workers as a whole -- are not convinced they will have enough money to retire.
The percentage of Americans who are very confident about retirement has remained flat at between 20 and 25% over the past six years, Mr. Yakoboski pointed out.
Still, the trend toward at least looking at the question of retirement saving is somewhat encouraging, he said.
"They're experiencing a cold slap in the face of reality and that's the first step in taking positive action," Mr. Yakoboski said.