According to the Associated Press-LifeGoesStrong.com poll, 43 percent of boomers who responded said they were "very" or "extremely" worried about being able to pay for their medical costs, including long-term care. Almost the same number, 41 percent, said losing their financial independence was a big concern.
"I always say I am going to work until I'm in the ground," said Ellie Krall of Manalapan, N.J., one of the boomers polled. "I don't see myself being able to fully retire like people were able to do years ago."
Krall, 50, manager of an orthopedic office and mother of an 18-year-old son in college, said she's worried about paying for health-care costs down the road and isn't banking on Social Security.
The oldest boomers turn 65 this year, but it's the younger ones like Krall who might be feeling more apprehension.
"Boomers are not all created equal," says Olivia Mitchell, a professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and executive director of the Pension Research Council.
Many older boomers still have a defined-benefit pension plan, probably some decent retiree medical insurance, and Social Security, said Mitchell, a boomer who has studied pensions and retirement extensively.
"The youngest boomers - the people who were born in the '60s - face more uncertainty about their pensions, their Social Security, their housing, and their medical care," Mitchell said.
Her advice: "Push your retirement back two or three or five years if you can. As long as you are still working, then you're not drawing down on your nest egg," Mitchell said in an AP interview.
The AP-LifeGoesStrong.com poll was conducted June 3-12 by Knowledge Networks of Palo Alto, Calif., and involved online interviews with 1,416 adults, including 1,078 baby boomers. The margin of sampling error for results from the full sample was plus or minus 4.4 percentage points; for the boomers, it was plus or minus 3.3 percentage points.