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Olden Days

Will the stock market suffer as boomers use investments to live on in retirement?

By Cynthia E. Griffin

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Picture this: In 10 years, at least 3.4 million Americans willbe eligible for retirement, and every year after that, close to 4million more will reach the magical age 65. Because baby boomershave invested so heavily in the stock market, some experts saytheir retirement will have a profound impact. Is this just hype, ordo investors really have reason to panic?

Andrew B. Abel, a Wharton finance and economics professor,believes the stock market can't help but take a tumble withoutthe increase in the physical supply of capital that boomers'investments have caused. But Dallas Salisbury, president and CEO ofthe Employee Benefit Research Institute, believes Gen Xers and EchoBoomers (boomers' children) will fill the void. "Manyanalyses assume everybody will suddenly take all their moneyout," says Salisbury, "but they don't necessarily[consider] all the new people coming in."

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