How much money do you need for retirement?

A new commercial from ING features well-dressed baby boomers walking around with numbers attached to their bodies. The number represents the amount they need to retire. The bank is also establishing a website for the ad campaign,,

The New York Times
wonders whether the campaign will work: "Will baby boomers feel shackled to a bright orange number, dollar sign in front, that represents the often-stressful concept of how hard they must work to maintain their lifestyle in old age? When people watch an older couple tuck themselves into bed with the orange number between them, will they view it as a ball and chain between the sheets?"

I just wonder whether the old financial planning models for baby boomer retirement will work. I can comfortably say that none of the baby boomers I know are planning to retire in the conventional way that their parents did -- golf in Florida. My mother tells me frequently that she plans to work in some capacity for her entire life, and I think many of her contemporaries will do the same, by choice. This is the generation that brought us Woodstock, and I would expect that many will "retire" from their careers to pursue part-time work with a socially-conscious edge. If ballroom dancing and big bands were nostalgic for their parents, this generation may be more inclined toward activism and community service.

Still, there's no doubt that far too many people don't have enough saved for retirement and any ad campaign that can inspire people to put aside a little bit more has my blessing.