After the shocks and bumps of the Great Recession, younger baby boomers are already thinking about retirement and are clear on one thing: When it comes to retirement income, they want guarantees, according to a study.

Allianz Life Insurance Company of America, which released the study Oct. 19, said nearly 84% of younger survey respondents said that the safety of their money mattered more to them than a few years ago.

With the rapid disappearance of defined benefit programs, a second consecutive year without cost of living adjustments for Social Security recipients and the stock market ups and downs of 2008 and 2009, respondents do not want to take excessive risks.

That cautious mind-set is motivating them to think harder about using annuities in the mix of products for their investment portfolios, according to Katie Libbe, vice president of consumer marketing and solutions at Allianz.

"They know they are going to live longer in retirement, and it is about getting this check," Libbe said. Allianz surveyed 3,275 U.S. adults ranging in age from 44 to 75 for the study, collecting online responses in May.

For advisers, the findings suggest potential business opportunities for savers and investors in their mid- to late 40s — and tremendous responsibilities, too. Though only 19% of younger baby boomers reported having secured a financial professional, 41% said they were receptive to hiring one. Almost one-quarter of younger baby boomers, 22%, said they were overwhelmed by the thought of having to provide for themselves and their families in retirement.

Respondents in the 44-to-49 age group had an average mortgage balance of $143,000, compared to those 50 to 59, who averaged $115,000. Also, more than 57% of them said they still had teenagers living at home.

Twenty-nine percent said they recognized that working with a financial professional could help solve the problem of possibly outliving their retirement assets.

"Don't assume that someone in their mid-40s is not thinking about their retirement plan," Libbe said. "They might be the people who show up at a seminar. These are people who probably never had a traditional pension plan, and an annuity might be interesting to them."

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