Retirement still far away for many American workers

One result of the recession was an increase in the average age of senior retirement among Americans. The financial crisis meant that thousands of seniors lost their finances reserved for retirement or needed to remain in the workforce to make ends meet. While seniors reach Medicare eligibility at 65, many baby boomers are staying in their jobs longer to better figure out how to plan for retirement.

Fewer Americans delaying retirement
As the U.S. economy continues to recover from the recession, the outlook for the next few years is more positive for retirement planning for seniors. According to the annual CareerBuilder survey, 58 percent of workers 60 or older said they are currently delaying retirement. While this is still a majority of workers nearing the retirement age, the rate is down from 61 percent who said the same in 2013. During the height of the recession in 2010, 66 percent said they were putting off retirement to continue working.

“While achieving a secure retirement is still a challenge for many in the workforce, the survey points to some positive trends,” said Brent Rasmussen, CareerBuilder North America president. “As retirement funds rebound and the economy improves, fewer workers are delaying retirement than at the height of the recession. Additionally, more workers expect to be able to retire without having to pick up a part time job to supplement their incomes, and even if they are looking for work, more employers are actively recruiting within this age group than in past years.”

Retirement planning
While more baby boomers are planning their retirement, 10 percent of respondents said they didn’t think they would ever be able to retire. Overall, just half of this group said they would be able to retire within the next four years. Upon reaching retirement, fewer respondents said they were planning to take on part- or full-time work after leaving their current position. Still, 45 percent of workers said they plan to look for another job after retiring from where they are currently working. While the rate remains at nearly half of retirees, the figure has dropped from the 60 percent who said the same a year ago. The survey pointed out that this could indicate that workers are becoming more confident in their financial planning for retirement. It could also mean that access to affordable health care is more widely available before reaching Medicare eligibility.

Reasons to delay retirement
There are a number of reasons that workers decide to delay retirement. According to the survey, women are much more likely to delay retirement than men, but the overwhelming majority of respondents said that they could not financially afford retirement. Additionally, 18 percent of women said they didn’t think they would ever be able to retire compared to just 7 percent of men. Other reasons for putting off retirement included needing to keep their employer health care benefits and coverage, enjoying employment and fear that retirement could be boring.

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