"Retirement is not only coming later in life, but for many it no longer represents a complete exit from the workforce.”
Standard retirement was once viewed as a cessation of one’s work life after hitting their ‘60s. But a new national Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research survey released Monday finds that “retirement is not only coming later in life, but for many it no longer represents a complete exit from the workforce.”
Eight-in-ten working Americans over 50 (82 percent) forecast that it is at least somewhat likely that they will work for pay in retirement, while nearly half (47 percent) expect to retire later than they previously planned. On average, they plan to retire at about 66, nearly three years later than estimates they envisioned when they were 40.
It is estimated that for the next 19 years, 100,000 Baby Boomers will turn 65 every day. In 2010, these older Americans comprised 13 percent of the U.S. population. This is expected to increase to 19 percent in 2030, an estimated 72 million adults. In a blow to the notion of standard retirement, the number of older working Americans choosing to remain on the job has been trending upward since the late 1990s, and they now represent the fastest-growing segment in the country’s workforce, survey research finds. By the end of the decade, an estimated one-fourth of American workers will be at least 55, up from 19 percent in 2010.
Why are older Americans choosing to reject the standard retirement, once considered a part of the American Dream? For some, it’s necessity. The economic collapse depleted savings, and drained investments and sapped home values. For others, it represents a generation’s vision of itself as “forever young,” and wishing to remain vital and engaged. Blessed with better health and longevity, coupled with job satisfaction, many older Americans are choosing to remain in the workplace.
Approximately three-fourths (74 percent) of working Americans who are at least age 50 state that they have given their retirement years some or a great deal of thought, the survey states. Among the primary factors in deciding when to retire include financial need (69 percent), health (65 percent) and the need for employer sponsored benefits (61 percent).
When asked about their retirement savings, a near-equal share of respondents said they feel secure about the amount of retirement savings they have accrued (46 percent) as feel anxious (45 percent).
Being able to retire when they want to is a concern for almost half of Millionaires surveyed earlier this year by Spectrem’s Millionaire Corner (44 percent). This is especially a concern for Millionaires ages 45-54 (60 percent).
Nearly one-third (32 percent) said they envision retiring between the ages of 66-70, while one-fourth project they would retire between the ages of 63-65.
Donald Liebenson writes news and features for Millionaire Corner. He has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, Fiscal Times, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, and other outlets. He has also served as a marketing writer for Chicago-based Questar Entertainment and distributor Baker & Taylor.
A graduate of the University of Southern California, he is married with a college-age son. He also writes extensively about entertainment.