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Senior Workers Wrestle with When to Retire

What factors most impact the decision on when to retire?

| BY Donald Liebenson

When to retire; that is the question for workers approaching the age of 60. A new CareerBuilder survey finds that nearly six-in-ten of these workers are delaying retirement due to the prolonged economic recovery from the 2008 economic collapse.

The good news, though, is that this is an improvement in the when to retire mindset. In 2013, 61 percent said they would be either delaying retirement plans or foregoing them entirely. In 2010, that percentage was an unprecedented 66 percent. In the new survey, 10 percent of workers ages 60 and up feel like they will never be able to retire, basically unchanged from last year (11 percent) while half said they will be able to retire within four years, up from 47 percent from 2013.

As retirement funds rebound and the economy improves, fewer workers are delaying retirement than at the height of the recession,” observed Brent Rasmussen, president of CareerBuilder North America, in a statement. “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, more employers are actively recruiting within this age group than in past years.”

Forty-five percent of respondents to the CareerBuilder survey said they will look for work post-retirement, a 15-point decline from last year. Those who plan on seeking at least part time employment in their retirement years, consulting, retail and customer service are the most popular career disciplines.

A recent Spectrem’s Millionaire Corner retirement income study reported similar findings regarding post-retirement work plans. Forty-three percent said they would work part time to stay busy and to earn a little “walking around” money, while one –fourth said they would continue to work in their primary occupation but on a reduced or limited schedule. Nearly three-in-ten did say they would seek full-time employment.

There is a retirement gender gap regarding the when to retire question. Seven-in-ten women said they will delay retirement vs. 49 percent of men. Eighteen percent of women at least 60 years-old bemoaned that they may never be able to retire compared to just 7 percent of men.

Nearly eight-in-ten of survey respondents said that at present they cannot afford to retire. Other factors impacting their decision on when to retire are:

I need the health insurance benefits (61 percent)

I enjoy my job (49 percent)

I enjoy where I work (46 percent)

I fear retirement may be boring (27 percent)



About the Author

Donald Liebenson


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.