What do you fear about retirement?

Jul 20, 2009

Planning to Work Past Retirement Age — Get Real!

Largely due to the recent recession, many baby boomers say they plan to work longer to allow investments time to grow and to increase the amount of money in their retirement accounts. A good number plan to work well past the traditional retirement age of 60 or 65.

If you are one of these people, it's time to get real. According to a recent survey by the Employee Benefit Research Institute, almost half (47 percent) of current retirees didn’t retire at the age they had planned on. Indeed, the large majority left earlier than they wanted. Only 10 percent of the retirees offered positive reasons for early retirement whereas 90 percent permanently left their jobs early for negative reasons.

Interestingly, almost a quarter of current employees (23 percent) aim to work until age 65, but only 12 percent of retirees left the workforce at that age.

A whopping 21 percent of employees say that they will work until age 70 or longer, but just 5 percent of workers of retirement age managed to continue working into their 70s.

What's more, while only 3 percent of people plan to retire before age 55, 18 percent of current retirees left their jobs in their early 50s.

Fact is, involuntary early retirement is a lot more common than most people are aware of and few people find adequate Jobs for Retirement.

Here are some of the reasons that people retire early:

  • A health problem or disability was the most common reason employees leave the workforce earlier than they wanted. (42 percent).

  • Over a third (34 percent) of the retirees surveyed became unexpectedly retired due to a downsizing or business closure.

  • A sizable number of people were also forced out of their jobs to care for a spouse or another family member (18 percent).

  • Other reasons cited for early retirement were work-related reasons including outdated skills.

Here are some resources to help your retire earlier than you planned:

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