Older Workers Expect to Delay Retirement Due to Economic Turmoil

AARP study says 20% of workers have also stopped putting money into retirement accounts

If the economy does not improve significantly, over six in 10 workers aged 45 and older say it is likely they will delay retirement and work longer, then spend less in retirement, according to the grim results of a recent survey undertaken by the AARP on how the economic crisis is impacting Americans.

Because of recent changes in the economy during the past 12 months, 24% of workers aged over 45 say they have increased the number of hours they work and 20% have actually stopped putting money into a 401(k), IRA, or other retirement account, according to the survey. Twenty eight percent of respondents felt their savings were not on track for retirement before the economy slowed down, and nearly six in ten respondents think they are not saving enough for retirement.

According to the AARP, the study has shown that employer-provided pension coverage needs to be greatly increased. "There is considerable distress among vulnerable elements of the population suggesting that the most at-risk individuals may be the hardest hit," the group argues on its Web site. "Middle-aged workers (aged 45-49) need to make saving for their retirement a priority, and most workers are relying on working longer to compensate for retirement nest-egg shortfalls."

The study was conducted for AARP via telephone by International Communications Research (ICR). Interviews were conducted September 3-21, 2008, among a nationally representative sample of 1,628 employed respondents aged 45 and older.

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