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Study: Younger boomers dramatically impacted by recession

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The effects of the recession on retirement goals are hitting younger boomers particularly hard. Americans age 40 to 49 lead all demographics in expecting to work five years longer than planned; seventy-seven percent say they want to work longer in order to receive health care benefits, according to Sun Life Financial’s latest edition of its Unretirement Index.

The latest poll was completed in December with a previous poll conducted in August last year, measuring the outcome of the economic crisis as it hit Americans hardest. Those who expect to work at least 20 hours per week beyond the age of 67 say they will do so to “earn enough money to live well.” This reason is a dramatic change from August, when the most popular reason was “to stay mentally engaged.” The number of Americans who cite they will continue working “for health care benefits” rose from the sixth primary reason to the third most common answer, with 64 percent now listing it as a reason to postpone retirement.

One positive note from the study, according to Sun Life Financial, is that 90 percent of Americans have not had to withdraw any of their retirement savings from long-term investment products like IRAs, 401(k)s and annuities. Despite this, confidence that government benefit programs like Social Security and Medicare will remain solvent continued falling, especially among workers in their thirties and forties.