A little more than half of American baby boomers say they may delay their retirement – and an additional 16 percent say they never expect to stop working, according to a national survey released Thursday by the Pew Research Center’s Social & Demographic Trends Project.
The Pew Research survey indicates that the amount investors lost in the market meltdown is a big factor in whether they are re-thinking their retirement plans. Among the “Threshold Generation” (what Pew Research Center calls those aged 50 to 64), as well as among other age groups, higher-income earners are only slightly less likely than lower-income adults to have considered postponing retirement. Regardless of income or age, Pew Research Center senior editor Rich Morin writes, those who have lost 40 percent or more of their investment nest eggs are roughly twice as likely as those who haven’t lost money in the market meltdown to say they have thought about delaying their eventual exit from the workforce.
Survey results found 52 percent of full-time workers age 50 to 64 say they have thought in the past year about postponing their retirement. The survey shows the boomer population maintains a much higher proportion among all other ages in expecting to work beyond retirement age – only 37 percent of full-time employed adults overall are thinking about postponing their retirement.
Members of the Threshold Generation are twice as likely as younger workers to say they never plan to retire (16 percent vs. 8 percent), writes Morin. “Moreover, the Thresholders who do plan to retire someday say they plan to keep working, on average, until they are age 66 – when they would be four years older than the age at which current retirees 65 or older report that they stopped working.”
Recession factors aside, Morin says labor trends in the past decade also influence retirement time frames. Among those 65 and older, research finds the labor force participation rate has increased from 12.9 percent in 2000 to 16.8 percent in 2008. A similar trend is also evident among the Threshold Generation (older boomers).