New results from Sun Life Financial’s Unretirement Index reveal an increase in retirement postponement, says the company’s U.S. division. The index, which gauges how current economic, social and financial trends will impact future American retirement plans, indicates that 65 percent of American workers now intend to delay their retirement by at least one year.
Additionally, 27 percent now believe they will need to remain active in the workforce for at least five years longer than anticipated. The statistics come alongside revelations that Americans are less confident than ever about their retirement planning. In fact, only 40 percent of American workers believe they will have enough money to handle basic living expenses during their retirement. Furthermore, only 28 percent feel confident about their preparations for retirement.
Wes Thompson, president of Sun Life Financial responded to the index’s findings saying, “The Unretirement Index also shows how lower levels of confidence are affecting the American psyche and psychologically explain why Americans are making these decisions that impact our society.”
These reasons have been illustrated in some of the most striking findings of the index. In the past, the index found that the most common reason people stayed in the workforce past the age of 67 was “to stay mentally engaged.” As of today, that reasoning appears to have shifted in response to economic trends, as the most popular reason is now is “to earn enough money to live well,” as cited by 84 percent of Americans. The growing concern over future stability is evidenced in a final statistic from the Unretirement Index: “58 percent of American workers are planning to work past age 67 because they don’t believe social security will be available – an 11 percent increase in the last year.”
The Unretirement Index was created by Sun Life to learn more about the motivation behind American retirement planning and why Americans choose to “unretire” or continue working full- or part-time beyond the traditional age of retirement. The company defines “unretirement” as working less than 20 hours per week after the age when one is eligible to receive Social Security benefits. For more on the Unretirement Index, visit www.unretirementindex.com.