More than half of the oldest boomers are now fully retired, mostly because they are ready to stop working, a MetLife Mature Market Institute study found. Just 17% of retired boomers born in 1946 were forced to stop working for health reasons and 10% stopped working due to a job loss.
A fifth of retired boomers suffered a drop in their standard of living after retirement. For most, unexpected and high costs were the main reason, but 35% said they didn’t have enough retirement income. Only 12% said they had enough but ran out.
GfK Custom Research North America surveyed more than 1,000 respondents at the end of 2012 on behalf of MetLife. All respondents were born in 1946; they turned 66, their full retirement age, in 2012.
MetLife found only 8% of boomers retired later than they thought they would, and of those, 26% kept working simply because they liked it. Some boomers are partially retired, with 14% working part time. Those partially retired boomers said they planned to retire at 71, up from 69 in 2011. Twenty-one percent are still working full time.
“They are poised to remain active and engaged. As their nests empty, they seem to be largely feeling healthy and positive,” Sandra Timmermann, Ed.D., director of the MetLife Mature Market Institute, said in a statement. “On the negative side, a good half of this group may not have achieved their retirement savings goals and are not confident about paying for the next phase of their lives.”