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Boomer faculty members delaying retirement

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Many baby boomer faculty members plan to delay their retirement, new research shows.

Fidelity Investments discloses this finding in a summary of results from its Higher Education Faculty study. The report examines the behaviors and attitudes of baby boomer (ages 49-67) faculty members at higher education institutions.

The research finds that 74 percent of boomers plan to delay retirement past the age of 65, or never retire. When asked the reasons for this delay, they not only cited professional reasons (81 percent), but also economic concerns (69 percent), suggesting a need for more financial guidance.

Among boomer faculty members who attribute their delayed retirement to economic reasons, 55 percent are unsure they have enough retirement savings. Additionally, 42 percent want to maximize Social Security payments and 42 percent believe they will need continued health insurance.

Among faculty boomers who will delay retirement due to professional reasons, 89 percent want to stay busy and productive, 64 percent say they love their work too much to give it up, and 41 percent are unwilling to relinquish continued access to, and affiliation with, their institution.

While the reasons for delaying retirement range from economic to personal, many survey respondents indicate they need help in specific areas as they consider their financial future. Six in 10 (61 percent) faculty boomers are confident they can learn about investments and finance on their own, but 70 percent do not have a formal investment plan for their retirement savings, the survey states.

Additionally, seven in 10 (70 percent) faculty boomers say they have at least some experience as investors. But when asked in which areas they need financial guidance, 43 percent say they need help choosing specific investments, 36 percent want help developing a formal plan for their retirement savings strategy, and 35 percent want help assessing their overall financial picture, goals and needs.


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