The retirement outlook for many Americans is slightly brighter this year according to recent research studies, though the majority of workers age 60 or older still plan to put it off.
Three separate retirement studies were released in the past month, which collectively paint a disappointing—though slightly improved—retirement readiness picture. The reason for the slight improvement is a return of value to retirement programs that took a beating in the recent recession.
Still, the studies also confirm that the vast majority of Americans are ill prepared financially to face retirement. Indeed, many have called the nation’s current retirement picture a “crisis,” with the current generation less financially prepared than the generation before them.
The result is that the traditional retirement ages of 60, 62 or even 65 hold no special significance for many.
CareerBuilder: Putting off retirement
An annual survey from CareerBuilder finds that 58 percent of workers age 60 or older are currently putting off retirement. This represents a slight decline from 2013 when 61 percent said they are putting off retirement but a significant improvement from the peak of 66 percent in 2010.
As to the reasons for delaying retirement, respondents gave the following top reasons:
- 79 percent say they can’t afford to retire financially;
- 61 percent say they need the health/insurance benefits;
- 49 percent say they enjoy their job;
- 46 percent say they enjoy where they work; and
- 27 percent say they fear retirement may be boring.
The nationwide CareerBuilder survey was conducted by Harris Poll from November 6 to December 2, 2013, and polled 433 full time workers (age 60+) and 2,201 hiring and human resource managers. The study “found that 10 percent of workers in this age group feel they’ll never be able to retire, relatively unchanged from 2013 (11 percent). Half (50 percent) said they’ll be able to retire within four years – a slight improvement from 47 percent last year.”
Perhaps most encouraging is the finding that fewer works say they expect to take on full or part-time work after they retire.
Forty-five percent say they will look for work in retirement, which is a 15 point drop from the 2013 survey results (then cited by 60 percent).
CareerBuilder noted that this could indicate that mature workers now have more confidence in their finances as they near retirement, or that better access to health insurance is reducing the need to work before they reach Medicare eligibility.
“As retirement funds rebound and the economy improves, fewer workers are delaying retirement than at the height of the recession,” according to Brent Rasmusses, president of CareerBuilder North America.
“Additionally, more workers expect to be able to retire without having to pick up a part time job to supplement their incomes, and even if they are looking for work, more employers are actively recruiting within this age group than in past years.”
That last point was confirmed by Ryan Hunt, senior career advisor with CareerBuilder, who co-authored the study.
Hunt said “the majority of companies we surveyed say they will hire mature workers.”
EBRI: Not all is at it seems
Also reporting a slight improvement in retirement readiness among mature American workers is the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) which just released its annual report on the topic.