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Are Boomers Ready to Retire? It’s Complicated

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Boomers are heading into retirement with some trepidation, according to a report from Jackson. The “Defining the Future” survey, released Thursday, found 38% of boomers feel “pensive” when they think about their impending retirement, more than the percentage of respondents who said they were either “empowered,” “excited” or “scared.”

“There has been a tendency for some in the financial services industry to perceive that investors are either 100% ready to leave the work force or are completely unprepared. Based on our survey results, the actual landscape appears to be far more complicated,” Jackson stated in the survey.

About the same percentage — 39.4% — of respondents said they plan to stop working completely sometime between the ages of 65 and 70, the survey found.

However, the remaining respondents were evenly divided in their plans to stop working. About one in five said they will either continue working past the traditional retirement age; will find a new job after retiring from their career, even if it pays less; or plan on working as long as they can because they love their job or just like working.

“The fact that more than 20% landed in all three ancillary categories signifies the beginning of a shift in the way Americans view their financial future,” according to the survey.

Of the workers who plan to delay retirement for some time past the traditional age (20.4%), Jackson said they are making a calculated move to guard against retirement shortfalls. “There are still other investors surveyed who are interested in retiring on time, but who believe they are unable to do so. This distinction is small, but it is an important indication that perception can make quite a bit of difference when it comes to planning for the future.”

Jackson cited the relative ease with which Americans can open new businesses as a driver for the respondents who plan on switching careers (20.1%).

The same percentage of respondents said they just aren’t going to stop working; they either love their job or don’t want to leave the work force. Jackson called this the most surprising finding from the study, and one that could change the way advisors talk about retirement with their clients.

“With a large percentage of U.S. workers making the choice to stay in the work force on their own terms, it is becoming increasingly important for both financial services providers and advisors to ensure they are equipped to engage with, understand and support this unique group of investors,” the report says.

— Check out Why Are So Many Boomers Working Longer? on ThinkAdvisor.


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