Retirement Outlook Improves Post-Recession, But Still Shaky for Many

The economy continues to improve, bolstering Americans’ dreams of a not-too-distant retirement. 

The number of workers age 60 or older currently delaying retirement has reached a post-recession low of 53% — down from 58% last year and 66% in 2010, according to CareerBuilder’s annual retirement survey. 

“As household financial situations continue to rebound from the recession, economic confidence among senior workers is significantly improving,” said Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer for CareerBuilder, in a statement. 

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Still, findings from the nationwide survey — which polled 438 full-time workers age 60-plus and 2,192 hiring and human resources managers — suggest retirement is still far off or unlikely for many.

Of those Americans age 60 or older who are currently delaying retirement, 75% cite the recession as a cause. Another 12% don’t think they will ever be able to retire – up slightly from 11% last year – and nearly half (49%) feel retirement is at least 5 years out.  

“Reaching retirement, however, is proving to be a challenge for millions,” Haefner said. “Fortunately, for those workers needing a new job near the end of their careers, employers are hiring seniors at a faster rate than we’ve seen in recent memory.”

According to the survey, 54% of private-sector employers hired workers age 50-plus in 2014 – up six points from last year’s 48% – and 57% plan to do so in 2015.

This is good news for the 54% of senior workers who say they’ll continue to work after retiring from their current career, a number that has increased from 45% last year. 

Of this group, 81% say they’ll most likely work part time, while 19% plan to continue working full time. Customer service, retail and consulting are the three most common jobs these workers plan to pursue.

While many cite the inability to retire due to household financial situations (78%) and the need for health insurance and benefits (60%), some senior workers simply don’t want to stop working, the survey finds. 

One-third of the workers delaying retirement aren’t calling it quits because they enjoy their job; 28% are delaying retirement because “they enjoy where they work” and 26% “fear retirement may be boring.”

A vast majority of senior workers not planning to work post-retirement intend to focus on relaxation (70%) and spending time with family and friends (57%). One in six workers say they are taking this time in their life to pursue a dream job or passion project. 

Written by Emily Study

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