Over the past 12 months, the amount of near-retirees who have decided to push off the end of their careers has doubled to 40% of survey respondents, according to a new Nationwide Retirement Institute survey.
These delays serve as proof of the economic toll that inflation and erratic market conditions appear to be taking on people of retirement age, and are affecting a wider group than the 2021 COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
“Last year, we found that the impacts of COVID-19 caused 20% of participants to delay their retirement,” Amelia Dunlap, VP of marketing at Nationwide Retirement Solutions, wrote in a column for Nasdaq. “When we circled back to this group a year later, our survey revealed that challenging economic conditions since then have further eroded the confidence of U.S. workers – with 40% of workers now expecting to retire later than anticipated.”
Postponing the end of a career is a difficult choice in tough times, Dunlap said, which is why certain financial services professionals should keep such opportunities in mind in order to help provide seniors with clarity about options they could explore.
“This highlights why it’s an important time for plan sponsors, and the financial professionals and consultants who support them, to help workers regain their retirement confidence,” Dunlap said.
In addition, more American workers are feeling like their retirement goals are increasingly out of reach, which is being felt well beyond the senior demographic.
“For American workers, the overall outlook on retirement has changed significantly since 2021, as roughly one in four employees feel they are on the wrong track for retirement and fewer than six in 10 have a positive outlook on their retirement plan and financial investments,” Dunlap wrote. “Younger employees are also feeling the strain. The study found that employees aged 35-44 report in higher numbers than those 45+ that they feel confused or panicked about their retirement plans and financial investments.”
While public sector employees feel more generally confident in their retirements — likely due to employee pensions for many public employees — employers have a pivotal role to play in increasing the level of security their employees feel for their futures.
“Now is the time for employers to work with their retirement plan advisor or consultant and record keepers to find the right investment solutions to address the challenges associated delayed retirements,” Dunlap said. “Guaranteed lifetime income solutions can help set up a workforce for long-term financial security and set the stage for growth of the next generation of talent.”
Read the column at Nasdaq.