More Americans Delaying Retirement

New York— Feb. 1

Even as stock prices rise, unemployment drops, more U.S. workers than ever are planning to delay retirement, according to a new Executive Action Report from The Conference Board.

“Trapped on the Worker Treadmill?” revisits research questions originally incorporated in The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Survey in 2010, when 42 percent of survey respondents reported plans to delay retirement. Returning to the subject two years later, researchers have found a substantial — and surprising — spike in that number: In August 2012, the proportion of 45- to 60-year-olds expecting to run the “rat race” into their “golden years” had grown to 62 percent.

The study found that workers aged 45–60 who’ve experienced a job loss, salary cut or significant decline in home price are much more likely to have plans for delaying retirement. The proportion of respondents reporting each of those three misfortunes rose between 2010 and 2012, but only enough to explain some of the dramatic overall growth in retirement postponement, according to the study.

In fact, the upward trend was apparent across all “impact categories” compared to 2010. Plans to delay retirement grew among those who’d lost a job, those who’d had their salary cut and even those who’d not been significantly impacted by the recession, the study found.

Likewise, across all regional, ethnic, gender and income lines, older workers are preparing to extend their daily grind.

A major factor in the growth of their numbers, according to the study, is the continued depletion of savings. The U.S. recession officially ended in July 2009 and the stock market has rebounded strongly since then. In 2012, however, 62 percent of 45- to 60-year-olds reported at least a 20 percent decline in the value of their financial assets since the start of the crisis, up from 42 percent in 2010.

Source: the Conference Board