Survey: Retirement Outlook Improving

Chicago — Feb. 27

The Great Recession caused many workers to delay retirement plans or forego them completely, but an annual CareerBuilder survey shows a slightly more optimistic picture for full-time workers nearing the end of their careers.

About 58 percent of workers age 60 or older say they are currently putting off retirement, according to the survey, down from 61 percent in 2013 and a peak of 66 percent in 2010.

The nationwide survey conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder from Nov. 6 to Dec. 2 among a sample of 433 full-time workers aged 60 years and older and 2,201 hiring and human resources managers found that 10 percent of workers in this age group feel they’ll never be able to retire, relatively unchanged from 2013. Half say they’ll be able to retire within four years, a slight improvement from 47 percent last year, the survey showed.

Fewer workers are planning to take on full or part-time work after they retire from their current job. Forty-five percent said they’ll look for work post-retirement, a significant 15 point drop from 2013 (60 percent). This could be a sign mature workers are gaining more confidence in their finances as retirement nears or that better access to health insurance is lessening the need to work before reaching Medicare eligibility.

Among those who do plan on working post-retirement, consulting, retail and customer service work are the most popular disciplines, according to the survey.

Those delaying retirement differs greatly by gender. Women (71 percent) are far more likely to delay retirement than men (49 percent). Eighteen percent of women (age 60+) don’t think they will ever be able to retire, compared to 7 percent of men.

Economic factors are the most significant roadblocks to retirement, the survey said, but working late into one’s life is often a voluntary choice.

The following are the top reasons workers delay retirement:

• I can’t afford to retire financially: 79 percent
• I need the health insurance/benefits: 61 percent
• I enjoy my job: 49 percent
• I enjoy where I work: 46 percent
• I fear retirement may be boring: 27 percent

The survey provided good news for workers looking for a new job at the end of their career. Fifty-three percent of employers plan to hire mature workers, or those aged 50 and older, in 2014 — up from 48 percent last year.

A third (34 percent) of employers said they received applications from mature workers for entry-level positions. Seventy-seven percent of employers said they’d consider hiring a mature worker for a job they are overqualified for, and only nine percent said they wouldn’t on the basis of not being able to match salary demands.

Source: CareerBuilder