Why a Record Number of Americans Are Putting Off Retirement

Nearly 1 in 5 Americans age 65 and older are still punching the clock.

A growing number of American seniors are pushing off retirement. In fact, with nearly 20 percent of retirement-age Americans (ages 65 and older) still punching a time clock, the United States has more workers in this age group now than it has since the early 1960s before Medicare was enacted.

Why? For many, it boils down to need. Roughly half of retirement-age Americans who are spending their golden years in the workplace said they are putting off retirement because they really need a paycheck, Bloomberg reports. That was the finding of this retirement survey, conducted by the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies. Says Bloomberg:

The financial crisis, and the tech bust before it, devastated many baby boomers’ retirement savings. That’s if they had any to begin with. Today, 60 percent of U.S. households have no money in a 401(k) or similar retirement account, and the benefits of 401(k)s are skewed toward the wealthiest Americans….

Considering the dismal reality of many Americans’ retirement savings accounts, it’s really no surprise that so many older Americans are working into their golden years.

Some Americans also continue working in retirement because they’re uncertain about spending their 401(k) assets. It’s a shift from the traditional defined-benefit pension system, which provided retirees with a monthly check.

“The ups and downs of the market can heighten their anxiety and keep them going into the office,” Bloomberg explains.

This may come as a surprise to those of you who are counting down the days until you can retire and live out the rest of your days golfing, traveling or playing with your grandkids, but 36 percent of respondents in Transamerica’s retirement survey said they’re still putting in time at the office because they like their jobs and like staying involved.

If you’re short on retirement savings and you’re planning on working in your golden years to make up for it, you may be putting the financial security of your retirement years at risk.

Half of retirees were forced to leave work earlier than anticipated last year, Money reports. Health issues, caregiving responsibilities and company restructuring are common reasons for an early departure from the workforce. Check out “Will Working Longer Rescue Your Retirement?

Do you want to make sure you have enough money to retire? Check out “6 Ways to Ensure Enough Money for Retirement.”

Are you a retirement-age American who is still working? Share your work experiences and the reasons you’ve opted to continue working below or on our Facebook page.

Stacy Johnson

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