Financial Flubs That Force Older Workers to Delay Retirement

Photo by Eakachai Leesin /

The traditional retirement age of 65 is creeping closer to 70. A recent CareerBuilder survey of workers in the U.S. who are 60 or older found that:

  • 30 percent plan to retire at age 70 or older.
  • 20 percent expect they will never be able to retire.

As CareerBuilder’s chief human resources officer, Rosemary Haefner, explains the findings:

“Faced with the expectations of living healthier for longer, older adults may opt to remain in the workforce for longer and defer savings, pensions, and Social Security for older age.”

To get the information, Harris Poll surveyed 3,215 full-time workers in various industries within the private sector — 556 of them age 60 or older.

According to the survey, U.S. workers who are 60 or older think they will need the following to retire:

  • Less than $500,000 (cited by 24 percent)
  • $500,000 to less than $1 million (25 percent)
  • $1 million to less than $2 million (13 percent)
  • $2 million to less than $3 million (3 percent)
  • $3 million or more (1 percent)

So how much money do you really need to retire?

It depends. As we recently reported in “How High Is Your ‘Retirement IQ’?” many investment professionals suggest that, by the time you retire, you should have saved 10 to 12 times the amount of your last full year of income.

Save wisely for retirement

CareerBuilder found that 26 percent of workers age 55 or older do not contribute to a retirement plan like a 401(k) or an individual retirement account.

These are examples of tax-advantaged accounts — which are generally the first place you should stash retirement savings.

Employers sponsor 401(k) plans, so you’re out of luck there if your employer doesn’t offer one. But most other people can open and save money in a traditional IRA or Roth IRA — they aren’t called individual retirement accounts for nothing.

As we detail in “5 Reasons a Roth IRA Should Be Part of Your Retirement Plan“:

With tax-free growth and tax-free withdrawal opportunities, Roth IRAs provide the investment flexibility to help you achieve both retirement goals and other financial goals.

Traditional IRAs and 401(k) plans work a little differently than Roth IRAs and Roth 401(k) plans. To learn more about these accounts, check out “Confused by Retirement Accounts? Roth, Regular IRAs and 401(k)s Made Simple.”

At what age do you expect to retire, or at what age did you retire? Let us know below or on Facebook.

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