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Will You Delay Retirement?

Poll QuestionSome older Americans are putting their golden years on hold.

And who knows for how long.

A survey from the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that 47% of Americans age 50 and older plan to retire at an older age than they expected, and 82% will likely continue to do some work for pay after they retire.

The national survey of 1,024 adults over 50 also found that the recent recession had a significant effect on the group, with the average retirement age prior to the recession reported as 57. Afterward, it rose to 62.

Those planning to delay their retirement say it’s due to financial, health and a need for benefits.

More of the survey’s findings shed some light on the financial element of that decision: 39% reported having $100,000 or less in retirement savings; 24%, less than $10,000.

Again, these are folks over age 50.

We can all agree that a mere $10,000 – or realistically, even $100,000 – will not afford this group the lifestyle they always dreamed of later in life.

(Endless rounds of golf? Winters in a warm climate? Traversing the country in an RV? We think not.)

And really, we can’t stress enough how important it is to start socking away money for retirement. The earlier, the better, of course, but stockpiling savings later in life can be doable, especially given that salaries are often at a career high.

“The survey illuminates an important shift in Americans’ attitudes toward work, aging and retirement,” said Trevor Tompson, director of the AP-NORC Center, about the data’s release. “Retirement is not only coming later in life, it no longer represents a complete exit from the workforce. The data in this survey reveal strikingly different views of retirement among older workers today than those held by the prior generation.”

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