(CareerBuilder news release) 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.
A majority (58 percent) of workers age 60 or older say they are currently putting off retirement; however, this is 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 November 6 to December 2, 2013 among a representative sample of 433 full-time workers (age 60+) 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 (11 percent). Half (50 percent) say they’ll be able to retire within four years – a slight improvement from 47 percent last year.
“While achieving a secure retirement is still a challenge for many in the workforce, the survey points to some positive trends,” said Brent Rasmussen, president of CareerBuilder North America. “As retirement funds rebound and the economy improves, fewer workers are delaying retirement than at the height of the recession. Additionally, more workers expect to be able to retire without having to pick up a part time job to supplement their incomes, and even if they are looking for work, more employers are actively recruiting within this age group than in past years.”
Plans to work post retirement
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.
Retirement gender gap
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.
Why are workers delaying retirement?
Economic factors are the most significant roadblocks to retirement, but working late into one’s life is often a voluntary choice, the survey found. 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