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Boomers calling it quits by 65

By Jennie L. Phipps · Bankrate.com
Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Posted: 3 pm ET

Boomers are leaving the workforce in droves. Given how lousy the economy has been the last few years, I found this a surprising retirement planning phenomenon. My guess would have been that most people would look at their diminished savings and conclude, given the continuing economic uncertainty, to stay on the job. But according to a new MetLife survey, that's just not the way it is.

MetLife found that 45 percent of 65-year-old boomers are now fully retired, up from 19 percent in 2008. Another 14 percent say they are officially retired but working part time or seasonally.

Of those people older than 65 and still working, about 50 percent anticipate being able to retire before they turn 70 years old, with 37 percent saying they plan to retire in 2012. On average, these respondents say they hope to retire by age 68.5.

The chart below explains people's reasons for the decision they made to retire early or late. It doesn't reflect the biggest reason people cited for retiring no matter when they did it -- 36 percent said they'd reached retirement age, and they wanted to quit. Another 18 percent said they hung up their work boots for health reasons. Only 6 percent said they'd lost their jobs and couldn't find another. Fewer than 2 percent are job hunting.

Overall, very few retirees had regrets. Some 70 percent of those who are already retired say they like retirement "a lot," while another 20 percent say they like it "somewhat."

My husband will turn 66 in June, and he's still working -- hard. I worry that he's missing out on some great years when he could have the freedom and good health to enjoy new experiences and challenges without the pressure of a high-stress job. When I bring this up, he says he likes the job, he likes the money, and he doesn't know what else he'd do all day.

If you're a 65- or 66-year-old boomer who is still on the job, how do you feel about being in the workforce?

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285 Comments
Peter
April 08, 2012 at 9:52 pm

I will turn 65 in September,

I decided last week that 2012 will be my last year doing what I have done for a working lifetime. I really wanted to work until 66 when a convergence of issues changed my mind.

Work is so abusive now thanks to this President and all the regulations he has wrought that I find myself angry that "Democracy"has failed". I know what was and I know what is as America arguably began to devolve when JFK and Bobby Kennedy were assassinated and virtually nothing was done.

The Warren Commission was a fraud. The fact that one man could plan and kill a President in Dallas by himself is just an insult to my intelligence. This was the beginning of the end for the "system",the "quality of life,the Freedom my father and many millions came here to embrace.

The possibilities were endless with Government doing mostly what the Constitution says it should do as hard work,risk taking,education,a trade,a vibrant economy gave most at least some part of the American Dream turned nightmare!

LBJ the unelected became President followed by an illegal war that killed 65000 Americans and ruined the lives of many who returned alive and those who followed the rules. LBJ sent America to fight in Vietnam and Cambodia. Congress Never authorized the war.Social programs we could not afford turned potential into taking as the country never recovered.

Today,40 years+ later after Johnson,Nixon,Carter and now Obama Government is what my father and all the others risked everything to escape.

Government has Failed the country as Social Security,Medicare,wages earned have been stolen reflecting the impotence and corruption we have endured.

All of this and the fact that my father died never having stopped working and the ever increasing burden of Government and with it my salary,my benefits,the "fruits of a lifetime of work" are being redistributed by a man who walks like a socialist,talks like a Socialist but claims to be something else has adde4d $6 trillion to the deficit,lied over and again,sent force into Libya which under the War Powers Act is a crime is not held accountable.

I have hope that something might change but to contribute to and be victim to thugs on both sides of the aisle makes me think I better "get out" and try to experience the joy that is out there somewhere before it is too late!!

tomeyw
April 08, 2012 at 5:47 pm

I just turned 68; in June I'll celebrate (the operative word) working 45 yrs. I love what I do. I run into lots of retirees who all seem bored and trivialized worring about when the mail will come. There's no magic formula or age for retiring.

carolee ferguson
April 07, 2012 at 7:59 pm

I am 67. I work at my passion. I have a part-time seasonal job.
I work at a local ski area as a ski pro/supervisor in the ski
and ride school. I work with 4-7 yr. olds. So rewarding and lots of fun!!

Mike Ballinger
April 07, 2012 at 9:15 am

I am 64 and working full time. I retired from the USAF at age 42, a large Pharma company at age 55 and now work for a biotech company. I have a great boss, great team and work for a great company. Leaving will be hard.

PAT PADUCH
April 06, 2012 at 10:07 pm

Folks,
Since most people have a very poor understanding of financial matters due to the great USA education system, these people have no idea of what the future holds for most older people. The average saved is around $100,000.00 and the rest is social security which one can not count on. Their money may last 7 to 10 years and then what will they do? Time will tell. I believe that one should work as long as possible and save as much as possible. If any is left over at the end, then the next generation can use the help. Regards

old engineer
April 06, 2012 at 7:35 pm

I retired at 55, not because I wanted to or had the money, but because my boss put me in a position where I felt I either retire and keep my pension, or be fired if I didn't do something dishonest.

james bosch
April 06, 2012 at 5:38 pm

I'm 61 and will retire at 62 because I can't stand my boss and
my company won't let me change departments. I'm the last one
in the department to escape. Everybody else has gotten
out one way or another. I wonder if a bad boss is one
of those "other" reasons people retire early. I wish that
had been on the questionnaire. Boomers cannot so easily
move from a bad situation. Retirement is the last escape hatch.

Chuck
April 05, 2012 at 9:56 pm

Are you kidding me,keep working till 65.
I retire at 63, enjoy every minutes of it. every day seems not enough time to do all I like without pressure, I am really free, Besides, I made 3 trips already in 10 months.
Life is short, let next generation fill our job, don't be an obstacle, unemployment is still high because so many old folks just doesn't want to leave their job, some of them are greedy, some of them just self absorted, some of them don't have a life except their job!

Tom
April 05, 2012 at 6:08 pm

Just got in from my daily walk on the beach. Went to farmers market this morning. We love being retired and just doing what we want.
We were both burned out on our jobs and able to take a pension. We are age 52 and thought with unknown future events like health and Mayan end of times, why chance it.
We live by "spend less than you make"

Sam Boroughs
April 05, 2012 at 7:25 am

I planned my early retirement so that we live OK
on SS

#1 I live in a low tax rural area (no water or sewer bills)
#2 I do not have or want Cable or other costly TV
(over air has more than we can look at)
#3 We only eat out when traveling
#4 No car (not needed as daughter helps with all shopping)

HAPPY with desresinary money available