More people between ages 45 and 60 are planning to continue to punch the clock, letting go of the idea that turning 60 means a leisurely retirement life, according to a report released Friday by the nonprofit research firm, The Conference Board.
The report, which was based on data from the Conference Board Consumer Confidence Survey, found that 62 percent of workers between the ages of 45 and 60 plan to delay retirement. That's up from 42 percent in 2010.
Money -- or lack of it -- is what's motivating people to revamp their retirement planning. According to the survey, in 2012, 62 percent of people age 45 to 60 experienced a 20 percent drop in the value of their financial assets since 2008. That's compared with only 42 percent who faced this problem in 2010. In his blog, the study's co-author Gad Levanon, director of macroeconomic research for the firm, points out other likely contributing factors, including low interest rates that make it hard to live on investment income.
I thought this report had a negative tone, but it is hard to see the downside to delayed retirement. Being able to decide to stay on the job is a high-class dilemma. The Conference Board pointed out that workers who have a bachelor's degree or higher are more likely to delay retirement than less-educated workers. Business owners are more likely to delay retirement than their employees. And workers in highly paid management and professional positions are more likely than anybody to keep working.
On the other hand, government and education workers with old-fashioned defined benefit pensions tended not to delay retirement at all.
More older workers means more people paying into Social Security instead of collecting it. It also means fewer people dependent on cash-strapped Medicare. And people who work have more money to spend on job-producing goods and services than those who are cutting back to live on fixed incomes.
All in all, continuing to collect a paycheck is not a bad thing.