Retirement Delayed - The Missourian: Opinion

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Retirement Delayed

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Posted: Wednesday, October 16, 2013 6:30 pm

The times do change and outlooks on life also change. A poll released Monday points to a reality: People are accepting the fact that they will have to work a bit longer before retiring. The recession had something to do with altering the outlook for many Americans as to their retirement plans.

The poll was by the Associated Press and the NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. The poll revealed there is considerable job satisfaction among people near what used to be a retirement age of 62 or 65 years. Some 82 percent of working Americans over 50 say it is likely they will work for pay when they do retire.

The survey found that 47 percent of working survey respondents now expect to retire later than they had previously thought and, on average, plan to call it quits at about age 66, or nearly three years later than their estimate when they were 40. Men, racial minorities, parents of minor children, those earning less than $50,000 a year and those without health insurance were more likely to put off their plans to retire.

People are living longer and in better health in their older years. We have felt for years, many of the people who retired in their early 60s or at 65, still had much to offer in their fields of endeavor and that the experience they had was wasted in retirement. Retirement looked good to many people, but after they entered that lifestyle they became bored and were heard to say, “I should never have retired when I did.” Certainly that attitude is not found to be 100 percent among our millions of retirees.

We all know people who retired and now are working part or full time, many at jobs that do not require the expertise and skills they have. Many people in that category simply are bored and want something to do. Most are selective and are doing something they enjoy to a point.

The poll also pointed out that some of the people experienced a downward movement in their 401(k) plans, which has affected their retirement plans. When considering factors that are very or extremely important in their retirement decisions, 78 percent cited financial needs, 75 percent said health, 68 percent their ability to do the job, and 67 percent said their need for employer benefits such as health insurance.

Most of us know people who were offered buyouts, didn’t want to retire, but were fearful if they didn’t take the offer, their future at that company would be uncertain.

Another factor in all of this is that some of the lost jobs in certain fields are gone forever. The working climate has changed.

What the poll found was not surprising. The mood on retirement has changed in the minds of many people.

/opinion

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