73% of Middle Income Boomers Putting the Brakes on Retirement

The economic downturn has forced 73% of middle class Baby Boomers to rethink when they can retirement, with 79% saying they will delay retirement by an average of five years according to a new report from Bankers Life and Casualty Company Center for a Secure Retirement (SM) (CSR).

The study focused on 500 middle-income Americans between ages 47 and 65 with income between $25,000 and $75,000, found that one in seven (14 percent) believe that they will never be able to retire due to the turbulent economy.

Several factors have contributed to the shift in retirement outlook, with 71% worrying about outliving their money once they retire.  Another 68% said they experienced a decline in the value of their retirement accounts within the past three years and more than half (55 percent) have saved less than $100,000.

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In light of the recent decline in the economy, working in retirement is fast becoming a new reality for many middle-income Americans.  The CSR’s study found that three out of four (75 percent) expect that their retirement will involve work in some form and more than half (57 percent) say that they will have to work for financial reasons.

While most people expect that they’ll be able to choose when they retire, two-thirds (64 percent) of survey participants are concerned about being forced to retire, most commonly due to loss of employment (44 percent) or failing health or disability (40 percent).

“Whether you hope to retire in five or 15 years, it’s not too late to create an achievable plan,” said Scott Perry, president of Bankers Life and Casualty Company, a national life and health insurer. “Middle-income Boomers should take full advantage of the retirement savings opportunities through their employer or a professional advisor, reduce financial debt, practice healthy living and help insure against life’s uncertainties, whether it’s health costs, long-term care or out-living one’s savings.”

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View a copy of the study here.