Industry Market Trends

What's Happening to Retirement?

Feb 27, 2013

A majority of employees age 60 and older say they will delay their retirement, and some workers do not think they will ever be able to retire, a new survey reveals.  

Credit: Stuart Miles at Credit: Stuart Miles at

While most (60 percent) older workers claim that they will look for a new job after they retire from their current company, 12 percent admit they may never stop working. The nationwide survey, conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of CareerBuilder, polled more than 680 U.S. workers age 60 and older in November 2012.

When asked how soon they will retire, 27 percent of employees predicted one to two years from now, while 20 percent indicated they will quit work for good in three to four years. Another 27 percent said they plan to retire in seven to eight years, with only 4 percent indicating that they will retire in more than 10 years.

According to a 2012 Gallup report, the average expected retirement age is now 67, up from 60 in the mid-90s, due to a decline in financial security, as Americans recover from the recession, stock market volatility, and the housing bust.

A survey from the Employee Benefit Research Institute revealed that workers' confidence in their ability to retire comfortably is "stagnant at historically low levels," with just 14 percent expressing confidence in their financial readiness to retire. The survey, which polled 1,003 workers and 259 retirees, also revealed that debt and savings are major obstacles to retirement. Sixty-two percent of workers surveyed indicated that their debt level is a problem and more than a quarter (30 percent) said that they have less than $1,000 in savings.

For those who choose to continue working, there is some positive news: Employees who wait until age 70 to retire will receive 32 percent more in social security benefits than those who retire at age 66. Older workers looking for employment are also in luck. CareerBuilder also found that 48 percent of employers plan to hire workers age 50 and over in 2013, up from 44 percent who hired employees in the same age bracket in 2012.

Working past retirement has a downside, however, and can hurt employers faced with additional health care and disability costs, Benefitspro explains. Moreover, delaying retirement can also have a negative impact on younger workers' career opportunities.

Yet for older workers who need to stay employed, Brent Rasmussen, president of CareerBuilder North America, says that employers are usually open-minded. "The majority of workers who have talked with their bosses about staying on past retirement found their companies to be open to retaining them," he said. If you're approaching retirement age but hope to continue working, an open line of communication is very important."

Careerbuilder offers helpful tips for older workers looking to stay employed and valuable to their companies.