Industry Market Trends

New Study: Aging Americans Are Postponing Retirement

Oct 15, 2013

Older workers are staying on the job rather than retiring to afternoons of golf or gardening and about half of Americans aged 50 and up are looking for employment, according to a new study. The average retirement age has increased from 57 to 62 since the Great Recession.

Almost 20 percent of those who are employed say that they are working beyond the age that they expected to at age 40, according to a study by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs.

While 34 percent of respondents say that they will get into retirement mode between the age of 64 and 69, 11 percent admit that they never plan to leave their job.

Financial need is a key factor in the decision to delay retirement, however older Americans are healthier than ever and increasingly able to hold on to their jobs. And as the average life span increases, many workers feel they can be productive longer.

Job satisfaction is another key factor in delaying retirement, according to the study, which compiled the responses of 1,024 Americans aged 50 and older. Almost all (9 put of 10) who are working past the age of 50 said they are "somewhat" or "very satisfied" with their jobs.

Older job seekers are on employers' radar: 48 percent of managers said they planned to hire workers age 50 and older this year, according to a recent CareerBuilder survey. Last year, 44 percent of employers said they hired workers age 50 and older.

"We're seeing more than three-quarters of mature workers putting off retirement, largely due to financial concerns, but also as a personal decision made by people who enjoy their work," Brent Rasmussen, president of CareerBuilder North America, said in a statement. He advises workers who want to stay on their jobs to keep an open line of communication with their managers.

Despite high job satisfaction rates, one-in-five working Americans age 50 and older report that they have experienced discrimination at the workplace, such as getting passed over for a raise or a promotion, according to the AP-NORC study. Twelve percent of the respondents say they have received certain "unwanted" assignments, while 9 percent say they have been denied access to training or the chance to require new skills. Eight percent say they were laid off, fired, or forced to retire due to their age.

For advice on getting back into the workforce, visit Career Journal for updates.

See related: What's Happening to Retirement?