essays

What’s Holding Up Retirement?

nest eggI would have thought there was only one good reason to delay retirement, but according to a U.S. News and World Report article, there are 10 good reasons.

According to a Towers Watson survey of over 3,000 full-time employed boomers, almost half now plan to retire later than they would have thought two years ago.

Well, duh. Two years ago we watched as our savings, home equity and 401ks started to tank. That would change your outlook on when to stop working. 28% of those surveyed said they will work 3-5 years longer and 31% plan to work 5 years longer.

So, as they do it on the David Letterman show, here are the top ten reasons to delay retirement.

Number 10...Longer life expectancy.

Number 9...Supporting family members. Say no more.

Number 8...Home value declines. It’s no time to downsize if home values are still depressed.

Number 7...Lower pay increases. Boomer salaries/income have peaked and stalled.

Number 6...Pension cuts. The payouts are shrinkng so boomers are trying to extend time paid in.

Number 5...The ability to work. If you can still work why not continue. It may improve your chances of maintaining good health.

Number 4...Cost-of-living increases. Boomers are trying to pay off debt and reduce their expenses before retirement.

Number 3...401(k) declines. Waiting to see if their portfoliios recover.

Number 2...Rising health care costs. old lady flashing birdDon’t we know it.

and the Number 1 reason to delay retirement...

Health care coverage. Boomers want to keep what they have until eligible for Medicare.

Just as I thought at the outset. Show us the money. Every reason to delay retirement is about struggling to afford an acceptable standard of living when we stop working.

Once again, baby boomers are going to be on the cutting edge of a movement -- in this case, the work til you drop movement. Human interest stories will abound concerning the cheerful geriatrics carrying golf clubs and wiping down cars at the carwash.

I can hardly wait.

Jay Harrison is a graphic designer and writer whose work can be seen at DesignConcept. He's written a mystery novel, which therefore makes him a pre-published author.

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