The 60-plus set can't afford to retire

By Chavon Sutton, staff reporter


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- More people say they just don't have the money to retire these days.

Seventy-two percent of workers over the age of 60 who are putting off retirement are doing so because they can't afford it, according to a survey by Careerbuilder.com, a career resources website.

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The results from the survey indicate more pessimism than in 2008, when about 60% of retirement-aged workers blamed the economy for delaying retirement.

"People have taken a step back," said Michael Erwin, a senior career advisor at Careerbuilder.com. "They are keeping an eye to the economy and making sure they feel secure before going ahead with their retirement plans."

Fear of retirement is highest among women. According to the survey, some 76% of women said they were not financially secure enough to stop working, compared to 68% of men.

Women have good reason to worry because they outlive men, says Tom Warschauer, a finance professor and director of financial planning programs at San Diego State University.

"Women live 4 to 5 years longer than men on average," he said. "If men and women save the same amount, women would be less prepared."

Health care was another major reason for staying in the rat race. About half of those surveyed said they need health insurance and other benefits, especially as the health care debate rages on in Washington.

"They're watching what's happening on Capitol Hill," said Erwin. "If something isn't passed that will help them, they're staying put."

Still, a majority of workers said they were just plain happy with their jobs. The survey found that 71% of workers said they were postponing retirement because they enjoyed working and didn't want to leave.

Warschauer, who at 67 is also facing the question of what to do after he retires, says he too simply likes his work. "For me, I'm dealing with young people," the professor said. "You can't have a better job than that."

And employers are happy to have these more mature workers, according to the survey. Twenty-seven percent of hiring managers surveyed said that they have been approached by employees looking to delay retirement, and are open to retaining these workers.

"Employers are thinking toward the future," said Careerbuilder.com's Michael Erwin. "If you keep mature workers, they have huge intellectual capital and can teach and mentor younger workers, in lieu of training programs that were cut in recession."

Careerbuilder.com surveyed 792 U.S. workers over age 60 and 2,720 hiring managers between Nov. 5 and Nov. 23 of last year.  To top of page

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