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By Marlene Y. Satter

Whatever other goals they may have, people just aren’t looking forward to retirement the way they used to — even those who have already retired.

That’s what can be concluded from a survey conducted for the Federal Reserve for its report on economic well-being, which presented several grim facts about the U.S. population and its progress (or lack thereof) toward retirement.

Among the most troubling facts were these: Among those aged 55-64, those who should be on the verge of leaving the workplace for some hard-earned leisure, 19 percent had nothing saved toward retirement.

That’s nothing, as in a big fat goose egg, not even a nest, let alone an egg.

But they’re not the only ones.

Nearly a third of the population is in the same boat, with an empty place where retirement money should be tucked away.

And almost half of adults aren’t even thinking about retirement anyway, and, considering the number who have had to postpone even the possibility of it, perhaps it’s not all that surprising.

Almost half of the non-planners said they’d given only a little thought to planning for retirement; the other half said they hadn’t done any planning at all.

At least part of the blame for postponing retirement can be laid at the door of the Great Recession, which forced 40 percent of those 45 and older who hadn’t yet retired to put off their target date.

Among the 55-64 age group, nearly a quarter have given up on the idea of retiring and plan to work as long as they can; women were more likely to say that than men.

Another 18 percent will “retire” but keep working at a part-time job, and 9 percent will “retire” and then turn to self-employment. Only 18 percent still stick to the traditional approach of setting a retirement date and then completely stop working at that time.

The Fed’s report is based on an online survey of more than 4,100 people between mid-September and early October last year.

Originally published on BenefitsPro.com
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