To retire or not to retire: Are your clients delaying their Golden Years?

By Paul Wilson

ProducersWEB


While retirement has traditionally been viewed as a time to travel the country, garden and spend time with the grandkids, a new study hints that many Americans’ ideas about an ideal retirement could be changing.

By now, we’ve all heard that a large percentage of Americans are being forced to delay retirement due to inadequate savings and the lingering effects of a tumultuous economy. But according to new research by T. Rowe Price, a majority of younger Americans are already planning to work after they retire; not because they have to, but because they want to.

Approximately 7 in 10 adults between the ages of 21 and 50 said they intend to work full-time or part-time, with less than one-quarter saying they would do so for financial reasons, the report said.

Actually, this evolution towards a more active retirement appears to already be underway, thanks to the boomers. A study released last year found that 86 percent of boomers intend to live a more active retirement lifestyle than their parents, while 70 percent said they plan to continue working at least part time.

According to Christine Fahlund, senior financial planner with T. Rowe Price, there are benefits in taking a “practice run” at retirement while still receiving a steady paycheck. For one thing, it allows investors to fund their active lifestyle with current income, easing the strain on retirement savings and delaying Social Security payments.

In addition, a so-called working retirement is a good opportunity for investors to pay off mortgages and other debt, and make big-ticket purchases that they can enjoy throughout retirement, Fahlund said.

It must be said that all of this flies in the face of yet another study, released earlier this month by MetLife, that found that the majority of boomers are, in fact, retiring right on time. Hey, in this age of non-stop information and contradictory reports, did you really expect it to be cut and dry?

In fact, no one knows the truth better than those of you out their talking to people every day. Have you noticed a change in your clients’ attitudes toward retirement? Are people really delaying retirement — voluntarily or not — or has this whole thing been overblown?

I must say, as much as I admire all those seniors out there enrolling in samba lessons and taking on an extra job to pay for it, I can think of worse ways to spend my 65th birthday than sitting in a hammock with a good book.