It’s a grim picture for older workers: half either plan to postpone retirement till at least age 70, or else to forego retirement altogether.
That’s the depressing conclusion of a recent CareerBuilder survey, which finds that 30 percent of U.S. workers aged 60 or older don’t plan to retire until at least age 70—and possibly not then, either.
Another 20 percent don’t believe they will ever be able to retire.
Why? Well, money—or, rather, the lack of it—is the main reason for all these delays and postponements.
But that doesn’t mean that workers actually have a set financial goal in mind; they just have this sinking feeling that there’s not enough set aside to support them.
Thirty-four percent of survey respondents aged 60 and older say they aren’t sure how much they’ll need to save in order to retire.
And a stunning 24 percent think they’ll be able to get through retirement (and the potential for high medical expenses) on less than $500,000.
Others are estimating higher—some a lot higher—but that probably makes the goal of retirement seem even farther out of reach, with 25 percent believing that the magic number lies somewhere between $500,000–$1,000,000, 13 percent shooting for a figure between $1–2 million, 3 percent looking at $2 million to less than $3 million and (the) 1 percent aiming at $3 million or more.
And if that’s not bad enough, 26 percent of workers 55 and older say they don’t even participate in a 401(k), IRA or other retirement plan.
With 74 percent of respondents 55 and older saying they aren’t making their desired salary, that could play a pretty big part in lack of participation—but that doesn’t mean they’re standing still. Eight percent took on a second job in 2016, and 12 percent plan to change jobs this year.
Predictably, the situation is worse for women. While 54.8 percent of male respondents aged 60+ say they’re postponing retirement, 58.7 percent of women say so.
Asked at which age they think they can retire, the largest groups of both men and women say 65–69, but while 44.9 percent of men say so, just 39.6 percent of women say so.
In addition, 24.4 percent of women peg the 70–74 age range, compared with 21.1 percent of men, and 23.2 percent of women agree with the gloomy statement, “I don’t think I’ll be able to retire”—compared with 18 percent of men.
And no wonder, since while 21.7 percent of men say they’re “not sure” how much they’ll need to retire, 49.3 percent of women are in that category.
Women also don’t participate in retirement plans at the rate that men do, either; 28.3 percent of male respondents say they don’t participate in a 401(k), IRA or other retirement plan, but 35.4 percent of female respondents say they aren’t participating.
For workers in the Midwest, a shocking percentage say they’re delaying retirement: 61.6 percent overall, both men and women, of 60+ workers saying they’re doing so.
Those in the fields of transportation, retail, sales, leisure and hospitality make up the largest percentages of those putting off retirement, at 70.4 percent, 62.5 percent, 62.8 percent and 61.3 percent, respectively. And 46.7 percent overall agree with the statement, “I don’t think I’ll be able to retire.”
Incidentally, 53.2 percent of those in financial services—the largest professional industry group to say so—are not postponing retirement.
They’re followed closely by those in health care, at 50.9 percent—the only other field in which more than half of its workers are planning on retiring on schedule.
And when it comes to participating in retirement plans, some industries see some really outsized participation rates that other industries could only dream of. Among those who work in financial services, for instance, 96.5 percent of respondents say they participate in a 401(k), IRA or comparable retirement plan.
That’s followed by information technology (88.2 percent), energy (87.5 percent), large health care institutions (85.8 percent—smaller health care institutions participate at a rate of 51 percent, while overall in the industry the rate comes to 75.5 percent), government employees (83.6 percent) and manufacturing (80.2 percent).
After that it drops off pretty sharply, and the industry with the lowest participation rate is the leisure and hospitality industry, at just 43.4 percent.