More U.S. workers delaying retirement

Healthcare employees in particular are working longer, a new study finds.
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Jun 01, 2011
By dvm360.com staff

Have you set your retirement date from the veterinary clinic? If not, it might be a while. American workers have been working longer and retiring later since the mid 1990s, and the recession has put even greater pressure on workers to stay on the job, according to a new report by The Conference Board titled U.S. Workers Delaying Retirement: What Businesses Can Learn from the Trends of Who, Where, and Why.

Retirement rates declined significantly in the past few years. However, delayed retirement has been more prevalent for some occupations and industries. For example, the healthcare industry experienced the largest decline in retirement rates in recent years. Jobs in this field are also in great demand. On the other hand, there was almost no retirement delay among government workers, who are more likely to receive defined benefit pension plans.

The report found several trends since the recession:

> The health industry experienced the largest decline in retirement rates. In 2009-2010, only 1.55 percent of full-time workers ages 55 to 64 retired within 12 months, compared with almost 4 percent in 2004 to 2007.

> Mature workers in high-paying occupations were much more likely to delay retirement than workers in low-paying ones. Those in higher-paying jobs tend to have higher financial expectations for their retirement years. Also, high-paying occupations tend to have limited physical requirements, making it easier to continue working. Among lower-paid workers, there is often an increased physical demand, and unemployment rates tend to be much higher. As a result, even if those workers wanted to continue working, finding replacement jobs is often extremely difficult, forcing them to retire.

> Delayed retirement has affected the demographic distribution within the United States. Part of the decline in net migration to states like Florida and Arizona is likely due to the trend of delayed retirement. Fewer individuals are leaving the labor force and moving to retirement destinations.

> Those who suffered from a significant decline in home or financial asset values, lost a job, or experienced a compensation cut during the recession were much more likely to delay retirement. Workers in states where home prices suffered especially large slumps (such as Arizona, California, Florida, and Michigan) were more likely to delay retirement.

See the related links below for more on retirement—and how you can get there sooner.