Boomers retiring sooner than they expected

April 5, 2012 at 12:08 AM
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WESTPORT, Conn., April 5 (UPI) -- Fifty-nine percent of U.S. baby boomers born after 1946 are choosing to retire despite a popular belief baby boomers will work well past age 65, a survey found.

The study was a follow-up to the 2008 MetLife Mature Market Institute study in 2009, which looked at the same segment of boomers at age 62, and includes 450 of the same interview subjects from the original study.

The study found 59 percent of the first boomers to turn 65 are at least partially retired -- 45 percent were completely retired and 14 percent were retired, but working part-time.

Of those still working, 37 percent said they'll retire in the next year and, on average, plan to do so by the time they're 68. Fifty-one percent of those who said they were retired said they retired earlier than they had expected.

Of those who retired early, 37 percent cited health-related reasons, while those who retired later than they planned said they needed the money for day-to-day expenses and 13 percent said they stayed working to remain active. Sixty-three percent of respondents were collecting Social Security benefits -- on average they began collecting Social Security at age 63, defying the conventional wisdom that people would choose to wait to receive a higher payout.

The 65-year-old boomers did not consider themselves old. On average they won't consider themselves old until age 79, a year older than reported in 2007, the survey said.

The survey of 1,012 respondents born in 1946 was conducted by GfK Custom Research North America in November. No margin of error was provided.

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