Fewer Seniors Delaying Retirement

The number of senior workers delaying their retirement is at its lowest now than at any point in the post-recession period.

Motivated by an improving economy, 53% of senior workers (ages 60 and older) are delaying retirement, a post-recession low, down from 58% in 2014 and 66% in 2010.

“As household financial situations continue to rebound from the recession, economic confidence among senior workers is significantly improving,” says Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources (HR) officer for CareerBuilder.

However, retirement is still far off or even unlikely for many senior workers, according to CareerBuilder’s annual retirement survey. Nearly half (49%) believe their retirement is at least five years away, while 12% think they will never be able to retirement. Three-quarters of senior workers currently delaying retirement cite the recession as a cause.

Reasons for delaying retirement vary among workers. The inability to retire due to household financial situations is the No. 1 reason senior workers delay retirement, cited by 78%. The need for health insurance and benefits is cited by 60%.

Alternatively, many senior workers delay retirement because they simply do not want to stop working, with one-third delaying retirement because they enjoy their job, 28% because they enjoy where they work and 26% because they fear retirement may be boring.

The survey shows that 54% of senior workers are planning to work part or full time after retirement, up from 45% last year. “Fortunately, for those workers needing a new job near the end of their careers, employers are hiring seniors at a faster rate than we’ve seen in recent memory,” Haefner says.

The three most common jobs these workers plan to pursue in retirement are customer service, retail and consulting. Findings illustrate that 54% of private-sector employers hired mature workers (ages 50 and older) in 2014. That number is up 6% from 2013. Further, 57% plan to hire mature workers in 2015.

A large majority (70%) of retired senior workers plan to focus on relaxation in retirement, while 57% say they will spend time with family and friends, and 48% intend to travel.

The survey was conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder among 438 workers ages 60 and older and 2,192 hiring and human resources managers, between November 4 and December 2, 2014.