'Retirement Plan' Is to Work Longer

Most Americans plan to work as long as they can, and are investing their retirement money without the help of a financial adviser, a Bankrate survey found.

The study is the latest indication that the nation’s economic downturn is affecting the retirement landscape. The survey found that 75% of those polled plan to work as long as they can after retirement age, and nearly a third of those said they will have to keep punching a time clock because they will need the money. Four in 10 respondents said the bad economy has forced them to postpone retirement.

When it comes to the size of their retirement nest egg, the survey found 55% of retirees polled wish they had salted away more money; 38% said they were confident they would have enough.

While the turmoil in the economy might be keeping a lot of people behind a desk longer than they had planned, the Bankrate poll found only 14% reshuffled their portfolios to take a more conservative investment approach with their retirement assets. Meanwhile, 53% of respondents left their asset allocation alone.

Respondents didn’t have much of an organized plan for their retirement investments, as almost 40% said they are investing for retirement on their own with, 16% using an asset allocation plan, 15% picking mutual funds based upon performance, and 8% with a target-date fund. Twenty-seven percent use a financial adviser for decisions while, 18% don’t invest in a retirement plan, and 9% don’t utilize any organized strategies.

“This poll offers an interesting insight into Americans’ views of employment and retirement,” said Julie Bandy, editor-in-chief at Bankrate.com. “Seventy-five percent of today’s generation plan to work as long as possible, a far cry from that of previous generations. Falling home values and losses in retirement accounts are forcing many Americans to re-evaluate their retirement needs.”

Commissioned by Bankrate.com, Princeton Survey Research Associates International conducted a phone survey of 1,003 adults 18 or older, including 509 who are currently employed.