ECONOMIC REASONS NOW AS IMPORTANT AS MENTAL ENGAGEMENT IN RETIREMENT PLANS
After two years of economic misery, the working population of the U.S. ages 18-66 now cites financial need or expectation of need as important as mental stimulation for planning to work beyond the age of Social Security eligibility. A Sun Life Financial survey by telephone in September 2010 found that 52% of respondents expect to work at least three years longer than the eligibility age. Sun Life calls this annual survey the “Unretirement Index.” Unretirement is defined as working at least 20 hours a week after reaching the Social Security full eligibility age (which creeps up from 65 for Traditionalists to 66 and 67 for Boomers).The overall index score reflects how respondents feel about five factors: the economy, personal finances, health, government benefits and employee benefits.
In 2008 and 2009 Sun Life surveys, the most prevalent reason given by respondents for working past age 67 was “to stay mentally engaged.” In 2010, an equal percentage answered “to earn enough money to live well.”
It will be interesting to see if better economic conditions, including a more stable financial markets environment, cause a shift back. Right now it doesn’t seem that the “simpler living” movement is taking hold, at least as a voluntary mind shift.
Phyllis Weiss Haserot www.pdcounsel.com