Boomer article: nearly half retired by age 65

jkom51April 30, 2012

Nearly Half of Boomers Fully Retired By 65

SmartMoney Apr 30, 2012

The advice - and, in many cases, the warning - has become a given: Most Americans entering their 50s and 60s will have to keep working well past their planned retirement dates to make up for shortfalls in savings.

Well, some baby boomers, apparently, didnâÂÂt get the memo.

A new report from the MetLife Mature Market Institute, "Transitioning into Retirement," looks at the oldest boomers, those who turned 65 in 2011. Among the key findings: Almost twice as many 65-year-olds told researchers that they were fully retired as were working full time: 45% and 24%, respectively.

"Despite the conventional wisdom that boomers are ready to âÂÂwork foreverâ and significantly extend their formal working career, many of the oldest boomers are already well into the retirement phase, " the report states.

Indeed, the average age at retirement for those surveyed was 59.7 for men and 57.2 for women. WhatâÂÂs more, a "large majority of those who have transitioned into their retirement," the study notes, "also report that they are well satisfied with this new stage of their lives."

The findings, of course, involve a relatively small slice of the baby-boom generation, born between 1946 and 1964. And the reasons why many 65-year-olds are retired may give younger workers pause.

Only 6% of those who identified themselves as fully retired said they walked away from the office because "they could afford to" or "had enough money." Fully 36% - the biggest percentage - said they retired simply because they had reached their retirement age and "wanted to."

Almost one in five - 18% - said they retired because of health reasons, and 6% said they were laid off and couldnâÂÂt find work. Fourteen percent said they âÂÂneededâ to retire, or were "tired of working."

On a more positive note, almost half of leading-edge boomers - 43% - are optimistic about the future in the long-term. That compares with fewer than one in five who are pessimistic. And 85% of those surveyed described themselves as being in excellent, very good or good health.

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sushipup1

Was there a breakdown by gender? I know a great many women who start taking their social security at 62, while their husbands continue to work.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2012 at 1:49PM
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azzalea

I think the pension status plays into this. DH is turning 62. His pension, plus his social security, plus my SS, plus a little annuity my aunt left me add up to MORE than he's making at his job. Bottom line is he cannot afford to keep working at his job--it's idiotic to.( Especially consiering the cost of his commute to work is $75/week) He can retire, make the same amount AND get a little parttime job (if he wants one) closer to home, and make an additional $14,000.

He's just a blue collar guy--not a CEO of a company nor a univesity president or anything, but we simply cannot afford for him to keep working.

His retirement package inclues fully paid health insurance until age 66, and a good dental plan that costs under $6/month for both of us.

So, to answer that poll, guess we're folks who are retiring because we can't afford to keep working--was there a category for that?

    Bookmark   May 21, 2012 at 10:43PM
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