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Survey: More American Workers Plan to Delay Retirement Due to Economy

10/22/2009
Nearly two-thirds of U.S. workers plan to delay their retirement by at least one year due to financial difficulties resulting from the recession, according to a survey by Sun Life Financial Inc. The company's annual Unretirement Index study shows that 65 percent of American workers believe they will not be able to retire when they had previously planned, up 11 percentage points from last year's survey. Twenty-eight percent of those surveyed expect to be working full-time past the age of 67, up from 20 percent in 2008; 55 percent of this year's respondents say they will work full- or part-time at age 67. The top reason cited for working past traditional retirement age was "to earn enough money to live well," cited by 84 percent of respondents; this reflects a change from last year's survey, when the top reason cited was "to stay mentally engaged." "The notion of unretirement has become a reality for a majority of workers who increasingly see working in their later years as a necessity instead of a luxury," says Wes Thompson, president of Sun Life Financial. The survey defines "unretirement" as working at least 20 hours per week after the age when a worker is eligible to receive Social Security benefits. Sun Life Financial surveyed 1,451 full- or part-time workers between the ages of 18 and 66 in August and September of this year.

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