'70 is new 65' as more defer retiring

The Baltimore Sun

Have you decided to postpone retirement because of the economy or a nest egg that's been hit hard of late? You have plenty of company.

A new survey by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants finds that 35 percent of financial planning clients approaching retirement have decided to postpone their departure from the work force because of the economy. That's up 3 percentage points from the year before.

Nearly 10 percent of those delaying retirement say they will continue working for six or more years. About two-thirds will postpone retirement by no more than five years. "What this suggests is that 70 is the new 65," says James Metzler, a vice president with the accounting group.

Besides pushing off retirement, 60 percent of those surveyed said they are delaying vacations; about half are waiting to buy a car or to purchase or sell a home, and 42 percent have put renovations on hold.

The accountants' survey landed in my mail box around the same time as this e-mail from a reader, responding to my Tuesday column about whether you should continue saving in a 401(k) if your employer no longer matches your contributions. The reader argues that older workers face a new reality.

He writes: "The reality of the situation, I think, is that few people have enough spare income to save much of anything. ... Yes, savings is a must, but what do you tell someone who is 55 and lost a great deal of money to do now? You tell them that they will probably never retire comfortably, sock money away somewhere that is as safe and bears a modicum of interest, and go get a second job. We need to tell the truth to ourselves, I think."

So what do you think? And let's hear from you if you decided to work longer or postponed other financial moves.

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