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Why workers postpone retirement

Why workers postpone retirement

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SALT LAKE CITY — A recent report shows an increasing number of seniors are deciding to push back their retirement age. Some financial consultants in Utah say they're noticing a few reasons why.

Smart Money Magazine reports that 18 percent of people over the age of 65 have jobs, which is the highest percentage since the Cuban Missile Crisis.


AAA Fair Credit Foundation President Preston Cochrane said, "When they think about retiring, even at age 60, in the back of their mind, they're saying, ‘I could have another 30-35 years."

Cochrane says he's noticing more people in their golden years asking for financial guidance for the future. But, their reasons for pushing back their retirements vary. There are some people who just don't see themselves as the retiring type.

"People, I think, are going into it thinking, ‘I'm going to work past 65. I'm going to work well into my retirement years. I love my job. I love what I do. I'm in good health. I don't see myself golfing every day or jumping on a cruise ship,'" Cochrane said.

But, here in Utah, a lot of people put their savings into their homes, hoping to sell it for double or triple what they bought it for. When the housing market sank, that left a lot of people without the kind of retirement money they were expecting.

Tips for retirement planning
  • Start saving, keep saving, and stick to your goals
  • Know your retirement needs
  • Contribute to your employer's retirement savings plan
  • Learn about your employer's pension plan
  • Consider basic investment principles
  • Don't touch your retirement savings
  • Ask your employer to start a plan
  • Put money into an Individual Retirement Account
  • Find out about your Social Security benefits
Source: Dept. of Labor

"We saw a lot of people upgrading. They would go from a small home to a bigger home right around the time that everyone was doing it," Cochrane said. "Now, looking back, they say, ‘That was probably the worst decision I made.'"

While the housing market and the stock markets have stabilized and even improved in recent years, the recent volatility has many people feeling skittish about what they should do with their money. Cochrane says a lot of people are sticking with conservative, low-yielding savings accounts while others are buying more gold.

"They're second guessing a lot of things," Cochrane said. "They're second guessing the homes they live in. They're second guessing their hobbies."

He says there really isn't a script to map out the best way to plan for retirement anymore. But, no matter how you make your plan, Cochrane says it's crucial you do it as early as you can.

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Paul Nelson


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