Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Four Types of Retirees

Most Americans plan to work after they retire, according to an Associated Press-NORC survey of people aged 50 or older. When asked how likely it is that they will work for pay in retirement, the 59 percent majority say it is at least somewhat likely. 

It's not surprising that a growing share of older workers plan to retire but keep working. A lengthy work life goes hand in hand with higher levels of education. A recent study by the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College finds higher levels of education accounting for most of the increase in the labor force participation of men aged 60 to 74. 

With many older Americans struggling to afford any kind of retirement and others unwilling to give up a stimulating career, boomers are splitting apart. The split was uncovered by AARP in a probe of the attitudes of a nationally representative sample of workers aged 50 to 65 without a traditional pension. AARP's Retirement Attitudes Segmentation Survey found four types of retirees emerging:
  • Cautious clockwatchers are what you might call "traditional" retirees, accounting for 33 percent of the total. They are confident about their finances and plan to stop working completely in retirement and enjoy their leisure time.
  • Day-to-day life embracers are what you might call "pragmatic" retirees and 27 percent of the total. They see retirement as a time to be creative but envision a gradual transition to ending their career because of ongoing financial needs.
  • Proactive self-actualizers are what you might call "emeritus" retirees and 24 percent of the total. Highly educated and confident, they want to work in retirement because they love what they do.
  • Doubters are what you might call "troubled" retirees and 17 percent of the total. They are least confident about their finances and do not envision retirement as a time of leisure.

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