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Retirement? Forget that! Americans say they’ll work as long as possible

KRT

Work? Apparently it’s no longer a four-letter word.

More Americans are planning to work long past traditional retirement age, and some of them because they actually want to.

Seventy percent of Americans still in the labor force say they will work as long as possible, according to a new Bankrate.com report. Only 25 percent say they have no plans to work during retirement.

Most of the plan-to-work folk — 38 percent — want to continue because they like to work, while 35 percent plan to work because they need the money. Another 27 percent said they both wanted and needed to.

Seems early retirement is no longer the goal it once was. Just 13 percent of non-retired Americans hope to retire in their 50s, down from 27 percent in 2007.

Though Americans might love their jobs, they’re also worried about outliving their savings.

Almost half of retirees (47 percent) in the Bankrate survey were either very worried or somewhat worried about running out of money in retirement. That’s up from 37 percent in 2009, the last time the survey asked the question.

“Working during retirement brings a lot of benefits,” said Jill Cornfield, Bankrate.com retirement analyst, in a press release. “I’m not surprised that nearly three-quarters of people said they’d like to work as long as they can while in retirement. It’s not just the money. When you can work as a consultant or find some part-time gig, it really helps you stay sharp.”

Bankrate.com, a personal finance website, also found that a sizable portion of non-retirees still have faith that Social Security will be around when they file for benefits. Seventy percent said they are counting on it for income in retirement. Millenials, however, aren’t as optimistic. They were the least likely of the generations to expect to receive any retirement money from Social Security.

The Bankrate study echoes previous studies that signal workers’ desire to work longer. An earlier survey, from Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, showed that 65 percent of Baby Boomer still in the labor force planned to work past age 65 or not retire at all. The reasons for staying on were similar in both reports: 62 percent of the Baby Boomer workers who plan to work in retirement and/or past age 65 indicated that their main reason was income or health benefits. But 34 percent who plan to work wanted to continue because they enjoyed it, including 18 percent who want to stay involved and 16 percent who enjoy what they do.

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