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Putting the Retirement Party on Hold

Nearly 20% of Americans now worry that they will never be able to stop working.  Rather than the baby boomer retirement tsunami so recently expected, a trend is developing that has people delaying their retirement.  On average, many federal employees already work for another four years after they become eligible for retirement.

This trend is likely to have negative consequences for already beleaguered financial institutions, many of which have invested tidy sums in building retirement services components.  Sharing the gloom will be retirement community developers, leisure and travel service providers, RV and golf equipment manufacturers, etc.  On the other hand, Social Security and (to some extent) Medicare should see slower-than-anticipated draw-down.

Financial think-tanks are now emphasizing that even one extra year of work can raise your standard of living throughout your retirement and that, while it may not be a good thing emotionally, delaying retirement is always a good thing financially.  Given today's poor market performance, meager investment returns during the first five years of retirement can significantly raise the chance that you'll outlive your money.  And if a single market downturn is highly disruptive to your retirement plans, then you probably weren't financially ready to retire in the first place.

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