Study finds Americans are waiting longer to retire

While some want to keep working, others do it because they don't have a choice

Photo: Thinkstock

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – The traditional age of retirement may need to be redefined. Americans are waiting longer to retire. Some because they want to, other because they have to.

The traditional retirement age has been 65. But now, that’s changing. A University of Michigan Health and retirement study found that more than one third of people who set their retirement age were not able to retire as young as they had hoped.

You can still start collecting social security benefits at age 62. Maximum benefits come at age 70, but the Social Security Administration pushed the full retirement age to 67 for those born after 1960. They say it’s because people are living longer.

“We are younger and energetic. We have interests. We are not like out parents who were older earlier,” said Kandy Blackwell of Easthampton.

While some want to keep working, others do it because they don’t have a choice. Mary Bironas is a Retirement Administrator for the Hampshire County Retirement System.

“Depending on social security and 401k and with the way the economy has been. They have lost a lot of money, and they just feel like they can’t afford to retire,” said Bironas.

It’s causing those of a younger generation to worry if social security will be around, and if they’ll have to work until their sick or laid off.

“My grandpa still works and he is 85,” said Dana Wood of Northampton. “I think that I will be able to. It’s more of a question of if I want to or not.”

The study also found an increasing number of older Americans who don’t plan to retire at all. If you’re considering retirement, talk about your options with a financial planner.

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