Many Retirees Consider Returning to Work

A Nationwide survey of people between the ages of 60 and 65 finds that many of those who have already retired are looking at working again.

By Rethinking65

One-third of retirees between the ages of 60 and 65 are thinking of returning to work, according to a new Nationwide Retirement Institute survey.

Released Jan. 22, the survey found half of those individuals are motivated to go back to work because they are afraid of — or already are — running out of money. They also said their biggest threat to retirement security is inflation (90%), Social Security cuts (84%), and Medicare/Medicaid benefit cuts (83%).

Underestimate living expenses

Nationwide surveyed 1,000 consumers in the 60- to 65-year age range. Of the total, 431 (43%) were retired. The survey found that respondents still working underestimate living expenses and other factors compared with those who were retired. In particular, the survey found:

• Those still working expect to spend 42% of their income on food, housing and other basic expenses, while retirees actually spend 53% on those expenses.

• 77% of the working 60- to 65-year-olds say they expect to be comfortable in retirement, while only 68% of current retirees actually feel comfortable.

• The average age of retirement was 60, while the average age of expected retirement was 67. 64% of retirees surveyed retired earlier than planned.

• 36% of retirees said they received less in Social Security benefits than they expected.

Most don’t ask advisors for help

The survey also found that only 37% of 60- to 65-year-olds get information about retirement planning from a financial advisor. Others rely on a mix of sources, including the internet (39%), friends and family (35%) and resources from their employer-sponsored retirement plan (31%). One in 10 older respondents have not yet sought out information about retirement planning.

“As we enter a period of peak retirement in our country, many retirees will face harsh reality checks if they missed opportunities to prepare for this moment,” said John Carter, president and COO of Nationwide Financial, in a press release. “For decades, millions of investors have focused on accumulation without a plan for how they will use that money to live in retirement.”

Nationwide conducted the survey in November 2023.

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