Friday, Aug. 22, 2014

Sticking it out to the very end: Why some are giving up on retirement

Compiled by JJ Feinauer, Deseret News

Published: Sun, March 30 8:04 p.m. MDT

 Confidence that retirement is in the foreseeable future has declined among many Americans in recent years, according to a Pew Research Center study from 2012.

Confidence that retirement is in the foreseeable future has declined among many Americans in recent years, according to a Pew Research Center study from 2012.

(Peter M. Fisher, Getty Images)

Forget "rethinking retirement," maybe it's should just ditch the idea altogether.

At least that is what some are saying in response to the retirement crisis.

Confidence that retirement is in the foreseeable future has declined among many Americans in recent years, according to a Pew Research Center study from 2012, hence the notion that retirement is in a state of disarray.

“About four-in-ten adults (38 percent) say they are 'not too' or 'not at all' confident that they will have enough income and assets for their retirement,” Pew said on its website last January, also adding that “concerns about retirement financing are now more heavily concentrated among younger and middle-aged adults than among those closer to retirement age.”

But what if skipping retirement altogether was the better option anyway? For example, a new study by the University of Michigan tracked the health effects of retirement, concluding that it can have negative outcomes on mental health.

"Once they retire completely ... there are increases in depression and mental illness," Economist Dhaval Dave told NPR.

But the benefits of avoiding or suspending retirement extend beyond just health, according to NerdWallet’s Anisha Sekar. In an article for Marketwatch, Sekar argues that delaying retirement will “boost your Social Security income by more than 30 percent.”

CNBC’s Rodney Brooks agrees with Sekar that putting off (or avoiding altogether) retirement has its advantages. “Both the Boomers and the Greatest Generation, say they will never retire because they would be bored to death and their brains would just shrivel up,” Brooks wrote on Tuesday in an article that detailed the lives and work habits of a number senior citizens who have lost interest in retirement.

"I really believe that retirement is debilitating, if not physically, certainly emotionally," Arthur E. Imperatore Sr., founder and CEO of New York Waterway, told Brooks.

At a time when roughly one-third of Americans claim to have less than $1,000 in savings toward their retirement, sticking it out to the end may not only be the better option, but the only option.

JJ Feinauer is a web producer for Moneywise and Opinion on Email:, Twitter: @jjfeinauer.

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1. Mark from Montana
Davis County, UT,
March 27, 2014

I never had any desire to 'retire' if it meant sitting around doing nothing all day. Or if it meant playing golf five days a week. That would be difficult since I have never played a round of golf in my life and will die without doing so.

For me, the idea of retirement was not needing to work every day in order to eat. That concept is no longer a reality for me due to the 'great recession' as it is called. I call it the greatest transfer of wealth from the middle class to the 1%. During the recession, the wealthy saw more growth than ever in history. The middle class has almost disappeared and no one was prosecuted. Not a single banker or politician.

Where is the justice?

2. Jamescmeyer
Midwest City, USA, OK,
March 28, 2014

The idea of a nation with a lot of elderly people being supported by the younger people disappoints me. Being an era focused so heavily on information and specialized education, I plan on continuing to seek useful work for as long as I can do it.


Unless I'm called to be a mission president.

3. marxist
Salt Lake City, UT,
March 28, 2014

Let's be clear about what's going on. The distribution of wealth has become fantastically top heavy the last 20 years. Those driving this process, the top 1% have decided that they simply can't afford to let the rest of us retire. So we are being told (it's a campaign) that the country cannot afford to let us retire - work 'til you drop. Destroy pensions, end social security. In this, the wealthiest country in the world, this is giant lie. The top 1% doesn't just want most of it, they want ALL of it.

Space does not allow me to explore the theory that would explain what is going on, but it is going on. Insistence on work without end will destroy the society we have come to expect. It must be fought at all costs.

4. Gregorio
Norco, CA,
March 28, 2014

Don't just retire but retire to something. Like the song, "It's so important to make someone happy" and doing service is a great gift to give to someone everyday retired or not. 1 in 4 Americans rely 100% on their Social Security check to live month to month. We have got to think dfferently that work is noble.If you rest you rust!

5. Sasha Pachev
Provo, UT,
March 28, 2014

Maybe more of a transfer from the ones who save to the ones who spend than from the poor to the wealthy. With the interest rates in savings not exceeding 1% the good old paradigm of putting off $100 a month that over the course of 30 years will accumulate enough interest to retire on does not work anymore. At 10% $100 a month will give you $226 K after 30 years, at 5% $83K, but at 1% only $41K. At the same time, those who want to spend can borrow at low interest rates, default on payments, think of various tricks to borrow again after defaulting, etc. If we want a regular worker to be able to retire off his savings the interest rates need to go up.