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Older Americans Putting Off Retirement

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Ever think of retiring?

“I’d like to retire right now,” says 32-year-old Tracy Kenton, while laughing. “Maybe 50, 55?”

Don’t count on it.

More older Americans are putting off retirement well past their early sixties, concludes an Associated Press Norc Center for Public Affairs Research poll at the University of Chicago.

“Financial,” says John Brand of North Versailles. “I bought a house a couple years ago, so I got a mortgage.”

Brand is past retirement age and collects both social security and a military pension — but he still works full-time.

“It’s a matter of some discretionary income that I wouldn’t have otherwise,” he adds.

His barber — Ron DeMutis — is 67 years old and also works non-stop.

“Years ago I guess, when people retired, the money they saved up they could get interest on it. Now you’re using a lot of your principal,” notes DeMutis.

Bottom line — it’s hard to maintain your standard of living if you’re not working.

The study found 47 percent of older Americans say they will work longer, retiring at age 66, three years later than expected. Why — because, say 78 percent, financial needs require it.

Money — not enough of it — that’s one big reason people are putting off retiring until later in life.

And here’s another reason — people are living longer. If you make it to age 65, the chances are 1 out of 4 you will live to 90.

And it takes more money to live longer, says financial adviser Bob Fragasso.

“Folks have gone through two recessions in the past decade that have impacted their portfolios, and if they haven’t managed their portfolios properly, they haven’t regained the value they’ve lost,” he said.

But Fragasso sees an economic positive for delayed retirement.

“If baby boomers were retiring on time, there would be a shortage of good trained workers because the next generation coming up are far fewer in number,” he said.

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