Baby Boomers Looking to Retire Sooner

June 11, 2013 ( – Baby Boomers are more optimistic about their retirement timeline, a survey suggests.

The “2013 Del Webb Baby Boomer Survey,” conducted by adult community builder Del Webb, found the majority of Baby Boomers expect to retire sooner than they planned to in 2010. Most (57%) plan to retire from their current full-time career by age 65, compared to a median age of 67 in 2010. The survey indicates the Baby Boomer retirement plan today is more like that of nearly 20 years ago (1996), when 50-year-olds planned to retire at a median age of 63.

“Boomers are clearly feeling more positive about their situation and the housing market in general, with more expecting to retire sooner than just three years ago,” said Deborah Wahl, senior vice president and chief marketing officer for PulteGroup Inc., parent company of Del Webb.

While 79% of Boomers anticipate working in some capacity after they retire from their current job, many are planning to make a change. Fifty-one percent plan to work full time either in their current or at an entirely new job; 28% anticipate working part-time or having a flexible schedule; and 21% anticipate no longer working for a paycheck.

Of those who plan to work full or part-time at age 65, 18% plan to do something different than their current career. The majority (74%) anticipate working in a traditional office setting or offsite location; 14% expect to primarily work from home; and 12% anticipate a combination of telecommuting and working from an offsite location.

Most respondents hope to find better balance in their lives, according to the survey. At age 65, only three in 10 (30%) anticipate their job will be a primary focus. When asked about their lifestyle, the top responses were focusing on activities and hobbies that enhance physical/mental well-being (62%), spending time/focusing on family (51%), and traveling (34%).

“While boomers are still working, they are not putting off a retirement lifestyle,” Wahl said. “An increasing number of our Del Webb homeowners continue to work in some fashion, but have changed their focus from their careers to their family and activities that enrich their lives.”

As to the reasons why they would continue to work, the survey found many Boomers (66%) are not financially prepared to retire. However, there were other reasons such as warding off boredom/maintaining a sense of purpose (51%), liking work and doing so for self-satisfaction (46%), maintaining insurance benefits (29%), and spending time away from a spouse/significant other (6%).

The survey also found Boomers have different definitions of retirement. When asked to specify what it meant to them, most (58%) said “not having to work,” “working when you want to,” or “not depending on others to make a living” defined retirement. Others (31%) defined retirement as “enjoying life” and doing their favorite activities. Twenty two percent defined retirement as “financial security,” “being able to live comfortably,” and “not worrying about money.”

Del Webb's most-recent survey polled 520 individuals online. These respondents were still-working Baby Boomers, ages 50 to 60, across the country. The survey was conducted on behalf of Del Webb by Russell Research April 19 to 22, 2013.

An infographic highlighting results of the survey can be found here.