Delayed Retirement, Early Withdrawals Result from Economic Downturn

May 14, 2008 ( - Results of a new survey released by AARP and the AARP Bulletin indicate baby boomers are delaying retirement and taking premature withdrawals from their retirement savings as a result of the economic downturn.

An AARP press release said the survey found more than one out of four (27%) workers age 45-64 say they postponed plans to retire due to the recent economic downturn. Almost 25% reported they are prematurely taking money out of their 401(k)s and other investments.

In addition, younger boomers (ages 45-54) indicated they are doing things like postponing paying bills (27%) and cutting back on medications (17%) to deal with the economic crisis, according to the release.

Retirees and Americans age 65 or older, who rely on fixed incomes, are especially feeling the burden of the economic times, AARP found. Almost six in 10 (59%) people 65+ indicated they are having a harder time paying for food, gas, and medicine, and more than a third (34%) of all retirees have had to help a child pay bills in the last year.

More than one in ten (11%) retirees reported they have had to seek help from loved ones or charity organizations in the last year.

The national telephone survey of 1,002 people ages 45 and older was conducted April 12 – 23, 2008, by Woelfel Research, Inc.

The complete survey results are here .