Slumping Economy Delays Retirement Dates

February 13, 2002 ( - Workers expect to have to stay on the job longer than ever because of the nation's slumping economy, according to a new study.

“Retirement Revisited – 2002”, the latest version of an ongoing series of surveys by UBS AG and the Gallup Organization, found that workers’ expected retirement is now 63.8 years, up almost a year from the 62.9 registered in June 1998.

Further, one in five workers said they expected to retire later than originally planned due to the weak economy – an average of delay of 4.4 years.

And many workers don’t expect things to be completely rosy in their golden years.

According to the study, nearly a quarter of the sample says the sluggish economy will mean a less comfortable time after they stop working – a view shared increasingly by older workers. For example, 32% of those ages 50 to 59, and 38% of those 60 and older share that perspective, according to the study.

Planning for Retirement

One positive note, 70% say they have a retirement savings plan, up from 61% in 1998.

Not surprisingly, the survey found that the greater the amount of investable assets respondents held, the more likely they were to have a savings plan. For example, 86% of those with more than a $500,000 portfolio had such a blueprint.

Of those with a retirement plan, 19% said they had changed their asset allocations. Of these,

  • some 38% say they’re out of financial markets,
  • more than 70% say they’ve moved into less risky investments,
  • while 27%, chose riskier investments

According to the 2002 survey, investors intend to maintain a productive lifestyle after reaching retirement age, confirming an important trend first identified in the 1998 report. Indeed, 83% say they will continue to work after retirement.

The latest study is based on a January 2002 poll with 1,001 non-retired American investors conducted by UBS and the Gallup Organization. “Retirement Revisited – 2002′ is a follow-up to UBS’s 1998 study “Retirement Revisited”.

Read more about UBS’s investor surveys .