40% of older workers plan to delay retirement due to inflation: survey

The data from the Nationwide Retirement Institute illustrates the financial toll inflation is taking on seniors across the country

40% of older American workers are planning to delay their retirements due to inflationary pressures, which have resulted in higher costs of living. This figure effectively doubles the amount of older workers who indicated that the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic would cause retirement delays one year ago, according to a recently-released survey from the Nationwide Retirement Institute.

The pandemic had notable impacts on the perception of retirement security at the time, but those impacts may be more pronounced due to current economic conditions, the data suggests. There are also broader impacts on younger members of the workforce as well, the results suggest.

“In large numbers, companies are reporting ripple effects on their employees, especially younger workers,” the survey results read. “More than one-third of private-sector employers (36%) indicate that delayed retirements impact their ability to hire new talent and 34% say it impacts their ability to promote young talent. Roughly the same percentage (35%) say it makes their health and benefits plans more expensive.”

The generally dismayed younger workforce and the impact of delayed retiremments among older workers appear to be having broader implications on the American workforce, according to Amelia Dunlap, vice president of Nationwide Retirement Solutions marketing.

“We’re watching delayed retirements impact employers’ entire talent lifecycle, and it may be unintentionally contributing to ‘quiet quitting,’” Dunlap said. “Employers may find themselves with a workforce that lacks motivation to go above and beyond without the ability to reward employees for a job well done. Employers should look for opportunities to better support their older workforce as they near retirement.”

Confidence in post-career security is also taking a demonstrable hit, according to the results.

“Roughly one in four American workers (24%) feel they are on the wrong track for retirement and fewer than six in 10 employees have a positive outlook on their retirement plan and financial investments – a significant drop from 2021 (58% vs. 72% in 2021),” the results read. “Two in three (66%) employees cite inflation as a top retirement concern (vs. 53% 2021).”

Retirement stability is a stated goal of most workers, however the survey also found that younger workers between the ages of 35-44 report that they feel confused (21%) or panicked (16%) in higher numbers than workers aged 45 or older when it comes to retirement plans or investments.

Interestingly, there is a stark divide in psot-career anxiety between private sector and public sector workers, with public sector workers reporting far less anxiety than their private sector counterparts according to the results.

Read the results at the Nationwide Retirement Institute.

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