Retire later? New study says many actually leave sooner

Especially since the financial crisis began, people have been saying they’ll solve their retirement woes by working longer. The reality, according to a new study from the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI), is that many leave earlier than planned.

The 2009 Retirement Confidence Survey found that 47% of retirees left the work force before they thought they would. Why the disconnect? A shrinking economy and declining health. Of those who left earlier than planned, 42% cited health problems; 34% pointed to layoffs, closures or other problems at their companies; and 18% said they had to care for a spouse or other family member.

Since working longer is one of the easiest ways to boost a shrunken portfolio (or one that was never big enough to start with), this new data is another troubling sign for Americans’ retirement readiness.

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