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If your wellness isn’t in top condition, you may be headed for early retirement. This is according to a new report, conducted by Merrill Lynch, New York, in partnership with Age Wave, which has found that poor health is the most widely cited reason for retiring early.
For the 2013 study, Americans’ Perspectives on New Retirement Realities and the Longevity Bonus, the survey polled 6,300 baby boomers aged 45 and older. The results of the survey revealed that just over a third of the respondents (34%) cite personal health issues as a reason for retiring early. However, health reasons tended to affect the corporate wellness of men slightly more than women, as the percentages were 36% and 33% respectively. A lesser 27% of those polled attributed early retirement to having sufficient financial resources, while 24% retired early because they had lost their job, 16% because they had wanted to spend more time with their family, and 10% retired early in order to look after a family member.
The survey also found that those seeking advice from financial professionals are also mostly concerned with health care issues. 75% of respondents said that ‘help sorting through health care and long-term care options’ was the information they viewed as most valuable beyond core financial advice. A still large 71% valued help ‘making sense of Social Security or employer pensions,’ while the same percentage of pre-retirees noted that they want to include some work in their retirement years. 39% are seeking part-time work and 24% want to have cycles of work and leisure time. Only 8% of the survey respondents planned on working full-time.
Nearly one-third (29%) of the survey respondents asserted that they never plan to work again. However, according to the report, ‘Working in later life is increasingly becoming the norm. For example, between 2006 and 2011, only the age 55+ workforce grew, while during the same time, millions of younger workers left or were displaced from the work force.’ The report noted that, during this five-year period, the number of workers age 55 and older grew by 4 million, while workers in the 45-54, 35-44, 25-34 and 16-24 age groups declined by 1.6 million, 4.4 million, 556,000 and 2.5 million respectively.