ATLANTA - While many Americans will have to work right up to the traditional retirement age of 62 or beyond, a growing trend shows some are being forced to retire sooner than they planned.
About 47% of current retirees who retired earlier than planned were forced to stop working because of health problems, according to a survey from McKinsey & Co., a consulting firm. Less-affluent retirees were far more likely to cite health problems as the reason for forced retirement than higher-income workers.
Another 44% of current retirees were forced to retire early due to job loss or downsizing, the survey revealed. Unemployment was the most frequently cited reason for early retirement among retirees with more than $250,000 in investments. The average period of unemployment in 2005 was 24.1 weeks for job seekers 55 and older, compared with just 17.8 weeks for those under 55.
The average age when current retirees left the workforce was 59. The study noted that baby boomers have a financial incentive to work past 65. Older boomers can't receive full Social Security benefits until 66 or later and those born in 1960 or later aren't eligible until 67. Individuals can start taking partial Social Security benefits at 62, but if they do, they'll continue to receive a reduced amount for the rest of their lives.