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Healthcare Workers Delaying Retirement

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, May 25, 2011
  • There was no retirement delay among government workers. That is expected, since these workers are more likely to receive defined benefits, making them more insulated from the decline in financial asset values in their pensions.
  • Mature workers in high-paying occupations were much more likely to delay retirement than workers in low-paying ones. Those in higher-paying jobs tend to have higher financial expectations for their retirement years. Also, high-paying occupations tend to have limited physical requirements, making it easier to continue working. Among lower-paid workers, there is often an increased physical demand, and unemployment rates tend to be much higher. As a result, even if those workers wanted to continue working, finding replacement jobs is often extremely difficult, forcing them to retire.
  • Delayed retirement has affected the demographic distribution within the U.S. Part of the decline in net migration to states like Florida and Arizona is likely due to the trend of delayed retirement. Fewer individuals are leaving the labor force and moving to retirement destinations. 
  • Those who suffered from a significant decline in home or financial asset values, lost a job or experienced a compensation cut during the recession were much more likely to delay retirement. Workers in states where home prices suffered especially large slumps (such as California, Michigan, Florida, Arizona) were more likely to delay retirement.

"Overall, the macroeconomic implications of delaying retirement are largely positive," Levanon said. "Delayed retirement allows households to consume more today and reduce the probability of a prolonged slowdown in the U.S. economy, and enables households to reach retirement with more financial resources."


John Commins is a senior editor with HealthLeaders Media.

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2 comments on "Healthcare Workers Delaying Retirement"


Carol (5/29/2011 at 2:02 PM)
I am delaying retirement because my employer does not offer a pension or medical coverage after retirement and it is hard to guess how far our 401ks will last.

et (5/25/2011 at 6:00 PM)
It would be interesting to know the percentage of health care workers that delay retirement because their health care employer does not offer a health care benefit for retirees.