Retirement Plans on Hold

70 percent of aging employees plan to work in retirement.

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Older workers are delaying retirement plans indefinitely. A whopping 70 percent of workers plan to work during their retirement years, according to a new AARP survey that confirms a growing body of research indicating that older Americans have no intention to drop out of the workforce.

Part-time work was the top choice in the survey of 1,500 Americans ages 45 to 74 who were working or looking for work in spring 2007. Common motives for post-retirement work were for interest or enjoyment (29 percent) or for needed income (22 percent). The percentage of respondents working for pleasure has decreased since the survey was last conduced in 2002, while the proportion working out of financial necessity has increased. Boomers planning to work primarily for enjoyment typically have post-graduate degrees and household incomes of at least $80,000 a year.

Smaller numbers of older workers plan to start their own business or work for themselves (11 percent) or retire from their current job but work full time doing something else (6 percent).

Of course, when you retire isn't always completely in your control. A large number of workers retire because of layoffs, buyouts, health problems, or to care for relatives. And recent research from the Urban Institute suggests that part-time and flexible work arrangements for retirees may be drying up for all but highly educated workers because of the credit crunch and more people needing to work full time for financial reasons.

Tell us, do you plan to work during the traditional retirement years?