Recession's toll: About five years of retirement

July 14, 2011 at 12:28 PM ET

Here’s one of the ways the recession and financial crisis has changed many people’s lives: They’ll be spending more years at the office.

A new survey of Americans 55 and over finds that those older Americans now expect to retire at age 69, on average. A decade ago, they expected to retire at 64.

The survey of about 1,000 people 55 and over was conducted by Harris Interactive for SunAmerica, which sells variable annuities and other investment products.

So what’s keeping us at the office longer? Blame the recession and weak stock market gains over the past decade. That’s left many people more worried about whether they’ll have enough money to fund their golden years.

Forty-four percent of those surveyed said they feel “secure” about their financial situation these days, compared with 62 percent who felt that way before the recession began.

In addition, 28 percent are currently angry about their financial situation.

Even after they retire, about two-thirds said they would like to continue to do some work. The respondents were almost equally split on whether they would keep working for the stimulation and satisfaction, or would be doing it for the money.

SunAmerica is a unit of insurance giant AIG, which was a key player in the 2008 financial crisis. AIG was teetering on the edge of bankruptcy when it received billions of dollars in federal bailout funds in the fall of 2008. The company has since gone through extensive restructuring.

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