Americans contemplate delaying retirement as meltdown wipes out savings

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Savings are being swept awayAs the financial crisis shows no signs of easing, a new study has found that more Americans are planning to delay retirement for up to five years.

The study, released by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants shows that people are making adjustments to reflect the tough economic environment.

The financial planners survey by the CPA revealed that almost 35 percent of their clients who are approaching retirement age are postponing it now, a 3 percent increase from last year. Almost 90 percent of them planned to delay retirement for no more than five years.

AICPA vice president James Metzler added some nuance to these results saying that "70 is the new 65 … People are living longer and getting more satisfaction from working later in life."

However, "the market downturn has reduced wealth and CPA financial planners are seeing clients delay retirement plans as a result," he added.

Other findings which reveal recession-induced lifestyle changes suggest that 60 percent of the clients are postponing holidays, 52 percent are putting off car and/or home purchases, and 42 percent have cancelled home renovations. Only 11 percent have not changed their spending plans.

The latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics suggests that the unemployment rate rose to 7.6 percent in February. Government sources also say that the economy contracted at an annual rate of 3.8 percent in the fourth quarter of 2008.
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