Recession hits 50+ workers hard

The Great Recession at 30 Months,” issued by the Pew Research Center research report issued this week, highlights some of the issues that we are focusing on in Over 50 and Out of Work.

From the report:

  • The age group that seems to have suffered the most in this regard [during the Great Recession] is those ages 50-64—many of whom are still working but nearing retirement age. A majority (57%) in this age group say they are in worse shape financially than they were before the recession. As many as one-in- five (21%) say they are in much worse shape. Among those ages 65 and older, only about half as many (12%) say they are much worse off. These older Americans are among the most likely to say their financial situation has not changed during the recession (45% among those ages 65 and older). Roughly the same proportion of those under age 50 (46%) say things have gotten worse for them.
  • Some 32% of adults now say they are not at all confident they will have sufficient income and assets for retirement, up from 25% who said the same in February 2009. This uncertainty is greater among younger and middle-aged adults than among older adults. It is also greater among adults with low incomes.
  • Among adults ages 62 and older who are still working, 35% say they‘ve already delayed retirement because of the recession. Among adults ages 50 to 61 who are currently employed, six-in-ten say they may have to delay retirement because of the recession.

  • Four-in-ten adults (41%) who have a checking, savings or retirement account say that during the recession they have had to withdraw money from their savings account, 401(k) account or some other retirement account to pay their bills. Younger and middle-aged adults report having done this at higher rates than those ages 65 and older.
  • About half of all homeowners (48%) say the value of their house has declined during the recession. A third say their homes have held their value during the recession, and one-in-eight say their homes have increased in value. Homeowners most likely to report their home lost value include those who are middle-aged, upper income and live in the West.
  • More than two-in-ten (21%) of all homeowners say they currently owe more on their mortgage or other home loans than they could sell their house for in today‘s market. In real estate vernacular, they are ―underwater. Hispanic and black homeowners are more likely than whites to be in this circumstance; lower-income homeowners are more likely than upper-income homeowners to face this problem, and middle-aged homeowners more likely than either younger or older homeowners to be in this situation.