Charles Schwab Study Finds 9.5 Million Retirees Hope to Re-Enter Workforce

Current Economic Climate, Shrinking Retirement Funds Leave Many Without Options

Thursday, July 2, 2009 1:22 pm PDT



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SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--June was another difficult month for American workers with a net loss of 467,000 jobs, compared with 322,000 in May. June represents the first time in the past four months that the number of jobs lost rose from the previous month. Despite diminishing employment opportunities and an economy threatening job security, new research by Charles Schwab & Co., Inc shows that as many as 9.5 million retired Americans are considering at least a partial return to the workforce and 32 percent of those currently employed expect to hold their job and delay retirement.

“It’s a challenging time to be facing retirement,” said Rich Rosso, financial consultant at Charles Schwab’s Houston branch. “The situation many Americans have found themselves in illustrates the importance of long term retirement planning. But in the short term there are also a host of things people can consider to help smooth the ride.”

Below are suggestions from Rosso for managing the financial implications of returning to the workforce or delaying retirement.

Strategies for Jumping Back In

For retired investors anticipating a jump back into the workforce, Rosso has the following suggestions for getting finances in order before making the move:

  • Don’t overlook possible tax deductions. You may be able to deduct certain job-hunting expenses such as employment agency fees, resume preparation, phone calls and transportation if you’re seeking employment. These expenses are generally deductible as miscellaneous if exceeding 2 percent of your current income.
  • Consider stopping your Social Security payments. It doesn’t take much to make your Social Security payments taxable. If you can pay back what you’ve already taken out, it may be in your best interest to stop taking Social Security until after you stop working permanently.
  • As age 70½ approaches, don't forget you'll need to start taking required minimum distributions from your traditional IRA. You have until April 1 of the following year to start, but that means taking two taxed distributions in the first year.
  • Be sure to stay well diversified. So close to retirement, it is critical to develop a well-diversified portfolio and reduce exposure to any single investment, such as the stock of your ex-employer.
  • Periodically review all the categories of your insurance coverage. Verify that you're not paying too much for the wrong kind of coverage. This should include life, property, casualty and liability insurance.

Tips for Putting Retirement on Hold

For investors expecting to extend employment into their retirement years, Rosso suggests considering the following strategies for making the most of a delayed transition:

  • Continue to invest money up to the company match in your company retirement plan. Don’t turn your back on what is essentially free money.
  • Attempt to be as debt free as possible before pulling the trigger on retirement. Start with unsecured credit card and/or auto loan debt first. Then work to get your mortgage paid off if you plan to stay in your current residence for at least another 10 years.
  • Remember to support your emergency fund. Consider expanding your three to six-month emergency fund to cover at least two years of living expenses for retirement. An emergency fund can help you avoid dipping into dedicated retirement savings or taking on more debt if you’re in a cash crunch.

The information provided here is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered an individualized recommendation or personalized investment, tax or legal advice. Any investments and strategies mentioned here may not be suitable for everyone. You should consult with a financial professional for more information.

For More Information

Charles Schwab encourages individuals to take advantage of Schwab’s Real Life Retirement Services, which provides a realistic approach to retirement, not only offering key insight into actionable ways to save for and manage retirement savings, but also providing guidance on products and services and access to stories from Americans who have successfully moved into life’s third act. For more information please visit,

About the Study

The Charles Schwab Q2 Retirement Omnibus Survey was conducted by Kelton Research between April 13th and April 20th, 2009 using Random Digit Dialing of listed and unlisted numbers. Quotas are set to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the total U.S. population ages 18 and over. Results of any sample are subject to sampling variation. The magnitude of the variation is measurable and is affected by the number of interviews and the level of the percentages expressing the results. In this particular study, the chances are 95 in 100 that a survey result does not vary, plus or minus, by more than 3.1 percentage points from the result that would be obtained if interviews had been conducted with all persons in the universe represented by the sample.

About Charles Schwab

The Charles Schwab Corporation (Nasdaq:SCHW) is a leading provider of financial services, with more than 300 offices and 7.5 million client brokerage accounts, 1.5 million corporate retirement plan participants, 567,000 banking accounts, and $1.2 trillion in client assets. Through its operating subsidiaries, the company provides a full range of securities brokerage, banking, money management and financial advisory services to individual investors and independent investment advisors. Its broker-dealer subsidiary, Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. (member SIPC,, and affiliates offer a complete range of investment services and products including an extensive selection of mutual funds; financial planning and investment advice; retirement plan and equity compensation plan services; referrals to independent fee-based investment advisors; and custodial, operational and trading support for independent, fee-based investment advisors through its Advisor Services division. The Charles Schwab Bank (member FDIC) provides banking and mortgage services and products. More information is available at (0709-9750)

© 2009 Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. All rights reserved. Member SIPC


Charles Schwab
Lara Edge, 415-667-0588
Jennifer McClellan, 212-704-4567

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