As the economy gradually recovers, some mature workers are feeling more comfortable about retiring now compared to last year at this time.

According to a new survey from CareerBuilder, 65 percent of workers age 60 and older said they are putting off retirement because they can't afford to retire financially, but that’s down from 72 percent who said the same last year. The nationwide survey was conducted among more than 500 U.S. workers age 60 and up between Nov. 15 and Dec. 2, 2010.

Twenty-eight percent of mature workers age 60 and older plan to retire within the next two years, while 27 percent are planning to retire in three to four years, and 18 percent in the next five to six years. Sixteen percent estimate it will be seven years or more before they can stop working, while 10 percent said they don't think they'll ever be able to retire.

The primary drivers for postponing retirement are financial restraints, as indicated by 65 percent of respondents, and the need for health insurance and other benefits, as indicated by 58 percent of respondents. However, mature workers are staying on board at their companies for a variety of other reasons, including those who say they enjoy their job (39 percent), enjoy where they work (36 percent), fear retirement may just be boring (26 percent), and enjoy feeling needed (14 percent).

“It’s encouraging to see that more workers have the option to retire if they want to, but there are still some who want to keep working at their companies for a variety of reasons,” said CareerBuilder vice president of human resources Rosemary Haefner in a statement. “Twenty-two percent of workers age 60 and up that we surveyed said they have asked their employer to stay longer with the company, while 29 percent of companies said they are open to keeping workers on board a little longer.”

Nearly half (47 percent) of the workers age 60 and up who were surveyed said they planned to find a part-time job after retiring to stay active and help support their bank accounts.

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