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Ultimate Retirement Guide
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What people regret the most in retirement

Senior man leaving job

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Leaving the workforce too early

"Between one-third and one-half of all people retire involuntarily in any given year, usually for reasons of health — theirs or a loved one's," said Thomas Murphy, a certified financial planner at Murphy & Sylvest in Dallas. "Of those who retire voluntarily, many do so with no real understanding of how much it will cost to live in retirement or when or how the retirement money will come."

What's more, it's difficult for older Americans to return to the workforce should they want to after retirement.

A 2013 survey by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that 69 percent of adults age 50 and older who have searched for a job in the last five years say "they have experienced a lack of available jobs, 63 percent had trouble finding jobs offering an adequate salary, and 53 percent said there were not enough jobs offering adequate benefits. Forty-five percent have experienced feeling too old for the available jobs, 43 percent have encountered employers being concerned about their age, and 32 percent were told they were overqualified."

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