NEW YORK – Regis Philbin now says he's been thinking of retiring.
"One in three people suffer from retirement anxiety . . . well, I do [and] I've been thinking about it," Philbin said to co-host Kelly Ripa during the host-chat segment of yesterday's Live with Regis & Kelly.
Philbin, who turns 71 later this month, was talking about a new study that found widespread uncertainty among people about their retirement plans.
The remark about thinking about retiring took Ripa by surprise.
Was he serious? she asked.
"What am I gonna do, where am I gonna go at 9 o'clock in the morning?" Philbin replied. "I ain't got no place to go."
Philbin's remarks came as he is re-negotiating the $20 million, three-and-a-half year deal he signed in 2000 at the height of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire mania.
That deal encompassed both Millionaire and Live. Since then, Millionaire has been removed from ABC's schedule as a regularly scheduled program.
Live continues to go great guns in the ratings department.
As The Post reported exclusively this past Monday, Ripa confirmed yesterday that she won't re-sign as an everyday player on All My Children when her contact expires in December.
As The Post also said, Ripa hopes to return to the show from time to time.
"I just want to have the option of changing days around . . . working when it's convenient for me," Ripa said. "I'll still be there . . . I'm not leaving."
"No, but you're hanging on by a thread," Philbin shot back.