Many individuals who thought they would be able to retire when they reached age 65 are reconsidering because of the economic downturn and a sudden realization that they haven't saved enough to live comfortably in retirement.

Retirement used to be an age-driven event, but now people are thinking about it from the perspective of, "Can I afford to retire," said Joe Ready, director of Wells Fargo Institutional Retirement and Trust. In a recent survey of middle class people, those who make less than $100,000 a year, 25 percent of respondents said they would have to work until age 80 to be able to afford retirement.

"We always knew that three out of four people would work in retirement, but working until age 80 is very much a sea change," Ready said.

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