American workers still on the job say they anticipate retiring at age 66, pretty much what they’ve said for the last few years. But it’s a rise over previous decades, with age 60 being the anticipated point of retirement during the 1990s.
According to a Gallup poll, Americans’ anticipated retirement age has stabilized between 65 and 67 since 2009. But before that, it was a tad lower, averaging 64, between 2002 and 2008, and even lower than that, at 60, in two Gallup surveys conducted in 1995.
Overall, this latest poll indicates that 41 percent of Americans plan to retire at age 66 or older. That’s the highest by two points in the trend.
Surveys from 2004 and earlier indicated that less than 30 percent of workers wanted to wait till after 65 to retire, and in November of 1995 only 12 percent planned to hang on that long.
Oh, and those who want to retire early—say, before age 60? Their numbers are dropping like flies, down to 12 percent compared with 1995’s 27 percent.
But if you ask those under 30, they’re anticipating being able to retire at a significantly younger age than workers aged 30–64.
Says the report, “Apparently, just as they are more optimistic about having enough money to be comfortable in retirement, young people are also more optimistic that they will retire at a fairly young age. But Americans appear to readjust their retirement projections upward once they cross the 30-years-of-age threshold.”
Current retirees’ average age of retirement is 61, which is considerably lower than the age at which workers still on the job say they’ll finally throw in the towel.
Still, the age of retirement has risen slightly over 27 years of Gallup tracking; in the five Gallup surveys conducted between 1991 and 2003, the average age of retirees was 58, but it rose to 60 from 2004 to 2010; since 2011, it’s averaged 61.
And while workers are planning on one age to retire, reality has shown that most workers can’t hang on that long. While some do persevere in the workplace to a more advanced age, it isn’t always possible, thanks to such factors as the economy, Social Security laws, health care and longevity—which may drive workers to retire earlier than they’d planned.
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