20% of Workers Expect to Retire Later Than Planned

Twenty percent of U.S. workers say their expected retirement age has increased over the past year. An annual Employee Benefit Research Institute survey found the 20% increase in 2011 was statistically similar to 24% who said they were planning to postpone retirement in 2010.


The study, EBRI’s 2011 Retirement Confidence Survey, found several frequently cited reasons for the change. First, the poor economy was most often attributed (36%), followed by a lack of faith in Social Security/government (16%). Other reasons for postponing retirement included changes in employment situation (15%) and “can’t afford to retire” (13%).

Other reasons addressed in the survey were that cost of living in retirement will be higher than expected (10%); ensuring respondents have enough money to retire comfortably (10%); the need to pay current expenses first (9%); health care costs (7%); the need to make up for losses in the stock market (6%); law changed minimum retirement age (5%); and poor health or disability (1%).

The age at which workers expect to retire is gradually rising, according to the survey. In 1991, half of workers planned to retire before age 65 (50%), compared with 23% in 2011.

See the full survey results.

Written by Elizabeth Ecker

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