A new study released by the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies found that a significant number of Americans plan to never retire or will be largely unprepared for retirement.


The study of 4,080 American workers discovered that 40 percent of respondents now expect to work longer than anticipated prior to the beginning of the recession.  In total, 39 percent plan to retire after age 70 or not at all, and 54 percent expect to continue with some type of work during retirement.

For younger workers, 69 percent of those in their twenties and 72 percent of those in their 30's believe they could work until age 65 and not have sufficient money to fund their retirement.  In average, workers estimated a need to save $600,000 to fund retirement, but only 30 percent indicated that they have saved over $100,000 in all household retirement accounts.

A large majority, 82 percent, indicated that they do not have a backup plan in the event that they are unable to work as long as expected.

“With all of life’s uncertainties, planning not to retire is simply not a viable retirement strategy,” says Catherine Collinson, president of the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies. “Planning to work past age 65 is an important opportunity to continue earning income, save more, and help to alleviate a retirement savings shortfall; however, it’s important that workers be proactive in setting a retirement savings goal, saving and investing for retirement, and having a backup plan if they are forced to retire sooner than expected.”

The survey highlighted eight ways that workers may be able to improve their retirement outlook:

  1. Talk about the need to plan and save with friends and family
  2. Formulate a written retirement savings plan to follow
  3. Get educated by learning more about government benefits, retirement saving and investing
  4. Weighing retirement benefits as part of the total compensation when evaluating employment offers
  5. Asking employers who don't have a retirement plan (i.e. 401k) to offer one
  6. Participate in employer offered plans
  7. Take advantage of the Saver's Credit for catch contributions available to workers age 50 and older
  8. Develop a backup plan in the event of being unable to work before planned retirement