Sun Life’s Financial Unretirement Index Says 70 is the New 65

Americans remain increasingly pessimistic about their retirement funds and options since the economic crisis according to the latest Sun Life Financial Unretirement Index.

Up from only 64 percent last year, Sun Life found that 80 percent of American workers believe they will need three years or longer in order to rebuild retirement savings that were lost due to the recession.

“Our latest Unretirement Index shows that American workers have surveyed the damage of the economic crisis and are coming to grips with how long it will take them to rebuild their savings and how long they will need to remain in the workforce in order to do so,” said Wes Thompson, President of Sun Life Financial U.S. “The Unretirement Index demonstrates how low confidence levels are impacting the American psyche and details the changes Americans are making in their saving and spending habits as a result.”

Sun Life defines “unretirement” as working 20 hours or more per week past the age when one is eligible for Social Security benefits. Sun Life created the Unretirement Index in order to study the reasons why Americans are choosing to continue to work past the traditional age of retirement.  One of the reasons may be from the fact that less than half of American workers, at 42 percent, are “very confident” that they will be able to pay their basic living expenses during retirement.

Only one out of every four American workers feels “very confident” in the ability to afford medical needs after retirement and just a little less than 20 percent of American workers believe they will never fully be able to recover from the recession’s impact on their retirement savings. Now just as many American workers say they will retire at 70-years old as the traditional age of 65.

American worker’s confidence has reached a new low regarding government programs as well. Only 14 percent say they are very confident in Social Security benefits, which is down from 22 percent last year.  For the complete Unretirement Index results and methodology, see here.

Written by Kelly Mellott

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