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New Retirement Age May Have Americans Working Until They Drop

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iboy, Flickr

In yet another bit of cheerful economic news, a quarter of the 1,500 people who filled out Wells Fargo’s latest retirement survey said they don’t plan to retire until they’re 80 years old — two years past the life expectancy of the average American.

The respondents, whose ages ranged from 20 to 80, had median savings of only $25,000, but a retirement savings goal of $350,000. Worst yet, nearly a third of people who were already in their 60s still only had that $25,000 in the bank.

Previously, Americans usually planned to retire at a very specific age, typically 65, but unemployment, stock market swings and plunging home prices have made them think twice.

“The fact that the vast majority of middle-class Americans expect to work well past the traditional retirement age has significant societal and economic implications,” said Joe Ready, director of Wells Fargo Institutional Retirement and Trust. “Will people be physically and mentally able to work later in life? What will it mean for young people entering the workforce? And, how does our system of retirement savings need to be reformed to help reduce the savings gap?”

But all that aside, the survey also found almost half of the people who planned to work longer actually wanted to do so. Robyn Sekula, a 40-year-old media consultant from New Albany, Indiana, said, “I don’t know that I will ever want to retire, unless my health dictates that I must. I love what I do.”

[CNN Money]

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