The New Normal In Retirement: 65 Is No Longer A Magic Birthday For Many

Friday, December 09, 2011 08:22
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The New Normal In Retirement: 65 Is No Longer A Magic Birthday For Many

Tags: retirement plans

The long recession did not kill the American dream of retirement, but expectations have moderated quite a bit. According to new numbers from the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI), it boils down to working longer.

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Back in 2008, a full 22% of the pre-retirees -- workers age 50 and up -- suspected they would never have enough money to leave the work force.

 

EBRI's latest survey indicates that gloomy segment has shrunk to 16%, which is still high but nowhere near a mass shift in sentiment.

 

This might be American optimism at work as those with no plan at all and little realistic prospect of saving enough money in their lifetime still hold out hope. The dream is still alive.

 

But there is a new note of realism in these numbers. More Americans expect to go on working to age 70 or even 80 before they stop, which reveals at least some level of understanding that it's no longer enough to make it to Social Security age before they quit working.

 

This, of course, has its own challenges for those whose health won't hold up that long. 

 

Still, as life expectancies climb, working lives seem to be expanding to match. The logic is well known to all A4A readers: more years to accumulate, fewer years to spend down.

 

Assumptions about a government-ordained retirement are shifting. It's important to make sure your clients are on board.

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