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80 is the new 65 - CNN

TimDTimD Senior MemberPosts: 906 Senior Member
http://money.cnn.com/2011/11/16/retirement/age/index.htm
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- A quarter of middle-class Americans are now so pessimistic about their savings that they are planning to delay retirement until they are at least 80 years old -- two years longer than the average person is even expected to live.

It sounds depressing, but for many it's a necessity. On average, Americans have only saved a mere 7% of the retirement nest egg they were hoping to build, according to Wells Fargo's latest retirement survey that polled 1,500 middle-class Americans.

While respondents (whose ages ranged from 20 to 80) had median savings of only $25,000, their median retirement savings goal was $350,000. And 30% of people in their 60s -- right around the traditional retirement age of 65 -- that were surveyed had saved less than $25,000 for retirement.

As a result, many people aren't in a hurry to quit their day jobs.

Three-fourths of middle-class Americans expect to work throughout retirement. And this includes the 25% of Americans who say they will "need to work until at least age 80" before being able to retire comfortably.

"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?"

Because of the growing gap between actual savings and savings goals, many Americans are scrapping the idea of a concrete retirement age altogether and are instead working as long as it takes in order to save up enough to live comfortably in retirement.

Three-fourths of middle class Americans said it is more important to save a specific amount before retiring, regardless of age, while 20% said it is more important to retire at a specific age, regardless of savings.

This is a change from recent years, with Americans traditionally planning on retiring at a very specific retirement age (typically 65). But with the hits unemployment, stock market swings and plunging home prices have taken on so many Americans' savings, it's made it more difficult for people to feel optimistic about their golden years.

Changes in pension plans and proposed cuts to Social Security and Medicare benefits are also cutting into retirement optimism, Wells Fargo found.

On average, people ages 20 to 40 expect Social Security to account for only 20% of their retirement funding. And more than 25% of people in both their 20s and their 30s expect to get absolutely no income from Social Security in retirement. People in their 50s expect to get 36% of retirement funding from Social Security, and 60-year-olds anticipate Social Security to make up 46% of their retirement income.

On the bright side, a lot of people are actually choosing to work longer, the survey showed. About 45% of Americans between 25 and 39 and a quarter of people ages 40 to 59 say they will work in retirement because they want to (though 42% of Americans say they will work in a position that requires "less responsibility.")

And some people may even work well past 80 years old. Robyn Sekula, from New Albany, Ind., is 40 years old and hopes to work for the rest of her life at her job as a media consultant.

"I don't know that I will ever want to retire, unless my health dictates that I must," said Sekula. "I love what I do."

An interesting snapshot, It would also be interesting to see a piece on how the attitudes and abilities on retirement have changed over time.

Tim

Replies

  • Scott ButnerScott Butner Senior Member Posts: 3,918 Senior Member
    It's an interesting dilemma, and the older I get, the more I wonder what the solution is? between more nutrition (not necessarily BETTER, just more), and health care that can render many previously fatal diseases as just temporary set backs, we are all living longer.....at a rate that outpaces evolution's ability to change certain aspects of our brain/mind. Sure, a person CAN work til they're 80 now, physically -- but are we really "designed" (evolved) to work that long? I don't think so, personally. I think there's a point at which we simply grow bored with much of what this life offers -- and work doesn't fill that need.

    Personally, I would rather have some certainty that I was going to live 'til, say, 70 --but had sufficient resources to live comfortably -- than the POSSIBILITY that I might live 'til 80 or 90, but have no way of supporting myself in those later years.

    Where are those **** death panels when you need them?
  • Brian D.Brian D. Senior Member Posts: 4,011 Senior Member
    It seems like everyone I know who retires early, dies early. Maybe I'll feel differently when I'm 65, but for now I kinda think I'd rather maintain some sort of presence in an office doing some kind of work, at least part time, as long as I can. I think the very routine of getting up, going into a workplace, and making your brain process something other than the couch and the t.v. helps keep you alive longer.

    That said, I think everyone from the middle class on down is falling behind in the retirement rat race. Things are getting more expensive, and wages and savings aren't keeping up by a long shot.

    bd
  • FishTXFishTX Super Moderator Posts: 8,706 Senior Member
    Brian D. wrote: »
    It seems like everyone I know who retires early, dies early.
    I work for a guy who is 70 and wants to work as long as he is able to get around the woods. When grandmother was ill, he asked what does she do? Work around the house? Cooks family dinners? His point is that our health is often better if we have something we feel useful to do.
    "We have to find someone who can not only fly this plane, but who didn't have fish for dinner."

    Crooow:This music would work better with women in bikinis shaking all over the place. I guess that's true of any music really.
  • Scott ButnerScott Butner Senior Member Posts: 3,918 Senior Member
    Brian D. wrote: »
    It seems like everyone I know who retires early, dies early. Maybe I'll feel differently when I'm 65, but for now I kinda think I'd rather maintain some sort of presence in an office doing some kind of work, at least part time, as long as I can.

    bd

    the thing is, that's a false dichotomy -- those are far from the only two choices.

    my fishing buddy, Vern, has gone from work-a-holic computer programmer for 42 years, to bluegrass picker, state champion level bridge player, and hiring a guide to take him fishing every week since his slouch of a fishing buddy doesn't seem to be able to find the time to do it.

    I have other friends who have retired from technical professions only to go into the Peace Corps and go do work that brought their life more meaning, but little or nothing in the way of financial reward.

    to me, the possibility of dying prematurely, is less frightening than the prospect of dying with regrets for things that you always wanted to try, but never had the time/opportunity to do.
  • Brian D.Brian D. Senior Member Posts: 4,011 Senior Member
    to me, the possibility of dying prematurely, is less frightening than the prospect of dying with regrets for things that you always wanted to try, but never had the time/opportunity to do.

    Well yeah, but unless my wife seriously changes her policy about what I'm allowed to do with her hot friends, I'm never going to have those opportunities anyway. Might as well work.

    bd
  • JulietJuliet Posts: 49,774 Senior Member
    Brian D. wrote: »
    Well yeah, but unless my wife seriously changes her policy about what I'm allowed to do with her hot friends, I'm never going to have those opportunities anyway. Might as well work.

    bd

    BD. It is good to see you are so optomistic that at 65(or 80) you assume that your wifes friends will still be hot and that you would be "up" to the challenge.
  • Brian D.Brian D. Senior Member Posts: 4,011 Senior Member
    It was just a joke. In reality I hope that long before age 65 I have been hunted down and snuffed out by a massive crowd of angry jealous husbands.

    bd
  • NZ IndicatorNZ Indicator Senior Member Posts: 11,543 Senior Member
    Brian D. wrote: »
    It seems like everyone I know who retires early, dies early.

    Agreed. I see the same thing for those that decide to sit on the porch (or couch/TV) and watch the world go by. Seems that those that keep their mind/body busy fair a little better.
  • JulietJuliet Posts: 49,774 Senior Member
    Brian D. wrote: »
    It was just a joke. In reality I hope that long before age 65 I have been hunted down and snuffed out by a massive crowd of angry jealous husbands.

    bd


    Move to Memphis.
  • ricinusricinus Senior Member Posts: 6,214 Senior Member
    Brian D. wrote: »
    It seems like everyone I know who retires early, dies early.
    bd


    Funny, in my occupation and others as shift workers, people who took early retirement live significantly longer than those who decided to work til later in life. As for sitting around and watching TV all day, life is what you make of it. There are plenty of charities that need help out and you could be busier than when you worked. The nice thing is you decide how much time you wanted to put in. I've been retired for 7 yrs now and I have never once regretted my choice.

    Mike
    My new goal in life is to become an Alter Kaker...
  • TimDTimD Senior Member Posts: 906 Senior Member
    It's an interesting dilemma, and the older I get, the more I wonder what the solution is? between more nutrition (not necessarily BETTER, just more), and health care that can render many previously fatal diseases as just temporary set backs, we are all living longer.....at a rate that outpaces evolution's ability to change certain aspects of our brain/mind. Sure, a person CAN work til they're 80 now, physically -- but are we really "designed" (evolved) to work that long? I don't think so, personally. I think there's a point at which we simply grow bored with much of what this life offers -- and work doesn't fill that need.

    Personally, I would rather have some certainty that I was going to live 'til, say, 70 --but had sufficient resources to live comfortably -- than the POSSIBILITY that I might live 'til 80 or 90, but have no way of supporting myself in those later years.

    Where are those **** death panels when you need them?

    When I was finishing high school, the talk was of 4 day weeks and freedom 55. This article and real life point out that the times are a changing.

    I like my work and expect to have a nice pension and think that savings are better than conspicuous consumption.

    In some ways, people retiring early (that have savings or pensions) are good for the economy since they demand (buy) goods and services without supplying any. They also free up jobs for their kids and grandkids (and other peoples' kids and grandkids) With low real estate values, and interest rates; along with less people having good pensions (as a proportion of the population) and all that talk of cutting back social security and medicare it just makes sense to postpone retirement.

    It is an interesting paradox that at a time when people are better educated and more productive than any time in history that more and more people can't afford to retire.

    Tim

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