More than two-thirds of Americans are most concerned with short and midterm financial spending, according to a new study by Prudential Financial Inc.[@@]

The study, “Roadblocks to Retirement,” also noted that 60% of respondents indicated they are behind schedule in saving for retirement. The vast majority now expects to work longer and to continue working into retirement, says Prudential, Newark, N.J.

Women face an even greater challenge, as they have to catch up more than men and, given longer life spans, likely will need their retirement resources for a much longer period.

Financial planning is a challenge for those focused on current needs, Prudential vice chairman John Strangfield says.

“Our new research shows that most Americans don’t get serious about planning for retirement until they reach their 50s,” he says. “And even then, more than half focus on short-term goals.”

Issues such as company downsizing, injury, health limitations or family emergencies can lead to a sudden or unexpected retirement, Prudential notes. A total of 40% of the respondents indicated they were forced to retire, and nearly half of the involuntary retirees were under the age of 60. Almost two-thirds of the people who unexpectedly retired indicated they were not financially prepared, the study noted.