The ideal retirement age in the United States is 58. But, the most-often anticipated age for retirement is 64, a full six years later than most would like to call it quits. That is even though the average age Americans begin saving for retirement is age 30, according to the latest AXA Equitable Life Insurance Co. survey. More than half expect to work some in retirement.

The survey interviewed workers from across the globe and found people everywhere hold some apprehension about retirement. Americans are more concerned about Social Security failing than are others, and they are less concerned about global warming, landing second from the bottom in that category. Something else the survey found is that major life events typically trigger the realization that people need to begin saving for retirement – things like turning 40 or 50, or having children.

Other key findings among U.S. respondents include:

  • Americans view financial risk adversely. Majorities of working and retired Americans said they are most interested in financial products that yield some minimum return without risk.
  • Among already retired Americans, 81 percent say their standard of living has decreased or stayed the same.

Eighty-five percent of working Americans overwhelmingly feel their living standard will remain the same or decrease.

  • Three-fourths of retirees report that their retirement income is lower than their most recent salary.
  • Workers in all age groups think Social Security is in serious trouble.

“Overall, our survey findings suggest Americans are beginning to wake up to the realities of retirement,” says Ken Gelman, vice president and director of market research for AXA. “Though most Americans are saving for retirement, they are saving less each month than in the two previous years. They are also expressing concern about their retirement income and standard of living. They realize they have to work longer and prepare earlier to achieve their goals.”

For access to the entire survey, visit www.axa-equitable.com.