Recent market volatility and increases in life expectancy have forced many Americans to adjust their retirement plans and expectations.

Analysts at AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company, New York, a unit of AXA S.A. Paris, have reported that finding in a summary of results from a survey of about 1,000 U.S. residents ages 25 to 70 that was conducted in December 2009. The survey participants were financial decision-makers with household income of at least $75,000 or investable assets between $250,000 and $999,999.

About 42% of the participants said they plan to delay retirement, and the participants who said they would push back retirement expect to do so by average of 6 years. Their average planned retirement age has increased to 68, from 62.

AXA Equitable found that 27% of the participants plan to go back to work after “retiring,” and that the percentage who already have returned to the work force has increased to 17%, up from 9% in February 2009.

Other survey findings:

- 84% of the participants worry about inflation and losing money on investments.

- 85% worry about having inadequate sources of guaranteed income.

- Only 19% are are confident in their ability to invest in equities, but 60% still believe that investing in equities is important.