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Retirement Planning > Retirement Investing

EBRI Survey: Number of Americans Who Plan to Work to Age 70 on the Rise

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The number of Americans age 50 and older who expect not to retire before age 70 has increased in recent years, according to a new report.

The Employee Benefits Research Institute, Washington, published this finding in a summary of results from its December 2011 EBRI Notes, “Retirement Age Expectations of Older Americans Between 2006 and 2010.” The EBRI study examines data from the University of Michigan’s Health and Retirement Survey on how expected retirement ages of older Americans changed during the period of 2006–2010, covering the periods just before, during, and after the recent economic recession.

In 2010, after the recession had officially ended, the percentage of American workers age 50 or older who expect to retire at age 70 increased to 14.8% from 11.2% in 2006, says EBRI.

At higher ages, EBRI adds, the expected retirement age has jumped: Just 1.7% of workers age 50 or over planned to retire at age 80 in 2006, while that more than tripled to 5.2% in 2010, EBRI found.

Expected retirement at earlier ages (62 and 65) also steadily declined over the four-year period of 2006?2010, the study found.

“The general trend shows that older Americans are expecting to retire later,” say Sudipto Banerjee, EBRI research associate and author of the study. “But the most striking finding is that nearly 20% of the sample expects never to stop working and more than 15% of the sample don’t know when they are going to retire.”

In addition, in 2008, during the recession, 22.4% of the workers age 50 or over say they plan to never retire. That declined to 16.3% in 2010. Over the 2006–2010 period, another 14-18% of workers say they don’t know when they will retire.

Full results of the EBRI report are posted here.


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