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Survey: Nearly 8 in 10 workers expect to retire past age 65

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Working adults ages 60-plus are more pessimistic than younger colleagues that they will be able to retire by age 65, according to new research.

So reports Northwestern Mutual in its annual “2014 Planning and Progress Study: Talking Money & Retirement.” Based on a survey of 2,092 U.S. adults ages 18 and older, the survey aims to ascertain, among other objectives, Americans’ attitudes toward money and financial decision-making, perspectives on working with a financial advisor and the client experience, and people’s preparedness for retirement.

The report reveals that nearly two in five (38 percent) of working adults estimate they will have to work until age 75 or older before they can retire. Those who are now working believe they will retire at a “much later age” than do individuals already retired (68 years old for those now working versus age 59, the average age of current retirees when they stopped working).

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The following tables list age ranges of retirement (estimated or actual) among survey respondents:

Will Work until Retirement (until I am… years old)

Less than 50 years old


50-64 years sold


65-74 years old


75-plus years old


I have already retired


I don’t work


Mean estimated age of retirement


Age when retired among those already retired

Less than 55 years old


55-59 years sold


60-64 years old


65-69 years old


Age 70 or older


Mean age of retirement


The report adds that about two in five U.S. adults have spoken to their spouse/partner (39 percent) or have not spoken to anyone (42 percent) about retirement. Between 2 and 3 in 10 survey respondents have spoken with a:

  • A family member (27 percent);
  • Financial advisor (22 percent);
  • Friends (21 percent); or
  • Someone else (1 percent)