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Gallup Sees Fewer Americans Retiring Before 65

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What You Need to Know

  • In recent years, only 32% of Americans ages 60 through 64 have reported being retired.
  • During the period from 2002 through 2007, 41% of the people in that age group said they were retired.
  • The percentage of people age 75 and older who say they are retired has fallen 1 percentage point, to 88%.

The latest polling data from Gallup indicates that Americans really are staying in the workforce longer, but retiring somewhat earlier than they might have expected.

Only 11% of the U.S. residents ages 55 through 59 who were surveyed by Gallup from 2016 through this year said they were retired, according to Jeffrey M. Jones, a Gallup analyst.

The percentage was down from a retired rate of 19% for survey takers in the 55-59 age group during the five-year period starting in 2002.

Between the 2002-2007 period and the 2016-2022 period, the retired rate fell from 41% to 32% for the 60-64 age group; from 76% to 70% for the 65-69 age group; and from 88% to 83% for the 70-74 age group.

But for people in the 75-and-older age group, the retired rate fell just a little — to 88%, from 89%.

What It Means

Clients under about 55 who say they intend to keep working until the new normal Social Security retirement age — 67 — may have a good chance of doing that.

Relatively young clients who tell you they want to keep working until they are 75 may not be all that likely to meet that goal.

The Numbers

Jones based the retired rate figures on the results of Gallup’s annual Economy and Personal Finance survey.

The actual average retirement age has crept up to 61 this year, from about 59 in 2002.

The age when working survey participants said they expected to retire has increased to 66 this year, from 63 in 2002.

In most years during that period, the gap between working survey-takers’ expected retirement age and the age when retired survey takers said they had actually retired has fluctuated from about four years to five years.

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