Americans Saving for a Later Retirement

Most working Americans responding to a recent poll declared they had begun saving for retirement, but didn’t expect to be able to start using the money until age 64 – six years later than they wanted.

Milestone birthdays like 40 and 50 and having children represent life changing events that triggered Americans to start saving for their later years. Getting married and responding to advice from friends and relatives also helped many Americans to swing into action on the retirement savings front, according to the announcement.

However, that doesn’t mean Americans are anticipating a life of leisure. The standard of living in retirement is not improving. The majority of working Americans (85%) said their living standards will remain the same or decrease in retirement, and 81% of retirees reported their living standards have remained the same or decreased.

Further, more than half of respondents said they anticipate working during retirement. Of those surveyed, middle-income workers (53%) and female retirees (50%) indicated feelings their retirement income will be insufficient. This could be because the survey found retirement income is lower. Seven in 10 American retirees reported receiving lower income in retirement than their most recent salary. U.S. workers also said they believe Social Security is in serious trouble, if not in crisis. This is of particular concern to those aged 25 to 34, who fear Social Security will run out by the time they are eligible.

About half of both working Americans and retirees surveyed indicated they expect retirement reform in the next 10 years. Of those, nearly 80% said such reform will raise the minimum retirement age, while two-thirds or higher said it will reduce benefits.

Majorities of both working and retired Americans also said they would be most interested in financial products that potentially yield a minimum return without any financial risk.

Research firm GfK NOP managed the survey globally for the AXA Group. A total of 18,114 people between 25 and 75 years old were polled, including a U.S. sample of 800 people – 400 are working and 400 are retired.

The survey results are available here.