65 No Longer Finish Line for Workers

Only a minority of Americans now say they plan to retire at or before age 65, according to a newly released study.

The age of 65 is no longer the finish line for most American workers.

Four in 10 working Americans (43%) say they expect to retire after—not at—age 65, according to a new study. Only 19% said they expect to retire at age 65. Another 16% said they’ll leave the workforce before 65.

The study was commissioned by the Bankers Life Center for a Secure Retirement. The survey involved 1,000 Americans aged 50 to 68, with household incomes between $25,000 and $100,000.

Not surprisingly, the chief barrier to retirement is money. Nearly two-thirds of those surveyed (62%) said they have doubts about their retirement savings, compared to 38% who said they are “very confident” or “extremely confident” about their retirement savings.

Scott Goldberg, president of Bankers Life, said those challenges aren’t insurmountable.

“Boomers are facing a challenging retirement environment, but just about any of them can improve their financial security through a combination of investment and protection products,” Goldberg said.

The survey found two-thirds of those with between $500,000 and $1 million in investable assets were “very confident” their money will suffice throughout retirement. That number jumps to 86% among people with more than $1 million in investable assets.

However, Bankers Life found only 13% of middle-income Baby Boomers had investable assets above $500,000, while 54% had less than $100,000 and 34% had less than $25,000.

That means the majority of people would have difficulty paying for long-term care, something that has become more common as American life expectancy has increased. Bankers Life noted that one year of care in a nursing home could effectively wipe out the entire savings of the majority of the people in the survey.