Data and Research

One-Quarter of Americans Older Than 55 Not Saving for Retirement

Thirty percent plan to retire at age 70 or even older, and 20% don’t expect to ever retire, a survey finds.

By Lee Barney editors@plansponsor.com | March 31, 2017

Is 70 becoming the new 65? CareerBuilder asked this question in a survey of those age 60 and older. Thirty percent said they plan to retire at age 70 or even older, and 20% don’t expect to ever retire.

While not having enough money to retire is the reason why they are planning to delay retirement, 34% of those age 60 and older are unsure how much they will need to retire.

When asked to guess how much they will need to retire, 24% think it is less than $500,000. However, 42% think it is more than $500,000. This breaks down to 25% saying $500,000 to less than$1 million, 13% saying $1 million to less than $2 million, 3% saying $2 million to less than $3 million, and a mere 1% saying $3 million or more.

Given these figures, it might be surprising that 26% of American workers older than 55 are not participating in their 401(k), individual retirement account (IRA) or other retirement plan.

Seventy-four percent of workers older than 55 said they are not earning what they would like to earn. Twelve percent plan to change jobs, and 8% took on a second job in 2016.

“Faced with the expectations of living healthier for longer, older adults may opt to remain in the workforce for longer and defer savings, pensions and Social Security for older age,” says Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer for Career Builder. “This increased workforce participation for older adults has implications for retirement policy, health care financing, Social Security and the behavior of employers and employees alike.”

Harris Poll conducted the survey for Career Builder among 3,215 adults between February 17 and March 10; 556 of those respondents were people age 60 and older.

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