21% of Adults Say They Will Work Until they Drop

April 23, 2007 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - A new survey by a financial services Web site found nearly one in five adults expects to work until they die.

A news release from Bankrate Inc. reported that some 21% of those between 35 and 64 say they’ll be working forever, while only 9% of 25-to-35-year-olds expect to work permanently and 19% of the youngest age group, 18 to 24 year olds, sees work as a forever arrangement.

When asked “What is your target date for retiring?” roughly one-quarter of all respondents (27%) planned on quitting in their 50s. The younger individuals were more likely to plan on an early exit; 38% of those between 18 and 34 plan on retiring in their 50s.

Meanwhile, 28% of those surveyed save less than 5%, with 16% not putting away a dime. The poll of nearly 700 non-retired adults nationwide also found that a quarter of adults (28%) save less than 5% of their gross annual pay. That includes 16% of Americans who acknowledged they are not putting any of their paycheck aside for retirement.

They might not be saving enough but, even so, optimism about life in retirement remains high among many respondents. Six out of 10 Americans “never worry” or worry “not very much” about outliving their retirement savings.

Nearly half (46%) of workers between the ages of 25 and 34 save more than 11% of their salaries, with 15% of this group setting aside more than 15%. Among the youngest individuals (18 to 24 years old), 4% hit the high mark by saving 15% and a respectable 12% stashes 11% to 15% of pay.

Roughly three in ten of those earning $20,000 to $29,900 say they save 11% or more of their income annually. An additional 27% of that group saves 5% to 10% of pay. Nineteen percent of those earning less than 30,000 save nothing.

The national random-digit-dialed phone study of 687 adults 18 or older was conducted for Bankrate by GfK Roper Public Affairs & Media. The surveys were conducted from March 29 through April 1, 2007.