Americans Preparing for Longer Retirement

May 17, 2005 (PLANSPONSOR)-More than half (53%) of Americans say they plan to spend anywhere from 16 to 30 years in retirement.

To what do individuals chalk up their longer retirement? Over a third (35%) said their healthier lifestyle will be the key to their longevity, while almost the same amount (32%) said their long lives will be a result of medical advances.

The 2005 Retirement Horizon Study, sponsored by the National Association for Variable Annuities (NAVA) showed that Americans are preparing themselves for lengthy retirements but there is some confusion over when people plan to retire. One-third (34%) of those surveyed said they plan to retire between age 50 and 64, and almost half (48%) responded that attaining financial freedom will be the main factor in determining their retirement age.

Seventy-six percent of respondents plan to be more active in retirement than their parents were, and 65% say they will live longer. During this time, quality of life appears important, since 92% of Americans want freedom for leisure activities and 86% want the freedom to travel.

NAVA’s study examined Americans’ expectations of their “retirement horizons,” the span of time spent in retirement or semi-retirement, when employment no longer provides the majority of income. The 2005 Retirement Horizon Study, conducted between April 18 and April 22, 2005 by Kelton Research for NAVA polled 1000 respondents.