According to the 11th quarterly Allstate-National Journal Heartland Monitor Poll, near-retirees (Baby Boomers ages 50+ who are not yet retired) expect to retire, on average, at the age of 66. Current retirees retired at 60 on average, which is about when younger Americans (the Millennial generation, ages 18-29) expect to retire.
More than two-thirds of Baby Boomers (68%) expect to work in some form after retirement; about half say this is out of necessity. Only 11% of current retirees report that they work.
The poll found near-retirees have different expectations about the sources of their retirement income and their financial security in retirement than current retirees. Both groups express a similar reliance on Social Security: 68% of retirees say it is a major source of income; 62% of near-retirees expect it to be. However, more than half (52%) of current retirees cite a pension as a major income source, while only 37% of near-retirees expect the same.
Meanwhile, 34% of near-retirees expect part-time work to be a major income source, while only 8% of current retirees report part-time work due to economic necessity. While 79% of current retirees say they’re confident about their retirement security, including 33% who are “very confident,” only 67% of near-retirees say the same and only 19% say they are “very confident.”
Only 27% of near-retirees expect their retirement to be more secure than their parents’ retirement, and 47% expect it to be less secure. Forty-two percent of current retirees say their retirement is more secure than their parents’ was, and only 17% say it is less secure.
Only 25% of near-retirees expect their retirement to be more comfortable than their parents’ retirement, and 39% expect it to be less comfortable. Forty-seven percent of current retirees say their retirement is more comfortable than their parents’ was, and only 19% say it is less comfortable.
Other key findings from the survey include:
• 401(k)s are a major income source for 16% of current retirees and are expected to be a major source by 39% of near-retirees.
• IRAs are a major income source for 18% of current retirees and are expected to be a major source by 27% of near-retirees.
• Seventy-nine percent of current retirees said they were “very” or “somewhat” confident they have enough money to provide a secure retirement, while only 67% of near-retirees expressed the same level of confidence.
• Sixty-two percent of respondents support the current Medicare system of direct payments to doctors. Only 17% support conversion of Medicare to a program that provides seniors with a fixed sum of money to purchase their own insurance.
• Sixty-three percent of Americans believe a secure retirement depends more on their own actions, such as working hard, saving and investing. This includes a strong majority of retirees (65%), near-retirees (57%), and those 18-49 (65%).
• Thirty percent believe a secure retirement depends more on events out of their control, such as events that affect the stock market.
The survey was conducted among American adults on November 30-December 4, 2011.