Study Finds Retirement Dreams Shattered

September 30, 2010 ( - Research from The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. has found that many older Americans who are approaching or who have passed the traditional retirement age of 65 are decidedly pessimistic about their short- and long-term financial future, especially as it relates to their ability to retire.

Many of pre-retirees polled say they have “no idea” as to when they can retire (28.3% for ages 60-69 and 33.3% for age 70 and older), and a significant percentage (36%) of those ages 60-69 believe they will have to postpone retirement for up to two years or more, according to a press release.  

With nearly nine in 10 people in their 60s expressing concerns about having enough money in retirement, more than half (55.4%) plan to work longer and put off retirement or work part time during retirement.  Nearly half of those age 70 and older (44.4%) said the same.    

A significant percentage of survey respondents (17.4% for ages 60-69; 33.3% for age 70 and older) say they never plan to retire.  

Respondents say the market and economic dislocation has prompted them to reduce their standard of living or reduce expenses (63.1% for ages 60-69 and 66.6% for ages 70 and older).  Three in four people in their 60s say their number one financial priority in retirement is simply keeping up with daily expenses.  

The survey found those in their 60s worry most about a significant health event or problem (33.7%), with outliving their money (26.1%) coming in second.  Respondents age 70 and older say their biggest concern is outliving their money, followed by losing their buying power to inflation (22.3%) and losing money in the financial markets (22.1%).