According to the Center’s research more than three-quarters (77%) of workers said they expect to work for pay after they retire. This compares to just 12% of current retirees who said they are currently working for pay.
Among those who said they expect to work after retirement, the survey revealed only a difference by type of worker. Seventy-nine percent of white collar workers said they expect to do some kind of work for pay after they retire, while just 73% of blue collar workers said the same. Respondents who work in a school setting were more inclined (85%) than others to say they expect to do some sort of work for pay after they retire.
The research found no significant differences by age, income, gender, race, ethnicity, education, region, or employer size among those who said they will work after retirement. However, though most said they would work because they want to and not because they will have to, there was a difference in which respondents answered this question either way.
Those with more education and more income, as well as younger workers (age 18 – 29), were the most likely to say they will work after retirement because they want to, not because they have to. Meanwhile, parents of minor age children are more likely than others to say they expect to work after retirement out of necessity, as were blue collar and hourly workers.
The survey also revealed a disparity in the age workers today expect to retire and the average age current retirees actually did retire. Workers expect to retire on average at age 61, while the average age current retirees quit working was 57.8.
The anticipated retirement age among respondents age 50 and older is on average 63.7, compared to 58.8 among those age 18 to 29. Men were more likely than working women, on average, to plan an early retirement. Thirty-nine percent of men said they plan to retire prior to age 61 versus 32% of women.
Additionally, workers with higher family incomes were more likely to say they will retire prior to age 61 (44% of those with incomes of $100,000 or more versus 29% of those with incomes under $30,000).
The Pew telephone survey was taken from June 20 through July 16 among a nationally representative sample of 2,003 adults. The survey report is here .