Traditional Retirement Picture Fading Fast

February 12, 2007 ( - Only a quarter of American workers thought they would have a "traditional" retirement, with 41% believing they would continue working, but work fewer hours, according to Adecco's Career Outlook Survey.

The survey found that 18% predict retiring from their current profession to try a new career, and just 12% predicted they would actually retire early.

“Just as the world of work has changed, so has the concept of retirement,” notes Bernadette Kenny, senior vice president of Human Resources for Adecco North America. “A majority of people no longer plan to end their careers between the ages of 55 and 65 anymore. American workers want to contribute well into their older years, which not only enables them to continue earning a salary, but also helps companies maintain a high level of seasoned talent and institutional knowledge. Companies who tap the older workforce will have a competitive advantage as the talent war continues to unfold.”

Promising Future

The vast majority (85%) of American workers feel their career options are “promising” for 2007, with only 12% calling them “bleak,” according to the survey.

Even more optimistic were workers who were in professional/managerial positions or are business owners, where that promising sentiment rose to 90%. More men (88%) than women (81%) reported they feel their career options are promising. In addition, 69% of workers reported that they foresee themselves attaining their personal and financial goals based on their current career path.

“American workers have a right to be optimistic,” says Bernadette Kenny, senior vice president of Human Resources for Adecco North America. “This exuberance felt by the American workforce today is entirely rational. It’s a job seekers’ market.”

The survey results are based upon telephone interviews conducted January 12-15, 2007 with a representative sample of 527 employed adults who were identified in an ORC CARAVAN survey of a nationally representative sample of 1,022 adults age 18 and over (507 of which are men and 515 are women) living in private households in the U.S.