Plans to Work Longer Often Fall Short

December 9, 2013 ( – There is a sizable gap between preretiree expectations and the actual age of individuals leaving the U.S. work force, a new survey shows.

By PLANSPONSOR staff | December 09, 2013
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According to the 2013 Survey of the Risks and Process of Retirement from the Society of Actuaries (SOA), preretirees expect to retire at a median age of 65, whereas retirees actually stop working at a current median age of 58.

In fact, 38% of preretirees reached for the survey expect to retire by ages 65 to 67, plus an additional 30% either expect to retire after age 68 or not at all.

That is compared with nearly 54% of retired survey respondents who reported leaving the work force before age 59—including 30% who retired before 55.

Other results in the survey show preretirees are more likely to say they will work in retirement than retirees actually do. Forty-one percent of preretirees plan to stop working for pay all at once, compared with 78% of retirees who stopped working completely upon retirement. The same goes for preretirees predicting they will do more financial planning than their older counterparts actually accomplish before retiring.

Such a disparity, researchers argue, shows that many preretirees’ plans to work longer will not pan out, further increasing the need for sound financial advice and education among aging preretirees.