Retirement? What retirement? A new survey shows that an overwhelming majority of Americans — 4 in 5 to be exact — say they are putting off any notion of quitting work and expect to keep their jobs well into their golden years.
“The survey illuminates an important shift in Americans’ attitudes toward work, aging and retirement,” said Trevor Tompson, director of The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, the group that conducted the survey, in a prepared statement. “Retirements is not only coming later in life — it no longer represents a complete exit from the workforce.”
The act of retiring is becoming more a dream than reality, he found, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Fully 82 percent of Americans age 50 and older who are currently employed believe they will continue to work in some capacity during their traditional retirement years. And it’s not as if this expanded work life is choice.
Rather, the survey found, it’s almost entirely economical. People have lost big on their retirement plans in recent years, the economy is stubbornly sluggish and savings are down. Figure in the longer life rates and the result is predictable: People don’t have enough money saved to retire, the survey said.
A quarter of survey respondents said they have less than $10,000 saved for retirement. Almost 40 percent said they have less than $100,000. The survey also pointed to demographics that show by 2020, one-fourth of all U.S. workers will be age 55 or older.
The survey of 1,024 Americans ages 50 and older was conducted from Aug. 8 to Sept. 10, 2013, and has an overall margin of error of plus or minus 4.1 percentage points.