“Save more for retirement” undoubtedly made it onto many New Year’s resolutions lists. And that’s a good resolution to keep, judging from a recent study on expectations and realities about retirement.
Many workers may feel they can afford to save less because they plan to work past the traditional retirement age of 65. But the new report, by the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, warns that such plans are a “tremendous departure” from the experiences of those who are already in retirement.
“Many retirees stopped working before age 65, largely for reasons outside of their control,” says Catherine Collinson, president of the center. “Their financial realities serve as a cautionary tale for workers, employers, and policymakers.”
The survey found that people who are fully retired did so on average at 62. Most retirees left their jobs sooner than they had planned for a variety of reasons, including job loss, buy-outs, health problems and family concerns such as care-giving.
Only 16 percent of retirees strongly agreed that they had saved enough money for their later years.
The study also underscores how heavily most retirees depend on Social Security. Yet that critical program needs substantial reforms to meet future demands on it, as the Congressional Budget Office warned again recently.