Preparation levels by workers for retirement have not changed despite gradual increases in retirement confidence, according to a Retirement Confidence Survey last year.
In the survey, workers were asked the age which they expected to retire with results showing little change from one year to another, although that age has been slowly rising.
In 1991, 11 percent of workers expected to retire after age 65 while last year 37 percent of workers reported they expect to retire after age 65, and 6 percent say they don’t plan to retire at all, according to the survey.
Also, nearly 1 in 5 workers said the age at which they expect to retire has changed in the past year to a later age.
A 2014 RCS found that workers gave reasons such as the poor economy, inadequate finances, a change in employment, health care costs, lack of faith in Social Security, higher cost of living and wanting to retire comfortably as reasons for delaying retirement.
While it’s been stated that most see themselves retiring later in life, that is not the outcome for many.
The RCS found that a large percentage of retirees leave the workforce earlier than planned – roughly 46 percent in 2016.
Most gave health problems or disability as the reason, while a third stated they retired early because they could do so and a quarter of them said they wanted to do something else.
That tendency may explain the extensive gap between workers’ expectations and retirees’ experience for retirement.
Only 8 percent of workers plan to retire before age 60, according to the survey; however, 35 percent of retirees reported they retired that early.
On the other hand, 26 percent of workers plan to wait until 70 compared with 8 percent of retirees who have actually done so.
While Social Security provides a source of income for many, some workers expected to draw income from other routes.
Two-thirds of workers anticipated receiving income from an employer-sponsored retirement savings plan, an IRA account or personal savings and investments, while 75 percent expected employment to provide income and 56 percent expected income from an employer-sponsored traditional pension plan, according to RCS.
With retirement, some still chose to work for pay – roughly 27 percent. According to the survey, however, workers are more likely to plan to work for pay in retirement than to actually do so.
Those who do work for pay in retirement listed several reasons: because they want to stay active and involved; they enjoy working; a job opportunity came along; for extra spending money or to make ends meet; savings or investments lost value; or to keep health insurance and benefits.
To help prepare for retirement, the United States Department of Labor suggests a few tips: know your retirement needs, as retirement is expensive; contribute to your employer’s retirement savings plan; learn about your employer’s pension plan; don’t touch your retirement savings; find out Social Security benefits; and to ask questions.
They also recommended to start saving early and keep saving.
According to a chart by the department, if a person saved $5,500 annually, earning 7 percent, after 35 years that person could walk away with over $760,000 for retirement.