Majority of Americans Plan to Work in Retirement

2010 Wells Fargo Retirement Study (Click to view PDF)In an effort to maintain a regular pulse on how Americans are faring as they prepare for retirement, Wells Fargo recently conducted a Retirement Study. We believe this information is vital to developing timely and effective solutions that can help you plan for and live in retirement. That’s why we’re highlighting results from our Wells Fargo Retirement Study — this is the first in a series of four posts.

On behalf of Wells Fargo, Harris Interactive Inc. conducted our 2010 Retirement Study to better understand the impact that the current economic environment has had on middle class Americans ranging in age from their mid-20s to their late 60s.

What struck me the most in reviewing the study findings is that middle-class Americans view retirement as a new phase of their working lives. The survey found that 72% of middle-class Americans between the ages of 25 and 69 expect to work during their retirement years. The trend is driven in part by deep deficits in personal retirement savings with 39% saying they “will need to work” to make ends meet or maintain their lifestyles, and by lifestyle choice, with 33% saying they want to continue to work.

Middle-class Americans, especially those under 50, increasingly believe that they will need to fund all or the majority of their income in retirement. Only two in five (40%) of those surveyed said they believe Social Security will be available throughout their retirement. This compares to only 20% of 20-somethings and 22% of 30-somethings who believe Social Security will be available to them throughout retirement.

Tell us your thoughts on these findings. Do you anticipate working during all or a portion of your retirement years? Why or why not?

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3 Responses to Majority of Americans Plan to Work in Retirement

  1. Shanita says:

    I do anticipate working in retirement and that is only because I want to. Currently I save over 20% of my income in order to retire prior to that golden age of 65. In addition, I am not banking on social security. If SSI still around in thirty years it will just be icing on the cake. I believe those who ‘Need to work to make ends meet’ will ultimately be higher. We as a culture spend at an alarming rate and don’t save nearly as much as we should. Many goals are not clearly defined and people are not in touch with what what it really means to retire. If steps aren’t taken to tackle exactly how to reach one’s retirement goals, working in retirement will be normal for many and not as an option.

  2. Adam says:

    I do plan on working in retirement. I think the idea of retiring for 35-40 years of post-retirement lifespan is not a good idea and not all that plausible.

    I think the goal of retirement planning for me is to have enough money so that I can have some flexibility with what “work” I do and how much time I spend doing it.

    I’m a current Wells Fargo Team Member. (Disclosure)

  3. Joe Cirillo says:

    People are living longer for many reasons, some of which relate to advances in medicine, more available information to read and learn, and the fact that we lead more active lifestyles at both work and play. We hear everyday that physical and mental exercise yield tremendous benefits to the body and mind. Perhaps I’m in the minority, but I do not look forward to retiring at age 65 or so, but rather plan to work until I’m in my late seventies or more (god willing). I look forward to staying active while at the same time earn money for my family, my estate, and the charities of my choosing.

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