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Think You'll Work Past 70? Why Most People Retire Earlier

Think you'll work past 70? Good luck. Why most of us retire earlier.

Daniel de Visé


We’re living healthier, longer. Many of us have jobs we can do on a computer from our couch. If we want to keep working past 70, or even past 80, what’s to stop us?

A lot, as it turns out.

The average American retires not at 80, or 70, or even 65, but at 62. That statistic comes from two annual surveys of working and retired Americans, one from the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) and the other from the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies.

Sixty-two is a point in life that many of us would call middle age: hardly a moment to hang it all up. Medicare doesn’t kick in until 65. Average life expectancy is 77½. Our sitting president is 81.

Few of us plan to retire at 62. The average over-50 worker expects to retire at 67, according to the Transamerica study. Two-thirds of older employees plan to retire after 65, or not to retire at all.

The hard truth: We don’t always get to retire when we want. The reality of retirement in America is a “radical departure” from what workers envision, Transamerica reports.

Many people imagine easing out of employment on their own terms. But actual retirement tends to arrive abruptly and unexpectedly, triggered by declining health or corporate downsizing. The new year has brought a cascade of layoff announcements from big companies (Click HERE to read more)


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