“The survey illuminates an important shift in Americans’
attitudes toward work, aging, and retirement,” said Trevor Tompson, director of
the AP-NORC Center in a release. “Retirement is not only coming later in life,
it no longer represents a complete exit from the workforce. The data in this
survey reveal strikingly different views of retirement among older workers
today than those held by the prior generation.”
With funding provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the
Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research conducted a national
survey of 1,024 adults ages 50 and over.
Key findings of the survey include:
• The Great Recession has had a marked impact on retirement
planning. The average age of those who report retiring before the recession was
57 while the average for those who retired afterward is 62.
• The line between working and retirement is shifting, with
82 percent of Americans age 50 and older who are working but not yet retired
saying it is likely or very likely that they will do some work for pay during
• Of those who are currently working, 47 percent now plan to retire at a later
age than they expected when they were 40. Financial need, health and the need for
benefits were cited as the most important factors in the retirement decision.
• Older workers have a clear view about solutions to
ensuring the long term health of Social Security. Sixty-one percent of them favor raising the cap on income
to Social Security taxes and 41 percent favor reducing
Social Security benefits for those with higher incomes. In contrast, 29 percent
favor gradually raising the minimum Social Security age and 21 percent favor
changing the way benefits are calculated so that cost of living increases are
• Thirty-nine percent of workers age 50 and older report
having $100,000 or less saved for retirement, not including pensions or homes;
and 24 percent have less than $10,000.
• Among those who are retired, one third report that they
did not have a choice in the matter. That figure increases to 54 percent for
retirees under age 65.
• Fully 20 percent of working Americans age 50 and older report that they have
personally experienced prejudice or discrimination because of their age in the
job market or at work since turning 50. Forty four percent of those who
experienced discrimination have looked for a job in the past five years
compared with 16 percent who did not report discrimination.
• The nature of a person’s work shapes their view of whether age is an asset or
a liability. For example, 28 percent of people who work or worked in
professional services see age as an asset while only 3 percent in manufacturing
hold that view.
• About half of workers age 50 and older say their boss is
younger than them. Those with
bosses older than them are less likely to report they have cut back on their
hours than people with younger bosses (9 percent vs. 23 percent). Those with
older bosses are more likely to consider age an asset to their career.
There are two disturbing things here. First, the amount of money people have saved is abysmal. I can understand why. So while it may be too late for these people to get financially where they need to be it should be a lesson to younger people - yes you Millenials - that if you ever plan to retire you have to start saving NOW. Do the math on $100,000 over 25 years. It doesn't add up.
The second thing is how age bias is really emerging as a societal issue. Read my caring.com article for more on that.