April 30, 2012 at 7:24 AM ET
If the date you expect to retire seems to be getting further away rather than closer at hand, join the club.
The average age at which Americans expect to retire has been steadily creeping up since the mid-1990s, and has now reached 67 years old, according to a new Gallup poll.
That’s up significantly from 1996, when people expected to retire at age 60.
The results are consistent with other recent research into the topic, and show that Americans’ retirement plans have been dealt a significant blow thanks to the recession, financial crisis, high unemployment and housing bust.
Still, younger workers are more optimistic than their older peers.
Gallup’s annual Economy and Personal Finance survey, which was conducted in mid-April, found that people who are currently under age 40 expect to retire at age 65. Those who are 40 and over, and not yet retired, expect to retire at 68.
As with many things, the expectation is outpacing the reality. Among retirees, Gallup found that the average age of retirement has held steady at around 60 since 2004, although that’s up from 57 in the early 1990s.
Still, the average retirement age is expected to increase in the coming years. A major culprit appears to be money. The same poll found that more than half of the people who aren’t yet retired don’t think they’ll have enough money to live comfortably in retirement.
Even with a later retirement date you should still be able to enjoy some golden years. The average life expectancy in the United States is 78 years.
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