Retirement Planning

When Are Most Americans Retiring Today?

The magic age of 65 may no longer apply for most Americans. Today, there are factors that dictate when most people can retire. Consider these items when you're thinking about when to retire.

What Is the Retirement Age for Most Americans?

For many of us, 65 used to be the magic number. Reaching age 65 meant it was time to put an end to the daily grind and begin to enjoy retirement. But in a recent Gallup survey of more than 2,000 U.S. adults, more than 37 percent of workers indicated they expect to retire after age 65.1 Today, there are many factors dictating when most of us will be able to retire, including Social Security, medical costs, how much we’ve saved, and the cost of living.

The increase in the Social Security age.

When can I retire? Due to the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) increase in the full or “normal” retirement age, many Americans are delaying retirement in an effort to receive their full benefits. So even though you can begin collecting your benefits as early as age 62, doing so means you’ll experience a reduction of benefits, which is why many of us are choosing to work longer.

Retiring early or retiring later both have their advantages and disadvantages. For example, delaying retirement may mean an increase in benefits but a shorter period of time in which you’ll receive them. Retiring early may mean a benefit reduction, but you’ll receive your benefits for a longer period of time. To determine what your full retirement age is, visit the SSA’s Retirement Planner website.2

Your Medicare eligibility.

Most people can qualify for Medicare as early as the month they turn age 65. Retiring before you are eligible to receive Medicare coverage could mean having to fund your health care on your own.

If you retire and walk away from your employer-sponsored health plan before you reach age 65 and are eligible for Medicare, you’ll have to fill the gap with a private health insurance plan or Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) coverage — both of which can be very costly.

More time to pay down debt and save.

Many Americans are choosing to retire later simply because they need more time to get out of debt and save. In fact, 35 percent of employees surveyed by Gallup said they will continue to work past retirement age because they will have to.3

Social Security was meant to be a supplemental source of income during retirement — not the sole source of income. This means many of us will be relying heavily on what we managed to save while we are still working (think employer-sponsored 401(k) plans and IRAs). The fact is, the more we can save and pay down debt before officially retiring, the better.

What is the ideal retirement age?

That’s an individual decision for you to make and is dependent on many factors. And even though the retirement age appears to be increasing, the Gallup survey found the average retirement age is 61, with 36 percent retiring between the ages of 60 and 64.4


1. http://www.gallup.com/poll/162560/average-retirement-age.aspx
2. http://www.socialsecurity.gov/retire2/agereduction.htm
3. http://www.gallup.com/poll/162560/average-retirement-age.aspx
4. http://www.gallup.com/poll/162560/average-retirement-age.aspx

Was this article helpful?
0
2

All Learning Center articles are general summaries that can be used when considering your financial future at various life stages. The information presented is for educational purposes and is meant to supplement other information specific to your situation. It is not intended as investment advice and does not necessarily represent the opinion of Protective Life or its subsidiaries.

Learning Center articles may describe services and financial products not offered by Protective Life or its subsidiaries. Descriptions of financial products contained in Learning Center articles are not intended to represent those offered by Protective Life or its subsidiaries.

Neither Protective Life nor its representatives offer legal or tax advice. We encourage you to consult with your financial adviser and legal or tax adviser regarding your individual situations before making investment, social security, retirement planning, and tax‐related decisions. For information about Protective Life and its products and services, visit www.protective.com.

Companies and organizations linked from Learning Center articles have no affiliation with Protective Life or its subsidiaries.

When Should I Retire

When should I retire? It's a common question, but finding the answer can be difficult for many working adults. Many dream of long days on the golf course or traveling the world, but the reality of retirement depends on many factors. This article explores some of the factors that may affect what age you plan to retire. For more information, visit our learning center.

WEB.1322.03.15