Average retirement age rises to 62News added by Benefits Pro on April 30, 2014

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By Lisa Barron

The average age at which American retirees leave the work force has risen to 62, according to a Gallup poll.

It is the highest Gallup has found since first asking Americans this question in 1991, when the age was 57. It was 59 and 60 for the years between 2002 and 2012. Last year, the average age of reported retirement was 61.

The survey also found that the average age at which non-retired Americans expect to retire is 66, which has increased slowly from 63 in 2002.

Retirement age may be increasing because many baby boomers are reluctant to retire, according to Gallup. Older Americans may also be delaying retirement because of lost savings during the Great Recession or because of insufficient savings even before the economic downturn, it said.

The age at which Americans expect to retire has been consistently higher than the average age at which they actually retire since Gallup began tracking both. Gallup speculated that this likely reflects changes in Social Security eligibility as well as the more challenging economic circumstances working Americans currently face. Today's workers are also less likely to have an employer-sponsored pension, and they may still be recovering financially from the Great Recession.

Meanwhile, about 30 percent of non-retired Americans in all age groups expect to retire before the age of 65. But 11 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds expect to retire before age 55, a much higher percentage than other groups.

This could be because younger Americans, given the many years they have until retirement, may not understand the financial realities and challenges of funding retirement that middle-aged Americans are more familiar with, according to Gallup.

In the future, Gallup said, the average retirement age and expected retirement age may converge as current workers retire later in life.

The telephone interviews with a random sample of 1,026 adults living in all 50 states and the District of Columbia were conducted April 3-6, with a margin of error of plus or minus four percentage points.

Originally published on BenefitsPro.com
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