Is 80 the New 65?

The real question is whether 80 is the new 65 by choice or by circumstance. Wells Fargo Bank surveyed a group of Americans from age 20 to 70 who earned between $25,000 and $100,000 asking questions about retirement, savings and Social Security and came up with some interesting information.

Three-fourths of those surveyed said they expect to work in their retirement years. One quarter said they will need to work until at least age 80 to live comfortably in retirement, and you can be assured that this is not by choice. Given the choice, they would retire as soon as possible.

Almost half (47%) of respondents said that they are planning to continue in the same job or a job of similar responsibility. This, of course, assumes they have the ability to continue in their same or similar job, the economy justifies their continued employment and their employer is willing to extend their employment. And what happens if none of these options are available?

The survey found that three-fourths of Americans said it is more important to have a specific amount saved before retirement, regardless of age, while only 20% said it is more important to retire at a specific age regardless of savings.

In terms of saving for retirement, 53% of those surveyed said they need to significantly cut back on spending now to save for retirement. Notice the word significantly. How likely are you to initiate a major change in lifestyle to achieve a goal 20 or more years in the future?

According to Wells Fargo, on average, Americans have saved only 7% of their desired retirement nest egg, with a median of $25,000 saved versus a median retirement goal of $350,000. Americans have been saving less than what is needed for retirement and the majority do not trust the stock market as a place to invest for retirement.

On the issue of Social Security, there was an age divide. Those in their 60s expect Social Security to provide 46% of their retirement funding. But more than 25% of those in their 20s and 30s expect no income at all from Social Security during their retirement.

This sounds like a very good reason to start planning now by reaching out to an agent or advisor to help navigate the options available in reaching their goals and reduce their reliance on government programs.

by Marvin H. Feldman

Marvin H. Feldman, CLU, ChFC, RFC, is president of the Feldman Financial Group in Palm Harbor, Fla., and president and CEO of Life Happens. He is a 41-year Million Dollar Round Table member and was the 2002 president. He is a 33-year member of the MDRT Top of the Table and a past Top of the Table chairman. He also is the recipient of the 2011 John Newton Russell award, the highest honor bestowed on an individual by the insurance industry.

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