I can remember the day my father hung up his stethoscope. He loved his career as a pediatrician, but like most American workers, couldn’t wait to enjoy life away from the daily grind at the office. He was 62. Nearly 30 years later my dad is still enjoying retirement.
But two new surveys reveal something very disturbing: For a growing number of middle-class Americans the golden years might not arrive until they’re into their 70′s and even 80′s.
An analysis of more than 1,600 retirement reports generated by FreeRetirementReport.com found that the average baby boomer can’t retire until they’re 75. And a new Wells Fargo study found that 30 percent of middle-class Americans believe they’ll need to keep on working until they’re at least 80-years-old in order to retire comfortably. That’s up from 25 percent a year ago.
A Wells Fargo spokesman says it’s very tough for Americans to save for retirement, and the answer seems to be to keep working later into life. “People say they’ll work longer, but how possible will this be for millions of Americans?” says Wells Fargo’s Joe Ready. “Preparing for retirement can’t be kicked down the road because the other picture that is emerging is how many people will live close to the poverty line in retirement.”
- Him: “How’s work?”
- Me: “I’m running around like crazy, but it’s okay. Can’t wait until the weekend.”
- Him: “Weekend? What’s that? Every day is a weekend for me.”
He’ll be 91 on Halloween. What’s really scary is what these two studies mean to my retirement plans. Golden years? What’s that?