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Clients Planning to Work Past 65 Need a Reality Check

September 11, 2017

Financial advisors may need to have a frank conversation with clients who hope to supplement their retirement income by working past age 65. While many Americans plan to work past the traditional retirement age figures show few manage to do so, the Wall Street Journal writes.

Thirty-one percent of working U.S. adults plan to keep working until they’re 68 or older, according to a May Gallup poll cited by the paper. And 38% of workers think they’ll retire at 70 or later, according to a March Employee Benefit Research Institute study cited by the Journal.

But in practice only 4% of retirees worked until they turned 70 or older, according to the Employee Benefit study. And the average age retirees actually stopped working was 61, according to the Gallup poll cited by the paper. Meanwhile, just 7% of retirees polled by the Federal Reserve said they had income from a job, the Journal writes.

People expecting to boost their retirement savings by working past the traditional retirement age should be ready for some unpleasant surprises, according to the paper. Despite their wishes, many factors can push them into retirement sooner than they’d hoped, including health problems, lack of work opportunities in their field, age discrimination and having to suddenly care for a loved one, the Journal writes.

Women may be in an even more precarious position than men when it comes to saving for retirement, according to a recent Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance survey. While 14% of men say they can’t afford to save for their retirement, that figure jumps to 44% for women, according to the survey of 482 men and 528 women whose incomes are between $35,000 and $150,000.

By Alex Padalka
  • To read the Wall Street Journal article cited in this story, click here.