Ah, those much-anticipated halcyon days of retirement — sleeping in, golf at will, travel too, leisurely day after leisurely day. No more whining colleagues, carping bosses, endless meetings with no result, tedious commutes.
Of course, few retirements turn out that way. And now a new Associated Press poll finds that for a variety of reasons about a quarter of Americans have no intention of ever retiring at all.
That may turn out to be unrealistic too, given the vagaries of health for senior citizens and their family members, the rapid growth of robots and automation and the ever-changing work skill sets of each new age of technology.
Not to mention the cyclical swings of a national economy, which now currently happens to be on a hiring upswing.
The recent survey from AP and the NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, found that nearly one-quarter (23 percent) of workers do not expect to stop working. This includes about two-in-10 workers already over 50 years old.
Another quarter of Americans said they intend to continue working well beyond their 65th birthday, once generally considered retirement age.
Many of these optimistic anticipated work plans involve — you guessed it — money. People are living longer now than their grandparents or even parents. So today’s retirement resources need to last longer too. Not to mention possible care costs for their aging parents, who also are living longer.
“People have to live in retirement much longer,” says Anqi Chen, a savings expert at Boston College’s Center for Retirement Research. “And they may not have enough assets to support themselves in retirement.”
About a third of respondents over 50 said they feel financially unprepared for retirement, while 29 percent said they feel well prepared money-wise.
Among those already fully retired nearly 40 percent said they felt very or extremely well-prepared when retiring and a quarter felt poorly or not at all prepared.
As for the effects on other workers of this growing phenomenon of aging workers, Americans seem pretty closely split.
About 39 percent thinks people staying in the workforce longer is a good thing for American workers; 29 percent thinks it’s more of a negative; and 30 percent say it doesn’t really makes any difference.