Most Americans Retire Earlier than They Would Have Liked

April 13, 2020

Most people believe they will be able to approach retirement on their own terms. However, a new survey shows that no matter how much someone prepares for retirement, things are often out of their control. The survey, conducted by Allianz Life Insurance, examined how people prepare for retirement, and how those plans come to fruition.

The large majority of Americans approaching retirement age feel they will be able to choose when they retire. They say they will retire when they are financially secure (46%) or will choose an age that will allow them to “have fun while they still can” (35%).

The reality is that more than half of retired Americans say they were forced to retire earlier than they would have liked. The most common reasons for early retirement were unanticipated job loss (34%) or health issues (25%).

The survey paints a wide gap between expectations and reality. While nearly two-thirds of the respondents said they expect to work at least part-time after retirement, just 7% of retirees continue to work. The survey shows how important it is to not just have a plan, but to have a flexible plan, and to consider contingencies for unexpected events that may force your timeframe to change.

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