In an effort to maintain a regular pulse on how Americans are faring as they prepare for retirement, Wells Fargo recently conducted a Retirement Study. We believe this information is vital to developing timely and effective solutions that can help you plan for and live in retirement. That’s why we’re highlighting results from our Wells Fargo Retirement Study — this is the first in a series of four posts.
On behalf of Wells Fargo, Harris Interactive Inc. conducted our 2010 Retirement Study to better understand the impact that the current economic environment has had on middle class Americans ranging in age from their mid-20s to their late 60s.
What struck me the most in reviewing the study findings is that middle-class Americans view retirement as a new phase of their working lives. The survey found that 72% of middle-class Americans between the ages of 25 and 69 expect to work during their retirement years. The trend is driven in part by deep deficits in personal retirement savings with 39% saying they “will need to work” to make ends meet or maintain their lifestyles, and by lifestyle choice, with 33% saying they want to continue to work.
Middle-class Americans, especially those under 50, increasingly believe that they will need to fund all or the majority of their income in retirement. Only two in five (40%) of those surveyed said they believe Social Security will be available throughout their retirement. This compares to only 20% of 20-somethings and 22% of 30-somethings who believe Social Security will be available to them throughout retirement.
Tell us your thoughts on these findings. Do you anticipate working during all or a portion of your retirement years? Why or why not?