On average, the U.S. retirement age is 62. But only a third of U.S. retirees leave the workforce at the age they’d planned, most retire earlier.  Why does this matter? Because the amount you have or haven’t yet saved when you stop working will determine your future lifestyle.

Average Retirement Age?

64% of Americans say goodbye to the workplace between the ages of 55 and 65.  As Ms. Ghilarducci told us in her book  “How to Retire with Enough Money: And How to Know What Enough Is“, don’t plan your annual retirement contributions around a plan to work until you are 67 or 70. Very few do. Few can.

Keep your plans flexible. Life happens and you’ll need to roll with those changes. Your job will be gone, your spouse or your parent will need your full-time efforts for daily living. or you’ll have your own health crisis.  Life Happens.

Smart Asset shared the average retirement age in the U.S. by state in a 2016 article.  (https://smartasset.com/retirement/average-retirement-age-in-every-state-2016)

Average Retirement Age By State

Graphic by Smart Asset (https://smartasset.com)

While the average retirement age is 62, most people can’t collect (full) Social Security until age 66. And if you were born after 1970, you have to wait until you’re 67. Plus, you’re not eligible for Medicare until age 65. So “retirement age” can have lots of different definitions!  — Chris Hogan, Retire Inspired

A report by Northwestern Mutual found Americans are planning to retire later (up to 10 years later) than current retirees because they are uncomfortable with the income forecasts based on their current retirement savings.

Average Retirement Age

You Have Options!

There are other options in lieu of continuing your daily work life. Look at downsizing, changing your lifestyle, or moving to live in a less expensive location (perhaps overseas). If you truly can work until you are 68 and you want to — do it! But don’t build your life and lifestyle around this plan. Because it only works about 1/3 of the time. Life Happens!