Despite fears of surviving savings, most Americans still want to live longer, a study on longevity and retirement shows.
Nearly 70% of Americans want to live to be 100, with 29 being the “ideal length” for retirement, according to a report by Edward Jones and Age Wave, which surveyed 11,000 adults in the U.S. and Canada in January and February.
“We have long been aware that longevity is growing,” said Ken Dichtwald, founder and CEO of Age Wave. “But there has been a lot more talk about it in the last year.”
While Life expectancy in the United States has dropped by 1.5 years, to about 77 years, in 2020 because of the Covid-19 pandemic, scientists expect it to grow in the coming decades, Dichtwald said.
“It could add another five, 10 or more years to life expectancy,” he said. “But the problem is that we don’t live these years in rich health.”
On average, Americans spend the last 12 or more years battling illness, injury, or cognitive impairment, with 88% of those 65 and older treating at least one chronic illness, the study shows.
Moreover, the average couple may need about $ 445,000 to cover annual medical expenses and long-term care, which most retirees are not prepared for, Dichtwald said.
In the shift from the experience of previous generations, the so-called three-legged stool retirement income – Social security, pensions and savings – among today’s retirees have become less common.
Despite constant threats to welfare and lower pensions, many Americans still do not save enough, the study shows. Most of them do not maximize retirement savings, many accept penalty distributions of pension plans and 22% of eligible employees do not contribute.
On average, retirees began postponing their golden years to 38, but would like them to start at 28, according to the survey.
Asked about the appointment of pension funds, “people are talking about security from the unexpected and freedom,” Dichtwald said.
While many older Americans believe their parents ’golden years were sometimes for“ rest and relaxation, ”they see their own retirement as a“ new chapter in life, ”the report said.
Today’s retirees see their next stage as a time to explore opportunities, with many reinventing themselves, explained Mona Mahajan, senior investment strategist Edward Jones.
“There is a really interesting dichotomy between the old and the new generation,” she said.
Moreover, there may not be a clear boundary separating their careers and retirement years, and many older Americans continue to work.
Nearly 60% of older Americans expect to work in one capacity or another, whether full-time, part-time, or cycling between work and leisure, the results show.
However, the most successful retirees have taken steps forward in the decade to prepare for what the report describes as the “four pillars” of retirement – finance, purpose, family and health.
“Early and holistic preparation for the four pillars can bring a really big payoff,” Dichtwald said.