“WASHINGTON, D.C. — Nearly four in 10 non-retired Americans, 37%, expects to retire after age 65. This percentage is consistent with recent years, but it is up from 31% in 2009 and nearly three times the 14% who said this in 1995. Thirty-two percent expect to retire before age 65; this is the first time this figure has topped 30% since 2009, but it is still down considerably from the 49% in 1995 who said that they expected to retire before age 65.
“The percentage of non-retirees who plan to retire exactly at age 65 — the traditional retirement age — has been fairly consistent since the early 2000s, ranging between 24%, where it stands today, and 28%. It was only slightly higher in 1995, at 32%.
“At the same time, a sea change has occurred in preferences for retiring earlier or later than that age point. Prior to 2009, the plurality of non-retired Americans planned to retire before age 65. Since then, the plurality has said they will retire after they reach age 65.
“These trends in Americans’ expected age of retirement are from Gallup’s annual Economy and Personal Finance survey, conducted April 9-12, 2015. As part of that survey, Gallup asked nonretired Americans the age at which they expect to retire, and also asked retired Americans to report the age at which they retired.
“In sharp contrast to the finding that about one-third of non-retirees expect to retire before age 65, twice as many of those who have already retired (67%) said they did so before 65. The percentage of retirees who retired before age 65 has been even higher in past years. In the early 1990s, three in four retired Americans reported retiring before age 65.
“Part of the difference between the age when retirees report retiring and when non-retirees expect to retire may be a generation gap with current workers expecting to live longer and planning to continue working later in their lives. The long-term trends for both retirees and non-retirees suggest that Americans are continuing to work later in their lives — or planning to do so, if they are not already retired. This does not seem to be the case, however, with baby boomers, as only a third of the oldest in this generation, who are 67 and 68 currently, are still working.
“On average, non-retired Americans expect to retire at age 65, similar to averages of between 65 and 67 since 2009. The average age retired Americans report actually retiring has always been lower than nonretirees’ expected age of retirement, and is 60 in this year’s survey, matching the average generally found since 2004. Prior to that, the average reported age of retirement was always below age 60.”