For decades, American workers retired on or near their 65th birthday. But, many assemblers are retiring at a later age than their parents and grandparents.


For decades, American workers retired on or near their 65th birthday. But, meeting projected retirement needs has become a greater challenge for people today, due to dramatic decreases in their retirement accounts over the last two years. As a result, most individuals will be retiring at a later age than their parents and grandparents.

More than half (53 percent) of ASSEMBLY’S 2010 State of the Profession survey respondents claim they have put off retiring because of the economy. Unfortunately, retirement anxiety appears to be a new fact of life.

“Delayed retirement has been a steadily increasing trend in the U.S., but the recession has been a dramatic accelerant,” says Laura Sejen, leader of the talent and rewards business at Towers Watson, a human resource consulting firm. “The stock market’s impact on 401(k) balances certainly put a fine point on the validity of their concerns.

“Companies now have an uphill battle not only to enable better employee self-management of benefits, but also to cope with a potential logjam of aging workers-all while addressing the contrasting needs of younger employees trying to rise through the organization,” warns Sejen.

“While the average worker around the world anticipates retirement at age 62, that number rises to 67 in the United States,” Sejen points out. “In fact, almost one-third (30 percent) of those polled in the U.S. plan to work to age 70 or beyond.”

More than 90 percent of Baby Boomers surveyed recently by Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America feel the United States is facing a retirement crisis. In fact, 61 percent of Baby Boomers fear outliving their money in retirement more than death. A majority of respondents feel their retirement lifestyle must surpass their parents (79 percent), indicating a need to focus on income in retirement versus accumulation of assets.

“When asked how much yearly income is needed in retirement, respondents indicated a median income of $59,000 per year,” says Gary Bhojwani, president and CEO of Allianz Life. “Unfortunately, Boomers were off by a factor of nearly three times too small when estimating how much they'd need to save to create that household income.”