Selected retirement statistics

The Wall Street Journal, October 28, 2013, published some interesting statistics;

To meet basic retirement needs, one needs to save 8 to 11 times salary by the age of 67; if your annual income is $100,000, you should have saved a minimum of $800,000 by the time of retirement.

There are a number of “disconnects” in the statistics.  For example,
•    69% of the people surveyed said they expect to work for pay after retirement; yet, only 25% do.

•    Only 46% of retirees will be able to afford their essential needs in retirement; yet 78% of those surveyed expect to be happy in retirement.

•    Of workers 55+ years of age, 54% said they thought they’d need $250,000, exclusive of house and pension, for retirement. Only 24%, however, said they had that.  Sadly, about 1/3 of this group had less than $10,000 saved.

•    Only 38% believe they will be able to afford “extras” (like travel) in retirement; yet 72% believe their dream retirement includes taking really nice vacations.

•    62% say they’ve done everything they need to do to prepare for retirement; yet 68% say they expect to work after they retire.

•    Before retiring, when asked, only 29% said they were very confident of attaining paid employment once retired, 45% were somewhat confident. But, after retiring, only 7% said they were very confident and 21% said they were somewhat confident of finding paid employment.
Other thoughts:
Retirement age has increased since the 1990s, 57 years of age in 1993. Now, we’re at least 66 years of age. The later retirement age continues to build the nest egg … and one’s emotional health seems to be better with the later retirement age.   

On retiring at the age of 65 today, the average life expectancy is another 19 years, meaning one may live 1/4 of one’s life in retirement. Hence, the title of my latest book, Life After Law: What Will You Do With the Next 6,000 Days? Planning for the “second season” is not something to be taken lightly.

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