There's a 50/50 chance retirement will come sooner than you think.

Many leaving workforce earlier, not later, than planned.


In the past, retirement planning was more about setting a date than saving dollars. That’s because previous generations knew they could count on several reliable sources of income—such as company pensions, home equity, high-interest CDs, and Social Security—to fund a comfortable retirement. These days, however, it’s a different story.


Many Americans are being forced to rethink their retirement plans.


Faced with an uncertain economy, lower home values, and fluctuating retirement accounts, many are pushing back their retirement dates—often indefinitely—to help reduce the risk they will run out of money. In fact, the most recent Gallup Economy and Personal Finance survey found that the average American worker now expects to retire at age 66—four years later than today’s retirees.1

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Is postponing retirement a viable option for you?


While the thinking behind it may be sound, research suggests you might not want to put all your eggs in that basket. According to a 2014 Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) survey, approximately half of all current retirees (49%) left the workforce earlier—not later—than planned. And, in many cases, their departure was due to reasons beyond their control.2

The EBRI survey highlights several common reasons for retiring earlier than planned:

  • 61%–due to health problems or personal disability
  • 22%–due to work-related issues
  • 18%–due to company downsizing or closure
  • 18%–due to a family member needing care

Start calculating now.


Given that there is nearly a 50–50 chance that retirement will come earlier than you think, it’s important to start planning as soon as possible. That way, you will know exactly how much money you’ll have to work with, and how much more you will need to save in order to feel secure.

At New York Life, we have a host of helpful online resources available, including a retirement savings calculator that helps project when you will have enough money to retire, a living expense calculator that estimates retirement costs, and a savings longevity calculator that helps determine how long your existing savings will last.

Another possible resource is a New York Life agent. Since online tools can only take you so far,3 a knowledgeable, local agent can work with you—and any of your other financial representatives—to create a customized strategy that helps you make the most out of every retirement asset.

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Further Reading
  • 1 Average U.S. Retirement Age Rises to 62,” Gallup Survey Report, April 28, 2014. http://www.gallup.com/poll/168707/average-retirement-age-rises.aspx
  • 2 The Ideal Retirement Age-And Why You Won’t Retire Then,” U.S. News and World Report, May 12, 2014. http://money.usnews.com/money/retirement/articles/2014/05/12/the-ideal-retirement-age-and-why-you-wont-retire-then
  • 3 The results and explanations generated by these calculators may vary due to user input and assumptions. New York Life Insurance Company does not guarantee the accuracy of these calculators, results, explanations, nor applicability to your specific situation. We recommend that you use these calculators as a guideline only, and that you ultimately seek the guidance of an experienced professional.