The Average Retirement Age in America

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At what age do most Americans retire? For many people, it’s getting later and later in life.

What Is the Average Retirement Age in America?

A new Gallup survey says that the average retirement age for Americans is 61.

From the graphic below, you can see that the retirement age for retirees and the target retirement age for non-retirees has steadily increased over the past 30 years.

Average retirement age
Screenshot via news.gallup.com

Money expert Clark Howard says that, while retiring at age 61 may seem pretty appealing, there are some financial considerations you need to take into account, especially since we’re living longer than generations before us.

He notes that it’s difficult for many of us to reach the level of financial security required to sustain retirement for what might be 40 years. Clark says this financial freedom applies to maybe 25% of Americans who have access to a pension, own a successful business or are “max savers” in the Financial Independence, Retire Early (FIRE) movement.

“The other 75%, you haven’t been in a position where you’ve been able to save a great deal of money,” he says. “And you don’t have a pension, and you’re not even eligible for Social Security at 61. And how are you going to provide for your health care until Medicare starts at 65?”

How To Ensure a Comfortable Retirement

Clark says it will benefit your quality of life in retirement if you can continue to work until you reach full retirement age or even later, as each year you can delay retirement in your 60s will help your wallet tremendously down the road. He says the goal is simple: “getting some extra years in so you can build up more savings.”

“You can reach the point where you qualify for Medicare. And if you’re willing to do what I’m about, which is wait till age 70 to take Social Security, it means that if you live till 100, 90 or 85, the Social Security check is going to be so, so, so much larger than it would have been otherwise.”

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