The Most Popular Retirement Ages

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At what age do you plan to retire? You may have a particular number in mind, but a recent report indicates your wallet may have other plans.

The report, Retirement Readiness Among Older Workers, features answers about retirement savings and related expectations from a survey of 990 U.S. workers between the ages of 40 and 73, conducted in March 2021.

The report was produced by the Insured Retired Institute (IRI), a financial services trade association. 

Here are some key findings:

  • More than half of respondents believe they’ll need to make more than $55,000 a year in retirement.
  • One-third think they’ll need more than $75,000 a year in retirement.
  • 50% of workers aged 67 to 73 are not confident they will have enough money in retirement. 

According to the report, here is the breakdown of when U.S. workers believe that they will be able to retire.

When Most Workers Plan To Retire

AgesPercentage
Prior to 65 29.6%
Age 65 16.3%
Ages 66-69 14.2%
Age 70 13.5%
After Age 70 11.6%
Don’t know 10.4%
Never 4.4%

Read the complete report here.

Most survey respondents say they haven’t calculated how much money they’ll actually need to retire, according to the report.

That means they don’t have a road map to get to their retirement destination.

Where do you start?

Clark says financial freedom in retirement typically involves saving along the way.

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“Saving money is a choice; there’s no requirement that you do it,” Clark says. “And if saving is not something that’s important to you, it simply means you’ll probably have to work longer.”

How To Save for Retirement

In harmony with Clark’s thoughts, the report indicates two of the primary things most employees wish they had done is to have started saving earlier and to have saved more.

Let’s talk a bit about some solutions for both of those scenarios.

How To Save Earlier

“The younger you start, the better it is,” Clark, referring to financial security, says on his podcast.

That’s why he’s a big fan of taking advantage of an employer-sponsored 401(k) plan. A 401(k) plan with an employer match typically gives you 50 cents on the dollar up to 6% of your salary. That can yield quite a bit of money when you start contributing to a 401(k) plan as a young worker.

“The beauty of an employer match is that it’s the equivalent of an automatic pay raise,” Clark says. “No need to ask your boss, get a good quarterly review or hope your company has a good year so there’s money for a raise!”

Read up about a 401(k) match and how it works.

You can also invest your savings outside of the workplace. One option that Clark likes is a tax-free Roth IRA.

How To Save More

“The more of a percent of your pay you save, the more financial security you create,” Clark says.

You can also make catch-up contributions to your retirement accounts. Each year, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) tells you what the annual retirement contribution limits are.

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Final Thoughts

When it comes to age, Clark says the main thing to remember is that it’s never too late to start investing in your future.

“Whatever you’ve been able to do, whatever you’ve done, that’s what you’ve been able to do up to this point,” Clark says. “From here, it’s all about where you are now and how you’re going to move forward.”

Want more retirement tips? Here’s how to invest and save the Clark Howard way.

More Retirement Resources From Clark.com:

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