Workers Delaying Retirement — July 2010, reviewed January 2013

Retirement is a major life transition for most people.  Among older adults, people often ask each other ‘when are you retiring?’  The age at which workers expect to retire continues a slow upward trend.
The Employee Benefit Research Institute annually conducts a Retirement Confidence Survey.  The age at which workers expect to retire after age 65 has increased from 11 percent in 1991, to 18 percent in 2002, to 24 percent in 2007 and up to 37 percent in 2012.

The reasons may seem obvious.  The most cited reasons were the economy and a change in their employment situation.  This was followed by inadequate finances – in other words – not being able to afford retirement.
A sizable percentage of workers reported they have virtually no savings and investments. Of those providing this type of information for the 2012 survey, 30 percent reported they have less than a $1,000 in savings. In total, 60 percent of workers report that the total value of their household’s savings and investments, excluding the value of their primary home and any defined benefit plans, is less than $25,000.

If you are thinking of the future minus regular work “Planning Ahead for Retirement” is a helpful, guiding tool.  It is better to begin planning early in life but it is never too late to start.  While most people focus on finances when planning for retirement, this guide helps one consider the emotional and social aspects as well.  Obtain a copy through the U of MN Extension Distribution Center at 1-800-876-8636 or go online to the store at

With planning, you’ll  be able to respond to the question, ‘when are you retiring?’ with more confidence.