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Is 80 really the new 65?

By Jennie L. Phipps ·
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Posted: 4 pm ET

It looks like retirement is no longer all about sea cruises and rocking on the porch. According to new retirement planning research released today, most people think their last decade or two will be spent on the job.

About 25 percent of people between the ages of 25 and 75 with household income under $100,000 surveyed for Wells Fargo Institutional Retirement & Trust said they'll need to work until they are age 80 because they can't afford to retire.

“Eighty is the new 65,” said Joseph Ready, executive vice president of Wells Fargo, to Bloomberg reporters.

Those most likely to agree that they are going to be on the job until their dotage were:

  • 38 percent of those between the ages of 40 and 75.
  • 37 percent who earned less than $50,000 in annual household income.
  • 34 percent who were single.
  • 28 percent of those with less than $50,000 in investable assets.

On the other side of the table sit the 37 percent who say they have no fears about retirement finances -- that everything will work out in the end. Those most likely to hold this optimistic opinion were:

  • 47 percent of people without children.
  • 45 percent of people who are Southerners.
  • 42 percent of those with more than $50,000 in investable assets.
  • 38 percent who are married couples.

Despite the current national discussion about Social Security shortfalls, on average people believe Social Security will provide 27 percent of their retirement income. Those who call themselves Democrats believe it will provide 30 percent; independents, 25 percent; and Republicans, 24 percent.

Social Security cutbacks will be a tough sell with 75 percent of current retirees strongly opposed to reductions and 50 percent of those currently in the workforce equally opposed.

Finally, if you were planning on getting an inheritance, don't count on that either. More than 72 percent say they are "living in the moment" and don't plan to leave one.

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Selfless Gene
November 20, 2011 at 8:34 am

•"You can't eat the orange and throw the peel away - a man is not a piece of fruit."
- Arthur Miller, Death of a Salesman, Act 2

Well, in fact they do. What makes anyone think they will be ALLOWED to work until they're 80? Such wishfull thinking defies belief.

November 17, 2011 at 1:04 pm

While the fact that so many believe that they will now have to work to 80 is fascinating, the same study revealed that 69% of middle class Americans who lack a written financial plan, the majority (60%) either say they are “overwhelmed,” say it is “pointless” or say they are “too far behind to catch up". This is disconcerting. It is important everyone creates financial and retirement plans to best prepare themselves for retirement.

John Q Taxpayer
November 17, 2011 at 8:46 am

It's a shame you can't retire. Maybe then we could get someone to actually write some retirement advice articles instead of articles that continually say "woe is me." I'm not counting on an inheritance because I believe I need to take responsibility for my own financial well being.

November 16, 2011 at 5:30 pm

Every article you write sounds like you are more worried about your OWN retirement than anything else.

And of course I shouldn't count on an inheritance. I bet you don't plan on leaving one either... specially since in your last blog/article you wrote that you expect younger people to get jobs so they can support your Social Security. Why would you leave the younger generations anything behind? This coming from the same person that said you should lend money to your kids for a house and charge them interest and that the military should get 401Ks instead of their current retirement.


Who do you think we have to thank for the "80 is the new 65"?