1 Out Of 5 Expect To Work Until Death

Discussion in 'Economics' started by MattF, Jul 17, 2007.

  1. MattF


    While the article is based on one of those miniscule-type surveys intended to portray the more "general" picture (and get a long article out of), some of the figures I feel hold relative water within a bit larger margin of error then what this survey projects, if this survey were to expand into a much much larger pool of entrants over a longer period of time.

    Bottom line IMHO, we are all ultimately responsible for ourselves and our own well-beings. Trying to rely on government/Social Security/pensions, etc. to live off of in our later lives is only going to burn many people, and badly too...between that and savings done with poor advice from "financial planners" (that ultimately return small amounts), more will have no choice but to work and do something to make a few bucks and "ends meet."



    Nearly one out of five individuals expect to work until they die.

    That's among the most startling findings of a recent Bankrate-sponsored survey of Americans' attitudes toward retirement.

    The poll of nearly 700 non-retired adults nationwide also said 28% of adults save less than 5% of their gross pay a year. That includes 16% of Americans who acknowledged they are not saving any of their paychecks for retirement.

    Even so, optimism about life in retirement remains high. Six out of 10 Americans "never worry" or worry "not very much" about outliving their retirement savings.

    Such optimism isn't entirely misplaced. Among the brighter surprises: Younger workers aren't just plugged into iPods. They've apparently heard, and taken note of, messages to start saving for retirement as early as possible. Many individuals who are relatively new to the work force are stashing large amounts of their pay into fledgling nest eggs. That's true even for those with relatively modest salaries.

    Working until you die? It depends

    Nearly four of 10 seniors surveyed say they plan on working until death. And 21% of those between ages 35 to 64 predict they'll work forever, too. Only 9% of 25- to 34-year-olds expect to work permanently. Yet 19% of the youngest age group, 18- to 24-year-olds, see work as a forever thing. Overall, the figure was 18%.

    The poll, conducted by GfKRoper, did not survey anyone who was already retired. And the base size of the young set was small.

    "If you're age 65, one of the key things that keeps you coming to work is the desire to avoid touching your IRA (individual retirement account) and nest egg for as long as you can," says Tim Driver, the founder of the Web site RetirementJobs.com. "Many of these people have lived through the Depression. They grew up in an environment where watching pennies was the norm. Many of them are working for health care, too. It's by far and away the largest concern for that group."

    Driver says the notion of retirement is changing. Instead of quitting and spending their last 20, 30 or even 40 years in unfettered leisure, older individuals hope to "downshift" their working lives. In some cases, they want to keep working in some capacity because they miss the intellectual and social interaction they get from jobs. Other times, they need the money.

    So what about all that fuss about early retirement?

    It's still a goal for many. When asked about their target date for retiring, roughly one-quarter of all respondents (27%) said they plan to quit work in their 50s. The younger individuals were more likely to plan on an early exit; 38% of those between 18 and 34 plan on retiring in their 50s.

    This national random-digit-dialed phone study of 687 adults was conducted from March 29 through April 1, 2007. The sample was weighted by demographic factors including age, gender, race, education and census region to ensure reliable and accurate representation of adults in U.S. households. Results based on the full sample are projectable to the entire adult population in the U.S., with a sampling error of plus or minus 3.7%.

    Saving habits: Good news, bad news

    Reaching early retirement goals depends on how well Americans save and plan, of course. And here, there is good news and bad.

    The good news: 36% of the people surveyed say they are stashing at least 11% of their gross pay in retirement savings. Of this group, nearly half (16% overall) are saving at least 15% each paycheck. That's far above the 10%-a-year target that's generally set by financial planners.

    "It's somewhat surprising but quite good that we have at least 36% saving enough to get to where they need to be. But what about the others who are saving less or zero?" asks Dick Bellmer, the chairman of National Association of Personal Financial Advisors.

    The bad news: In fact, 28% of those surveyed save less than 5%, and 16% are saving nothing for retirement.

    It's midcareer individuals ages 35 to 49 who are having the most difficult time saving. In this age group, 14% save less than 5% of their gross pay, and 18% save nothing. That's almost twice the amount of those ages 50 to 64 who set aside nothing.

    "This is highly consistent with a large body of research that points to some very large problems for this age group," says Merl Baker, a principal of Brightwork Partners, a research firm that conducts numerous retirement studies.

    There are two problems for 35- to 49-year-olds, says Baker. First, they are juggling financial demands of paying for their homes, raising children, saving or funding college tuition and, in some cases, giving money to care for aging parents. Overwhelmed with such bills, Americans in this group often put their own retirement plans on hold.

    At the same time, this group of workers is far less likely to get pension benefits from employers than older baby-boomer cohorts. The upshot: Despite their inability to save, 30- and 40-somethings nevertheless must rely on their own efforts to pay for life after work.

    "This is the first crowd coming in who must rely on things like 401(k) savings," Baker says. "As a group, they're very pessimistic about retiring comfortably. They'll tell you what they plan to do is catch up later."

    That's just what many are doing. Indeed, older workers who aren't retired embrace their chance to stash away as much as possible, the survey for Bankrate found.

    Nearly one in three (29%) of those 65 and older are saving at least 15% a year. That's the highest rate for any age group, although the survey base size for this group was small. An additional 15% of those who are at least 65 set aside 11% to 14% of their income. Among 50- to 64-year-olds, 23% save at least 15% of their income, and 20% save between 11% and 14%.

    The mantra of saving early is sticking
    Younger workers are faring well, too. Although they can still amass large fortunes by saving even a modest amount while they're in their 20s, plenty seem committed to stashing as much as possible.

    Nearly half -- 46% -- of workers ages 25 to 34 save at least 11% of their salaries, with 15% of this group setting aside 15% or more. Among the youngest individuals (18 to 24 years old), 4% hit the high mark by saving 15%, and a respectable 12% stash 11% to 14% of pay. Even though this group was a small percentage of the survey group, the news was encouraging.
  2. MattF


    "They're getting the message. With the 18- to 24-year-old group, they're just out of college and already saving money. And the 25- to 34-year-old group already has a good head start. If they keep that up, by the time they're 50, the implication is they will be very well off," says Brian T. Jones, a certified financial planner and the author of "Getting Started: The Financial Guide for a Younger Generation. "

    Moreover, it's not just young, highly compensated Wall Street cowboys who are saving. A great number of modestly paid employees -- again, many of whom tend to be younger -- are just as apt to set a great deal aside.

    Roughly three in 10 of those earning $20,000 to $29,900 say they save 11% or more of their income annually. An additional 27% of that group saves 5% to 10% of pay. But 19% of those earning less than $30,000 save nothing.

    Those who fare the worst earn less than $20,000 annually. Among them, four out of 10 save nothing. Yet what may be among the most impressive findings of all is that 19% of those with gross yearly pay under $20,000 manage to save 11% or more. (This group was a small base size in the survey.)

    "They're not hitting peak earnings years, but if they get a company match, then they'll be well into the teens," Jones says. "Retirement won't be as dreary as everyone says it will be."

    Age drives retirement expectations
    Even when savings levels are modest, optimism about retirement ranks high.

    When asked "Do you think life will be better, worse or about the same when you retire?" 38% said they expected better things to come. An additional 41% said life should be about the same. Only 18% saw life getting worse.

    But yet again, age, more than any other factor, drives expectations. Younger and even lower-paid workers report to be far more bullish about their future than older, better-paid individuals. Specifically, 44% of individuals 18 to 49 expect life to be better. That's almost twice found in the over-50 group. (Among them, 24% expect things to improve when they retire.)

    Income seems less important. Roughly four out of 10 respondents in all income levels -- that is those who earn under $20,000 annually up to those who make more than $75,000 -- expect life to get better in retirement. Those who earn between $20,000 to $29,000 are most optimistic, with slightly more -- 46% -- counting on greater things to come.

    It's the midlevel career crowd, with incomes between $40,000 and $49,000 annually, who are the most pessimistic. More than one-quarter of them (26%) expect life to be worse in retirement. That's far higher the 16% of lower-income workers raking in less than $20,000 who agree with that sentiment.

    That negativity among the relatively well-paid may not make sense until one recalls that most of the people in this crowd are those same 35- to 49-year-olds who've put retirement savings on hold even as they're profoundly aware they've got to pay for it, says Dee Lee, a certified financial planner and the author of "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Retiring Early," who counsels individuals nationwide about retirement.

    "They're in a consumption phase, and there's really not much money left," says Lee. "They want the house, but maybe they bought it 12 years ago. The fridge goes; the screen door goes. Paying for those kinds of things add up. They have child care, which can be as much as $50,000 a year. They want that all-American dream, the house, the kid, the backyard, the two cars. It's not like they don't know retirement is there for them. But they're stuck."

    Worry about the future
    Perhaps it's not surprising then that this same crowd of 35- to 49-year-olds is most fearful about the future. When asked "How much do you worry about outliving retirement savings?" 21% of them said "a great deal." On average, just 14% of individuals of all ages worry this much.

    Generally though, the survey found that Americans are optimistic about their cash flow in retirement. Forty-two percent of the people surveyed said they "never worry" about outliving their money.

    That last statistic doesn't impress Bellmer, of the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors. "The 40% who don't worry are analogous to an ostrich. They just don't want to think about it. Retirement is a problem for another day."

    This article was reported and written by Leslie Haggin Geary for Bankrate.com.

    Published July 13, 2007
  3. I saw a segment that said almost 40% of all Americans don't take the paid vacation for a # of reasons. It's different for me I am passionate about trading. I know ppl. that don't take their vacation. They seem so unhappy, it's just dumb. Some ppl. can't afford it or their afraid that they will lose their job, can't keep up with work load, getting all these text messages and shit on vacation. Technology is not always a good thing. I have been without a cell phone for a month, have no lap top to trade whilst on vacation, but I can relax. :)
  4. bluud


    and 2 out of 5 people will continue to work after death
  5. "In some cases, they want to keep working in some capacity because they miss the intellectual and social interaction they get from jobs."

    The 14k dow is a hot topic with door greeters. Socially we take turns playing smack down, life doesn't get any better than this. :D
  6. "and 2 out of 5 people will continue to work after death"

    I'd say right now the score is about 2 out of 5 are dead ass mofo's working right now. Sheesh.