Is 70 the new retirement age?

Almost half of Americans would need to work beyond age 65 to be financially prepared for retirement. But they won't have to work 'forever.'

By MSN Money Partner Jul 9, 2012 6:19PM

This post comes from Glenn Ruffenach at partner site SmartMoney.


SmartMoney on MSN MoneyYes, working beyond your planned retirement date might be the best way to secure your financial future. But you might not have to work for as long as you think -- or fear.


Image: Couple sitting on deck in backyard (© Sam Edwards/OJO Images/Getty Images)A new study from the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College looks at how much longer households have to work beyond age 65 to be prepared for retirement. The finding: More than 85% of households would be prepared to retire by age 70. Put another way, many Americans -- who now fear they will have to work "forever" -- could enter retirement after working from one to six years beyond age 65, depending on the size of their nest eggs.


"The results paint a different picture than recent opinion surveys, which find that people anticipate that they will have to work much longer," the report states. (Post continues below video.)

The study is titled: "National Retirement Risk Index: How Much Longer Do We Need to Work?"  The National Retirement Risk Index measures the share of U.S. households "at risk" of being unable to maintain their pre-retirement standard of living in retirement.


Currently, in the wake of the financial crisis of 2008-2009, just over half -- 51% -- of today's working households are at risk, according to the center. But an important assumption in calculating that number is that people retire at age 65. If people were to work longer, the percentage at risk would fall. Thus the question, as outlined in the report: "At what age would the vast majority of households be ready to retire?"

By estimating target "replacement rates" (retirement income as a share of wage-adjusted lifetime income) and calculating the "age of readiness" (the age at which a household's projected replacement rate equals its target replacement rate), the center estimates that:

  • 23% of U.S. households would need to work one to three years beyond age 65 to "attain readiness" for retirement.
  • 17% of households would need to work four to six years beyond age 65.
  • 9% of households would need to work seven years or more.

While the numbers suggest that "today's workers will need to work longer than their parents," the study concludes, workers today "are also healthier and better educated, generally have less physically demanding jobs, and can expect to live longer. In short, working longer is feasible for most households, and it does not mean working forever."


More from SmartMoney and MSN Money:


Jul 10, 2012 9:49AM
DEAD is the new retirement age !   Thanks Washington for screwing US out of our Social Security funds. They say that by 2035, the SS payout will be .75c on the dollar. Of course they keep moving the date closer and closer and i would expect a factual payout of around .50c on the dollar and much sooner than 2035. Yes, i am fully aware SS was never meant to be a "retirement fund", but whose fault is it that it became that over the years ? Certainly not the working American. And where is all that money that WE put into OUR SS ? Washington has stolen it right out from under US. The system is broke. has been for years. We all know Congress is not capable of fixing it and why should they ? They don't have to live on SS. Damn thieves. They are no different than a thug breaking into your home and taking everything you own. Time for a Civil War in this country. It's the only way to make REAL CHANGE.
Jul 9, 2012 11:33PM
With our crooked politicians, we are lucky the retirement age isn't 80.
Jul 9, 2012 8:59PM
These kinds of articles are ridiculous. On the one hand, global economies are contracting, unemployment is increasing, amd finacial armageddon is staring at us in the face. On the other hand, folks are going to be working until they are 70. Really??? Where will the jobs come from??? Who will be hiring??? It matters little that lots of folks may need to work. What matters is will there be jobs for them. Clearly, the answer is no, there will be no jobs for them. A far better article would be describing how to prepare for shrinking opportunities and declining living standards. That's the reality many will be facing. How about this headline: "How to thrive while facing destitution".
Jul 10, 2012 2:19AM

Such a bunch of BS................lower the god damn retirement age back to 62 where it belongs and keep it there!  America needs to file a huge class action suit against the government "employees" who raised the minimum retirement age!\


Both parties need to quit stealing from the SS and Medicare funds.............neither one of these funds are 'general accounts' that they can dip their filthy theiving mitts into at will.

Jul 9, 2012 10:19PM
It means you work til you die.  There will be no such thing as retirement for the average working household.
Jul 10, 2012 7:57AM
From the moment my husband and I got married he started planning our retirement. We saved money, lived within our means, when we got a raise the extra money was added into our 401K's. We stayed in the same house we bought for nearly 20 years. We retired in 1997, my husband was 58 and I was 51. I didn't always agree with how he did things but it sure paid off in the long run. We have no debt, paid cash for our new home when we moved and have everything we could possibly want.  Granted it wasn't easy getting to this point but it was well worth the sacrifice.
Jul 9, 2012 8:52PM
If you are lucky enough to have a mother, father, grandmother, or grandfather who is between 65 and 70 years of age, try this...walk up to them, look 'em square in the eyes and say, seriously and as detached as you possibly can muster...c'mon, get goin - full day of work ahead, chop chop.  Could you bring yourself to say that to someone you so dearly love?  Now think of it this way - that is exactly what you are barking at yourself when you make excuses and justify not being able to save for retirement. Don't leave your future up to someone else, get actively educated and involved.  No one is going to care more than you will - no one.
Jul 9, 2012 10:44PM
With so few jobs what would happen if.  They lowered the retirement age instead of continuing to raise it.  I have a much better job with benefits than my son has.  I have no children at home and my son has two small children.  I have health insurance through my employer and my son has no insurance for his family.  So if I retired and a young person like my son got my job they would have health insurance and be earning a living wage and paying the taxes that I was paying and I could collect on the 46 years I've paid into social security.  The employers really don't want us old folks anyway.  They are offering us financial packages to get us to retire.  What do ya think, would it be better to lower the retirement age?
Jul 9, 2012 8:19PM

There is no such thing as retirement, anymore. The politicians have made sure of that. Of course, they'll be retiring and living very comfortably on the tax-free pensions they voted for themselves back in the `90's and early 2000's, while we, the citizens that they are supposed to be serving, slave away, because the politicians pissed away and squandered our money.

Jul 10, 2012 12:36PM
There will be no retirement for anyone, just a check for about $50 for everyone over 75 if some of our congressmen, congresswomen, and senators have to say about it.  Some of them are in favor of giving Social Security benefits to illegal immigrants who have never paid into the program.  Obama keeps giving what he terms "payroll tax cuts" to working people.  That means that he passed 2% reduction in the deferral from all payroll checks to Social Security for all of 2011 and 2012 (so far).  Most people think it's a tax break from the Federal Government, that it's federal taxes he's cutting.  It's not, it's social security.  That should never be touched.  I don't understand how he has the right to touch Social Security.  The only reason people are in favor of it is that most people don't even know where it's coming from.  If the feds have enough money to give a tax cut, let them put it in the budget; if they don't, don't give one, but leave Social Security alone!  ON top of that if you start paying benefits to millions and millions of people who have never paid in, nobody who has paid in will receive anything. 
I'd like to know who is going to feed all of the aging illegals?  All of them who earned anything extra sent it back to Mexico or the other countries that are their homeland.  Yes, they do have a home to go back to.  If we pay them Social Security, much of that money will be sent there too.  I plan on voting out any senator of congress member who even admits they are in favor of this.  It is wrong to take the retirement of the working people and give it to people that haven't earned it.

Jul 9, 2012 8:27PM
Because of the two major downward spirals of the economy and little to no cost of living raises and my wife retiring early and raising a grandaughter I have found myself planning on working until I'm 70.  That's another 5 years for me.  I work double shifts and have for the last 7 years.  I will go down to just one shift in a nother year.  I'm hoping this plan will work out, but as they say "the best laid plans do go astray!".  I have NO regrets.  Lovin' life!!
Jul 9, 2012 10:51PM
**** that, I'm retiring at 65 like I planned too. 
Jul 10, 2012 11:48AM
I don't know about the rest of you but with some good planning, a savings plan that I stuck to and some sense in the investment world, I retired at age 48.  I love that I can get up every morning and DECIDE if I want to play the market or not.  I have learned to set some of the auto trade features of my broker acount and then I go do what I want for the day.  And I also invested in some commercial real estate which I rent out to businesses, so I guess I'm not retired, retired, but I'm retired from the structured working world and now slay the daily dragons for myself.  so be smart with your money and plug all the little leaking holes in your wallet.  Be aware that the 3.00 coffee you have twice a day amounts to $2,190.00 a year.  Properly invested that could add 200.00 a month to your income.  And that is just one example.  There are lunches, wasted trips to the grocery store, prepared foods vs home cooked and who in their right mind needs 20 pair of shoes and designer suits and dresses.  Rethink your budgets... spend now and retire at 70, save now and retire at 50, you decide.
Jul 9, 2012 10:08PM

it would be hard for americans to retired early in the future. people needs to star saving now!! think if you can get retired in another country where thing are so much cheaper..

Jul 10, 2012 8:24AM
As an airline employee who went through an ESOP in 1994 I gave up vacation, 4.00 an hour, increased medical co pay to save the company.  I had over $100,000 in esop stock.  They wasted tons of money on very generous raises to all the top brass.  They were constantly redoing the aircraft cabin upgrades although they were just fine.  Then 911 hit.  They were broke the day after.  Through the bankruptcy filings they got rid of our pension that they had raided for executive bonuses and poor mismanagement.  They welched on the ESOP money, the stock was wothless.  Then the banks loaned money to people who could not afford to pay the mortgages.  As a result, the housing market crashed.  Most people invested in their home as a long term plan for retirement.  It is no wonder you have to work till age 70 with the government and companies stealing everything.  Those who own a house will see there property taxes going up to support all the social wlefare programs.  I say when you are ready to retire get on section8, food stamps and a free Obama phone,  that seems to be where the country is headed.  Those who work will pay for the free loaders.
Jul 9, 2012 7:03PM

"Is 70 the New Retirement Age/"


More Hegalian Dialectic! Are you people F#cking kidding!


If people retire at 70 it's because they coundn't afford to sooner, not because it's sheik or in vogue.


People DIE at 70, not retire. This is the Banks and the Governments' way of saving debt by not having to pay it.


Making retirement "Unaffordable".

Jul 9, 2012 10:33PM
Don't worry the 1% have it all planned out, you'll be lucky to retire at all!
Jul 9, 2012 8:13PM
Most people these days are living into their 90s - just read through the obituaries in any major newspaper. I am 67 and still happily employed. At this point we are living on our previous retirement benefits and banking my salary, but I love my job. I plan to work at least another five to ten years; a number of my family members retired in their 90s. I like being productive and I don't want 30 years of retirement. I'd go crazy!

Some people die at 70 from cancer, auto accidents, mountain climbing accidents, suicide, and liver damage from too much alcohol. Most people these days are alive and well and able to work in their 70s or even their 80s.

And the word you wanted is "chic," not "sheik." Look it up!

Jul 10, 2012 12:40PM
I started working at 16, fulltime at 18, so if I have to work until I am 70, that means I will have spent 54 years in the workforce.  That kind of makes me want to cry....especially, since I still have 38 more years to go.  Well that blows!  Maybe its time to go find me a rich old man like my mama told me! ;)
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