The Big Problem With Planning to Work Past 70
Life + Money

The Big Problem With Planning to Work Past 70

iStockphoto/The Fiscal Times

Another study has come out confirming that many American workers expect to work well past the traditional retirement age.

The report released by Willis Towers Watson today finds that a quarter of U.S. employees plan to work past age 70, and nearly a third of workers say they expect to work longer than they previously planned.

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“Although their financial situation has improved over the past few years, many workers remain worried about their long-term financial stability,” Steven Nyce, a senior economist with Willis Towers Watson, said in a statement. “In fact, the only way for many employees to achieve retirement security and overcome inadequate savings is to work longer.”

Unfortunately, that realization is taking its toll on workers. Workers who expect to work past age 70 have higher stress levels than their peers and are less likely to be in good health. Since stress and poor health are often factors that contribute to an early retirement, these workers could face a double whammy of needing to work longer but being forced to retire early.

Retiring earlier than expected means that savings need to last longer. Retirees could be forced to draw Social Security at a younger age, reducing benefits, and cover their own health care costs of they stop working before Medicare kicks in.

Financial planners recommend that workers plan and save as if they’ll retire at a typical age – the average age in the U.S. is 62 -- even if they hope to be able to work longer.