How retirement expectations change with time

Retirement planning means different things to different people, and varies even more markedly across age groups.

The Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies recently pulled together an extensive study of nearly 5,000 US workers that should be of interest to financial advisers, portfolio managers and affluent investors.


Here are some of the more interesting findings by age group:


Thirty-somethings are usually well into their careers and accumulating the beginning of a nest egg.

Some 67% have begun saving for retirement and 30% participate in 401(k).

Trouble is, most need to educate themselves better about retirement investing.  About two thirds of those surveyed say they need to learn more about the basics of investing.


Retirement Sources


This is the so-called sandwich generation, caring for kids and often parents.

They’re saving for retirement, but only 10% are “very” confident that they will be able to fully retire with a comfortable lifestyle.

Their debt levels are elevated and their household retirement savings is $63,000 (estimated median).


Retirement is no longer an abstract concept. It’s real and getting closer by the year.

Some 37% say retirement saving is a big priority and 31% pitch in more than 10% of income to the plan.

Total household retirement savings on average are $117,000. Nearly 60% plan to work past age 65 or do not plan to retire.

And 42% expect their standard of living to decrease when they retire.


Most, some 82%, aren’t interested in a labor-free retirement and plan to work past 65 or never retire at all.

Here’s something to consider: About 47% percent expect to rely on Social Security as their primary form of income in retirement.



The image of the carefree and reckless younger Americans is a bit off.

Most save, but they need to get smarter about investing.

Older savers are more realistic about their savings and often plan to work longer to make sure those resources last through retirement.

Like most things in life: Retirement planning is relative depending on one’s age.

Photo credit: Fevi in Pictures via Flickr Creative Commons