Expected Retirement Age Continues Upward Climb

The expected retirement age for Americans has increased to 66 in 2011 from 65 in 2010, says a recent Gallup poll.

Over the past 10 years, the expected age has gone up successively, from 63 in 2002 to 66 today, peaking slightly in 2006 and dipping back to 64 before the economic crisis (see chart below).

“This could reflect nonretirees’ increasingly pessimistic attitudes about having enough money when they do quit working, as well as changes that increase the age at which a worker can collect full Social Security benefits,” the accompanying Gallup report asserts.



The report also discusses attitudes on Social Security, indicating that “6 in 10 workers hold out little hope of receiving Social Security benefits. This suggests that cutting back on the system might not be a totally unexpected move as far as workers are concerned, and that there might be less political resistance to such changes than some might think.”

View the Gallup poll findings.