What is the Average Retirement Age in the US?

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The average retirement age in the United States has increased slightly over the past 20 years. In 1991 and 1993, the average retirement age was 57.  Since 2004, the figure has hovered at about 60 years old.

Expected Retirement Age

On average, Americans, who are not already retired, expect to retire at age 65.  37% of Americans expect to retire after age 65, up from 31% in 2009 and much higher than the 14% who expected to retire after 65 in 1995.

 32% of current workers expect to retire before 65, up slightly over recent years but still much lower than the 49% who reported that expectation in 1995.

Expected Retirement Age vs. Actual Retirement Age

The difference between expected and actual retirement age may be due to the assumption amongst younger workers that they will have a more extended lifespan and work longer.

Many current workers have doubts about the perpetuation of Social Security benefits. In addition, lower expectations for investment returns and the belief that they will have difficulty saving enough to retire may be influencing projections regarding a feasible retirement age. 

When is the Best Time to Retire?

Determining when to retire depends on many factors, including your current economic needs, your ability to work, and your company's pension program. In a down economy, workers are more likely to continue in a job if they are employed.

On the other hand, if they lose their job when they are close to retirement age they may decide to retire earlier.

Other alternatives may include phased retirement that occurs is when employees are allowed to progressively reduce their work hours in the months/years before their official retirement date.


This method allows older employees to adjust to and prepare for retired life, hopefully reducing post-retirement stress (which occurs when retirees cannot cope with the drastic change in work and lifestyle).

Many older workers choose to work part-time in retirement to supplement their retirement income, pursue an interest/passion or relieve boredom.

Read More: Retirement Planning