Eighty and employed

A new survey finds Americans think they’ll be working longer than ever before

As the economy and markets have generally gone south over the past few years, it’s become clear to many boomers that retirement may not be quite as golden as they’d once planned. In fact, some new research suggests it may not happen at all.

According to a recent survey by U.S. bank Wells Fargo & Co., Americans think they’ll be working longer than ever before. Roughly 76 per cent of respondents (1,500 Americans, aged 26-75, were surveyed) said they would rather make a set amount of money before retiring, compared to just 20 per cent who said they’ll retire when they reach a certain age, regardless of savings. How long will it take to reach their target? A quarter of respondents say they expect to work into their 80s.

That’s a mentality not so far removed from the Canadian one: a recent Royal Bank of Canada poll shows that 72 per cent of Canadians hope to be mortgage-free by age 65, while a third of Canadians over 55 currently have 16 or more years still left on their mortgage term. “Canadians want to be mortgage-free as they approach retirement age and beyond,” says Claude DeMone, director for Home Equity Financing at RBC, “but the reality is that it takes prudent planning and the right advice to stay on track.”