NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

People Saving More, But Living Longer

May 16, 2000

More American workers are saving for retirement, but they aren't saving enough because they often underestimate how long they'll live. According to the 10th Annual Retirement Confidence Survey sponsored by the Employee Benefit Research Institute and others:

  • Nearly 20 percent of workers believe their retirement will last ten years or less, while another 15 percent believe it will last 11 to 19 years.
  • But a man retiring today at age 65 can expect to live on average until 81, and a woman until 84.
  • Many people can live longer an medical advancement will extend future life expectancy.
  • The fastest-growing segment of the population is the over-85 segment.

The percentage of workers who say they have saved for retirement has increased from 61 percent in 1994 to 76 percent. And the number who have tried to calculate how much they will need to save for a comfortable retirement has jumped from 53 percent from 35 percent in 1993.

When asked if they made any charges as a result of doing a retirement calculation, of those surveyed:

  • Fifty-four percent said they started saving more.
  • Twenty-six percent said they changed their asset allocation.

Source: Christine Dugas, "More Save For Retirement, But Many Underestimate Life Span," USA Today, May 16, 2000.


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