Here’s When Each Generation Expects to Retire

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Retirement is among life’s most momentous events. Most people spend almost their entire adult lives working decade after decade. Then, one day, they simply stop.

Post-work life is full of both challenges and rewards. But when should those golden years begin? Recently, Investopedia asked members of four generations to name the age at which they expect to retire.

Upon surveying 4,000 adults — 1,000 each from the four major generations — these are the answers Investopedia received.

Generation Z

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Median age at which they plan to retire: 57

Workers between the ages of 18 and 25 are the youngest of the four major generations. So perhaps it’s no surprise that youthful buoyancy makes them the most optimistic about retiring early.

The best way to retire in your 50s is to start saving and investing early and often. For tips on getting to the finish line before anyone else, check out “Want to Retire Early? Make These 6 Moves Right Now.”


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Median age at which they plan to retire: 61

Workers between the ages of 26 and 41 also plan to stop working before the traditional retirement age of 65. That means the oldest millennials are just two decades away from their early retirement dreams.

And dreams of quitting work early can be more than just a mere fantasy, as you’ll learn in “These Stats Show Early Retirement Is Alive and Well.”

Generation X

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Median age at which they plan to retire: 64

Workers between the ages of 42 and 57, members of Generation X, expect to retire a little later than millennials, at the age of 64 based on the median survey answer.

Noticing a trend? As people grow older, they tend to expect to stop working later in life. Maybe that’s because they enjoy working more than they thought they would as they get older.

Or perhaps the hopeful dreams of retiring early that form in our youth give way to the reality that we often need to continue working as we get older.

Baby boomers (currently unretired)

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Median age at which they plan to retire: 68

Workers between the ages of 58 and 76 who have not yet retired keep pushing that final day of work out into the future. According to the median survey response, they plan to be pushing 70 years of age before finally giving notice to an employer for the last time.

If you already are in retirement but are having second thoughts about quitting work altogether, check out “20 of the Best Part-Time Jobs for Retirees.”

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