3 Reasons Americans’ Vision of Retirement Has Changed

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As anxious Americans look at the state of the world — and their finances — visions of how retirement might unfold are changing.

About one-third of Americans say their outlook on their golden years is undergoing a revision, according to a recent report from the National Institute on Retirement Security. Two-thirds say events in the past year have influenced what retirement will look like.

The survey — which included more than 1,200 adults age 25 and older — found Americans in a decidedly pessimistic mood about retirement.

Here are the chief reasons that America’s vision of retirement has changed.

1. Inflation/cost of living is higher than they expected

Inflation
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Respondents who cited this as a way in which their vision of retirement has changed: 31%

For decades, inflation was in deep hibernation. But now, rising prices have awakened and are roaring back with a vengeance. Those increased costs are undermining our vision of a comfortable retirement.

If you are worried about the increased cost of living, check out our “10 Sneaky Hacks to Outsmart Inflation.”

2. They have savings struggles

Woman with an empty piggy bank
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Respondents who cited this as a way in which their vision of retirement has changed: 16%

Today’s rising prices mean many folks can barely afford necessities, let alone save for the future. And if you cannot save money, retirement shifts categories from “dream” to outright “fantasy.”

However, even if you don’t save as much as you like, retirement might still be possible. For more, check out “Didn’t Save Enough for Retirement? 10 Tips for Making It Work.”

3. They will have to work longer or likely never retire

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Respondents who cited this as a way in which their vision of retirement has changed: 10%

Some folks now fear they will have to work longer than planned. Others despair that they might need to work right up to their final day.

If you dread working a full-time job right through your golden years, perhaps part-time work is a better compromise. Check out the “20 Great Part-Time Jobs for Retirees.”

Other factors affecting visions of retirement

Home health aide taking a patient's blood pressure
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Here are the rest of the ways that Americans say their vision of retirement is changing:

  • Affected by the economy/stock market: 9%
  • Re-evaluated lifestyle, travel plans or living arrangements in retirement: 8%
  • Affected by current political administration: 7%
  • Influenced by health issues/cost: 6%
  • Lost job/income: 5%
  • Changed budget or investments: 4%
  • Changed retirement age: 4%
  • Question the sustainability of Social Security: 3%

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