A new study published this week found nearly seven in ten Americans hope to live to be at least 100 years old, in spite of rising concerns about outliving savings and waning health in later years.
The study by Edward Jones and Age Wave revealed that while most older Americans viewed their parents’ retirement as a time for “rest and relaxation,” they see their own retirement very differently. Most of them now see their own golden years as “a new chapter in life.”
“There’s really an interesting dichotomy between the old generation and new generation,” said Mona Mahajan, senior investment strategist with Edward Jones. She explained many older Americans now see their retirement years as a time to “reinvent themselves” and explore possibilities in life, or to “reinvent themselves,” added Mahajan.
Regardless of the continued concern that Social Security may run out and the fact that 88 percent of Americans over 65 are dealing with at least one chronic health condition, those who participated in the study indicated they believe 29 years is the perfect amount of retirement years. In spite of this expectation, most still are not saving enough for retirement. The study showed most retirees began saving for their retirement at age 38, but wish they had started at age 28.
Ken Dychtwald, founder and CEO of Age Wave, estimates the average American couple may need about $445,000 to cover annual medical expenses for their last 12 years of life. Dychtwald says most retirees are not financially prepared for these expenses.
The United States’ overall life expectancy dropped by 1.5 years to age 77 in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but is expected to rise again in coming years. “That could very well add another five or 10 or more years to the average life expectancy,” Dychtwald said. “But the problem is we don’t live those years with abundant health.”
ARTICLE: LAURA SPIVAK
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: THE CONVERSATION