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Many Americans say they can't retire until their 70s or 80s

Financial Planning

It’s the new retirement: More than four in 10 Americans think they’ll have to work into their 70s or 80s because they can’t afford to retire, according to a new survey.

One in 10 people expects to toil into their 80s, while 32% expect to be on the job into their 70s, according to the report by insurer Northwestern Mutual.

On average, those surveyed expect to leave work at age 68. However, the report points out, that doesn’t jibe with reality.

The mean age of those already retired is 59, the study said.

An increasing number of people figure they’ll simply work longer to make up for inadequate nest-egg savings these days, not realizing how layoffs, poor health or other forces pushed their forebears out of the workforce far sooner than they wanted.

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“The incredible contrast between how long people expect to work, and how financially prepared they feel to live long lives, dramatically underscores how far behind people feel in their financial planning,” Greg Oberland, Northwestern Mutual executive vice president, said in a statement

“We’re seeing the average retirement age being pushed further out, due in large part to widespread feelings of long-term financial insecurity," Oberland said. "That adds up to people feeling squeezed during a period of their lives when their financial obligations really should be easing.”

Overall, 51% of Americans say they’re less financially secure than they thought they’d be at this point in their lives. Only 6% think they can retire before age 60.

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Follow Walter Hamilton on Twitter @LATwalter

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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