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Is retirement now just a pipe dream?

(FINANCE) A new survey offers bleak insight into our attitudes toward our future retirements (or lack thereof).

retired couple retirement

A recent international survey revealed people’s true thoughts and concerns about what retirement will look like for them — if it happens at all — and the results are disheartening, yet not surprising.

The ING International Survey Savings 2019 polled 15,000 people from 15 countries around the world, asking them questions about their current financial situations, their savings and their plans for retirement. Their answers pulled back the curtain on the current — and future — economic state of affairs for workers.

What They Said

More than 60 percent of Europeans and Americans polled in the survey admitted to being worried about having enough money for retirement. Perhaps thanks to these worries, more than half of Europeans and 64 percent of Americans expect they’ll need to keep earning money in some way after they hit retirement age.  

It’s Already Happening

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Many so-called retirees over 65 are already working past their workforce “expiration date” and contributing to the economy in some unexpected ways. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 8.9 million people over the age of 65 were still working in 2016, a 35 percent jump over 2011. According to Barron’s, the number of workers ages 65-74 is expected to grow by more than 4 percent every year through 2026.

Not All Bad News

It seems some of these older workers are still working by choice, not purely out of financial desperation. The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation reported that more than a quarter of new entrepreneurs in 2016 were ages 55-64, a 10.7 percent jump since 1996. And some companies (although, not all) are beginning to take notice of the benefits of an older workforce. Older workers often have more experience, are dependable and productive, and can serve as mentors to younger employees.

What Can You Do Right Now?

Nearly 30 percent of Americans and Europeans in ING’s survey revealed they have zero savings put away. Don’t let that be you.

Take a deep breath and don’t let the big, scary future keep you from making progress toward your goals. Start by downloading beginner-friendly apps like Acorns, which helps you automatically invest small amounts of money with every purchase, or the extremely easy-to-use You Need a Budget, which can help you get a better sense of where your money is going every month. And there are several more options for investing and saving and budgeting apps out there to get you started.

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Of course, you can’t predict the future. But taking a few simple steps now can help give you the power over when — or if — you decide to retire.

Staff Writer, Krystal Hagan holds a bachelor of journalism from the University of Texas at Austin. She lives the full-time RV life just outside Austin, Texas, with her musician partner, three dogs, and a six-toed cat. In her free time, she binges TV shows, brandishes her otherwise useless pop-culture knowledge at trivia nights, and tries to become BFFs with every animal she meets.

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  1. Pingback: The top 50 states for retirees (is yours in the top 10?)

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