By Heather Brown

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO)In a new Money Magazine article, financial guru Suze Orman says we should retire at 70 – not a month or year before. She writes that for healthy people in their 60s, retirements can last 30 years.

So, how far do we have to go to meet her goals? When are we retiring now? Good Question.

According to the U.S. Census, the average American retires at age 63. That’s up from age 62 in 1997.

So what’s changed?

“Our culture has changed, our concept of independence has changed and the cost of living has changed,” Ernie Owens, a professor at the University of St. Thomas School of Business said.

Owens says back in the 1970s and early 80s, many families relied on one income and a pension. The concept of the 401(k) then took over which meant more people had to rely on putting away the savings themselves. At the same time, health care costs have increased, people are living longer, healthier lives and some are choosing to stay on in the workforce.

“The attitude toward work has changed,” Owens says. “A lot of people want to work because it’s something to do, it gives them worth.”

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 32 percent of Americans age 65-69 were employed at least part time. And for Americans between age 70-74, workforce participation was 19 percent.

But, just because people want to work doesn’t mean they can. According to the Aegon Retirement Readiness Survey 2017, 61 percent of Americans say they retired sooner than planned. They cites bad health, unemployment and family responsibilities as the top three reasons.


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