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Almost 80% of Americans Fear a Retirement Age Increase — Here’s the Real Reason Why

Updated June 12, 2024
Fact checked

There may be nothing more contentious in U.S. politics than a potential raise of the retirement age.

And now, with the election cycle in full swing, it seems many Americans are considering the possibility of it actually happening — and how they would feel if that limit were to increase in a few years.

The truth is that it's not just a potential delay in Social Security benefits that has Americans worried. In fact, it’s something far more painful and hard to accept.

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The real reason so many Americans are worried about retirement

According to a poll from Quinnipiac University, nearly 80% of Americans “would oppose raising the full retirement age for Social Security from 67 to 70.”

But that makes sense — why would anyone want benefits paid out later in life?

No. The real reason that so many Americans fear retirement is that, according to the very same poll, 68% of Americans feel they won’t have enough money to retire comfortably.

This sentiment tracks with recent estimates on American retirement savings, and the findings are, well … grim.

While the suggested amount for retirement savings comes in at $555,000, the real percentage of American retirees who have saved that much is shockingly low — just 12%, according to Yahoo! Finance.

Revealed: average retirement savings in America by age — how do you compare?

In the 2019 Survey of Consumer Finances, researchers pulled in data revealing the average retirement savings balance of different age groups.

While these figures reflect an average, some people may have more or less saved. The study did not reveal whether or not individuals were working with a fiduciary.

Where do you fall on this spectrum? Do you have more? Less?

Age group Average retirement savings balance
35 or under $30,170
35-44 $131,950
45-54 $254,720
55-64 $408,420
65-74 $426,070

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If you have any doubts about your retirement savings, speaking to someone can calm your nerves

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