Half of Current Workers Won't Be Able to Retire at 65

For all the trauma your 401K has probably suffered over the past few years, here's a bit of news to take heart in: According to researchers at Boston College, most Americans are only going to have to work a few extra years to make it to retirement. 

The new figures come out of BC's Center for Retirement Research, and are summed up in the graph below. Only about 48 percent of current working households will be ready for to pack it in and enjoy their golden years by the traditional retirement age of 65. But thanks in part to the premium Social Security recipients get from delaying their benefits, 86 percent of households will be prepared by 70.  

Retirement_Boston_College.PNG

Here's another way of looking at it. As noted before, almost half of all households will be ready to punch out by 65. Only a select few will have to work past 70.  

Retirement_Extra_Years_Boston_College.PNG

Now here's the catch with all of this: These numbers all assume current levels of Social Security benefits, which play a major role in getting low-income households to the retirement finish line. If they change dramatically, especially for Americans at the bottom of the economic totem pole, retirement could really become a luxury for the rich. 

Presented by

Jordan Weissmann is a senior associate editor at The Atlantic.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

A Stop-Motion Tour of New York City

A filmmaker animated hundreds of still photographs to create this Big Apple flip book

Video

The Absurd Psychology of Restaurant Menus

Would people eat healthier if celery was called "cool celery?"

Video

This Japanese Inn Has Been Open For 1,300 Years

It's one of the oldest family businesses in the world.

Video

What Happens Inside a Dying Mind?

Science cannot fully explain near-death experiences.

More in Business

Just In