Study: Young workers plan to retire at 56
- The average worker in a new Monster survey wants to retire by age 62, but that number shifts down for younger workers. In its State of the Candidate Report 2019 — The Changing Definition of Retirement, 18- to 24-year-old workers said they plan to retire at 56, while older workers aged 55 to 65 see themselves retiring at 67. Monster polled 1,000 full-time workers between ages 18 and 65.
- The preferred retirement age range was 60 to 69 for 71% of the 55- to 65-year-old respondents — the highest age bracket polled. Respondents in the higher age brackets were overall more likely to pick the 70 to 79 retirement age range than younger workers, Monster's results showed.
- Monster also polled workers on their preferred benefits, with retirement benefits coming in second in a tie with affordable health plans across all age groups. Flexible schedules and work-at-home options ranked the highest, and paid family leave ranked lowest among respondents.
Helping employees prepare for retirement in today's multigenerational workplace is challenging, for workers and employees alike. HR managers want to avoid the "brain drain" created after experienced workers retire with their knowledge. If younger workers are not provided upward career mobility, however, then HR risks losing them to a competitor that will encourage their growth.
Many workers — young and old — aren't saving enough money for retirement, which forces them to remain in the workplace longer than they planned. The National Institute on Retirement Security estimates that nearly 60% of workers have no retirement assets, and those with a retirement account have saved, on average, only $40,000. Older workers with sparse savings may continue to work out of necessity.
Though older workers add great value to their teams, when they stay on board longer it can sometimes result in higher healthcare costs for employers. Even still, employers risk of violating the Age Discrimination in Employment Act by attempting to replace retirement-aged workers with younger workers.
Some strategies to help workers better prepare for retirement could include automatic enrollment in 401k plans and encouraging eligible employees to contribute at least the minimum amount to receive the employer's match on their investment. Offering phased retirement may also help unprepared workers ease into retirement.