The average age at which U.S. workers report retiring is 62, the highest that Gallup Inc. has found since first asking Americans this question in 1991.
In its annual Economy and Personal Finance Survey, Gallup asks a sample of retired Americans to report the age at which they retired, and non-retired Americans the age at which they expect to retire.
In both 1991 and 1993, the average reported retirement age was 57; from 2002 through 2012, the average hovered around 60. Over the past two years, the average age at which Americans report retiring has increased to 62.
Meanwhile, the average age at which non-retired Americans expect to retire has also increased, from 60 in 1995 to 66 this year. Furthermore, in 1995, more non-retired Americans expected to retire younger. Fifteen percent expected to retire before age 55, compared with 4 percent in 2014.
The average retirement age may be increasing because many baby boomers are reluctant to retire. Older Americans may also be delaying retirement because of lost savings during the Great Recession or because of insufficient savings even before the economic downturn.
Younger Americans are the most optimistic of any age group about their prospects for retiring early. About 11 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds expect to retire before 55, a much higher percentage than other age groups. According to Gallup, "this could be because younger Americans, given the many years they have until retirement, may not understand the financial realities and challenges of funding retirement that middle-aged Americans are more familiar with."