• 1 in 5 say the financial stress brought on by the pandemic has forced them to reassess the retirement age they had originally planned.
  • 36% of over 55’s say the pandemic has quashed any plans of relocating to a different city after retirement.
  • Interactive map showing retirement panic ages across the country.

For any working American, there’s something inevitable looming at the end of their career: retirement. And along with that is the need to have some retirement savings to live comfortably, after earning a – hopefully – decent salary over the years. But what’s the right time to start thinking about this? CreditNinja.com polled 3,000 everyday people to find out – and made the somewhat surprising discovery that the average American starts panicking about their retirement – or potential lack of one – at the age of just 25!

That’s not long into most people’s careers, but any advance planning has to be a good thing. Interestingly, women seem to be slightly more relaxed, only starting to stress about it at age 27 (while men start at 25).

When compared across the country, CreditNinja.com found that Marylanders begin to stress about their retirements at just 21 years old (below the national average). However, it is laid-back Arkansans who appear to be the most relaxed on the issue. They don’t start worrying until around the age of 42.

Interactive map showing ages people suffer pension panic across America 

The research also found that over 1 in 5 (21%) people say the financial stress brought on by the pandemic has forced them to reassess the retirement age they had originally planned. In addition, 1 in 3 (32%) say that following the pandemic, they now won’t be able to retire at the original age they intended. 

More than half of respondents (52%) say it’s likely they will not be able to fully financially retire once they’re older and may have to keep doing some kind of part-time work.

For some, the idea of moving to a new place to retire may provide comfort and excitement at the thought of a fresh start – especially if you’ve worked and lived in the same neighborhood or town for years. Sadly, a third (36%) of those aged 55 and older who had plans to move say the pandemic has also quashed any plans of relocating and resettling to a different city after retirement. This could have to do with the 15% of respondents who say they will have to withdraw from their retirement fund early as a result of the financial difficulty brought on by the pandemic.

When asked, the main financial advice the late Gen Xers and Baby Boomers would give to younger generations was:

  • Start a retirement fund in your 20’s (45%)
  • Start an emergency fund (18%)
  • Educate yourself on the stock market (10%)
  • Save for a house deposit as soon as you can (8%)
  • Learn how to do your taxes (1%)

Lastly, almost all respondents (90%) say the concern of financial issues would worry them more than being single and alone in their retirement days.

“The idea of retirement and pensions can be daunting, however, not nearly as difficult as you may think. The key is to start looking into it as early as possible once you’re financially secure in your job, in order to maximize your retirement benefits,” says a spokesperson for CreditNinja.com. “In fact, we have created a whole retirement calculator to find out at what age you can retire: When Can I Retire: Calculator.”

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