The retirement landscape is changing quickly, and it’s not a pretty picture.

According to a recent survey conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of Northwestern Mutual, today’s earners expect to work longer than previous generations – and not necessarily by choice. What’s more, a strikingly large percentage of workers expect that they will never retire completely.

Pessimistic findings like these point to the need for more Americans to embrace financial planning. According to Northwestern Mutual, respondents who consider themselves “disciplined” or “highly disciplined” planners enjoy a significant advantage over self-described “informal planners.” The former are likely to be happier both before and during retirement, and better equipped to manage unexpected situations.

Unfortunately, a full 40% of respondents reported that they have not discussed retirement with anyone – while more than a third don’t even have a sense of how much income they will need to retire. More eye-opening data from the survey:

  • Working Americans now expect to retire at age 68. That is 10 years later than the retirement age of current retirees.
  • Many have no choice. While some people love their work too much to retire, 62% of those who anticipate working beyond age 65 say it will be from necessity. Nearly 80% cite insufficient savings and lack of confidence in social safety nets as pivotal factors.
  • Few plan to retire completely. Just 12% of future retirees in the survey said they envision being completely retired one day. Of current retirees, nearly four in five report being completely retired. Probably not coincidentally, just about half of future retirees believe they’ll be able to focus on activities like health and fitness, versus 74% of current retirees.
  • Pessimism looking forward. Just 68% of future retirees expect to be happy in retirement, compared with 80% of current retirees. That’s regardless of respondents’ lifestyle expectations.
  • Diminished quality of life. Just 52% of future retirees expect to maintain their quality of life in retirement. That compares to 61% of current retirees who say they have maintained their quality of life.

It’s hard to reach your destination if you’re not sure where you’re going, and emotions are always part of the equation. For those seeking confidence about their retirement, there’s no better tool than planning. A qualified planner can help you approach the process confidently to clarify your goals, determine how much you might need, and help prevent you from making mistakes that could jeopardize your future.

If you would like help to confidently plan for your retirement and financial future, we may be able to help. At Intelligent Capitalworks, that’s just part of what we do.