Which retirement statistics will help you to plan and live the active retirement of your dreams? My own retirement planning prompted me to pay attention to retirement statistics in my early fifties.
There was an article in The Irish Times newspaper which stated that research had revealed that "40% of us had a problem with maths."
I wrote the following letter to the editor:
"So 40% of us have a problem with mathematics. Let's look on the bright side ... this means 70% don't have a problem."
The letter got published, was subsequently listed among the sayings of the week, and got broadcast on national radio in an item entitled "It says in the papers."
I've studied statistics at Primary and Masters Degree level and I still cant differentiate between Permutations and Combinations in probability theory. And please dont ask me about Simple (sic) Regression analysis or the Poisson Distribution.
Ive read Statistics Made Simple (now theres an oxymoron) and Statistics for Dummies, but I still have occasional nightmares involving Chi-Squares and Partial-Correlation Coefficients.
And for what? To paraphrase my high school maths teacher - "Dont worry Greg; theres no such thing as algebra in the real world!" (Mind you an understanding of Probability Theory could save a lot of money gambled on the Lottery!) Let's ease ourselves into retirement statistics with a few quotes from that source of infinite quotes on every subject - Anon:
Facts are stubborn things, but statistics are more pliable
To a statistician fractions speak louder than words
Statistics prove that you can prove anything with statistics
A statistician is a person who comes to the rescue of figures that cannot lie for themselves.
And then there are "Lies, dammed lies, and statistics" a phrase that disparages statistics, and warns us that some unscrupulous people use them to support a weak argument
But I know you love statistics - how else did you arrive at this page? So here goes with some retirement statistics.
Its impossible to write about retirement statistics without reference to the Baby Boomers. They are that lucky generation born between the ending of the World War II and the coming of the Beatles, 1946-1964, those currently between 49 and 67. Seventy Seven million Americans are in that category.
According to AARP Retirement Statistics /Roper:
A Merrill Lynch survey reported that 76% plan to work in retirement.
A MetLife survey found that 57% of Baby Boomers want a feel-good job in retirement.
Impact on US economy of Americans over 50 - they account for ...
In Ireland, people over 65 make up about 11 per cent of the population, as a group, they have considerably more spending power than the mortgage-ridden or redundant young.
Demographics of aging - as Boomers age:
Attitude on Best Places to retire to (Del Webb survey)
Retirement statistics research show that attitudes have changed considerably. With life expectancy increasing the time horizon for the "Third Age" has lengthened and many people are asking "whats next", and theyre thinking way beyond a life of leisure.
"And I think mandatory retirement age is a relic. I think should be an individual decision and not a social decision." (Dr Richard Suzman National Institute on Aging in the US.)
A new report by the Society of Actuaries in Ireland has recommended raising the retirement age to 75 by 2050 in order to fund future pensions.
I was born in 1947 so were talking about my generation. Boy we had some fun, and were not finished yet! Most people over 55 do not feel old, 80 years of age is old. So, 80 is the new old, and theres a lot of living to be done in the last 30 years. (Apologies to octogenarians who do not feel old!)
"The average person over 50 mentally pictures themselves as 15 years younger than they really are. People don't want to see who they really are. They want to see who they want to be". - Scott Gilbert, CEO Saatchi & Saatchi, citing research studies.
The age for retirement was set at 65 by Kaiser Willhelm in the late 1800's. It is now generally accepted among gerontologists that life expectancy may exceed 85 years. Life expectancy in Ireland is increasing. According to the Central Statistics Office, mens life expectancy is 76.8 years (up 1.7 years) and womens life expectancy is 81.6 years (up 1.3 years) in the most recent data.
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