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The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research has released the results of a major new survey exploring the views of older Americans about their plans for work and retirement. It provides in-depth information about a rapidly growing segment of the population that by choice or circumstance is working longer. The Great Recession has had a marked impact on retirement plans.
“The survey illuminates an important shift in Americans’ attitudes toward work, aging, and retirement,” said Trevor Tompson, director of the AP-NORC Center. “Retirement is not only coming later in life, it no longer represents a complete exit from the workforce. The data in this survey reveal strikingly different views of retirement among older workers today than those held by the prior generation.”
With funding provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research conducted a national survey of 1,024 adults ages 50 and over. It is a segment of the population that is not only growing rapidly in numbers, but is also becoming substantially healthier. Projections show that the U.S. population age 65 and over will increase to 19 percent of the population by 2030, up from 13 percent in 2010, an estimated 72 million people. At the same time, people age 55 and over comprise the fastest growing segment of the workforce. By 2020, approximately one fourth of American workers will be 55 or older.
Key findings of the survey include:
About the Survey: The nationally representative survey was conducted by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research from August 8 through September 10, 2013. This random-digit-dial survey of the 50 states and the District of Columbia was conducted with 1,024 Americans ages 50 or older. Of the total, 815 interviews were done on landlines and 209 on cellphones. The overall margin of error for the survey was +/- 4.1 percentage points, which incorporates a design effect.