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Forced to Work Longer

73 now the average age for comfortable retirement, study finds

Employees relying on 401(k) plans as their primary retirement vehicle may not be able to retire comfortably until age 73, according to a study released Wednesday by an employee benefits consulting firm.

An examination of some 10,000 U.S. employees’ retirement accounts by the firm Nyhart found that many workers have fallen behind during the downturn because they withdrew money or lowered their contributions to 401(k) and other retirement plans.

The study also found that:

  • 81 percent of workers will not be able to retire comfortably by age 65.
  • Employees age 55 and older need to contribute on average more than 45 percent of their income to retire by 65.
  • Workers 45 to 55 must put away an average 19 percent to be able to retire by 65.

Carole Fleck is a senior editor at the AARP Bulletin.

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