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Why Working Longer is a Bad Retirement Plan

Research suggests people often end up retiring earlier than they expect

Working longer is among the best ways to ensure you don't outlive your retirement savings. The problem is, you can’t count on it as a strategy.

When it comes to retirement age, there is a big gap in expectations versus reality. Americans generally retire earlier than planned — often due to factors beyond their control, such as poor health or job loss, research shows.

In 2022, the average expected retirement age was 66, according to a Gallup poll. But the actual retirement age was 62, on average. While the averages have varied somewhat over the years, there has been a consistent gap of about five years between expected and actual retirement ages since 2002, Gallup said.

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