Transamerica Institute

Retiree Research
The Current State of Retirement

Retirees Survey Image Cropped

The Current State of Retirement:
Compendium of Findings About American Retirees

This report, based on TCRS’ first-ever survey of retirees, provides in-depth perspectives on retirees including attitudes about life in retirement, time commitments, living arrangements, and personal finances. The Compendium offers more than 50 indicators of retirees’ health and wealth by age range.

Key highlights include:

  • Just getting by and/or covering basic living expenses is retirees’ most frequently cited financial priority.
  • Social Security is the cornerstone of retirement income.
  • Retirees’ confidence about maintaining their lifestyle exceeds the size of their retirement nest eggs.
  • Most retirees are happy and enjoying life.
Downloadable Materials:

The Current State of Retirement: A Compendium of Findings About American Retirees
Press Release - April 28, 2016

Infographics and Shareable Images:

Portrait of Today's Retirees Infographic
Portrait of Retirees' Finances Infographic
How Retirees Spend Their Time
Retirees' Greatest Fears
Retirees' Financial Priorities
Important Criteria in Retirees' Choice of Where to Live in Retirement


The Current State of Retirement: 
Pre-Retiree Expectations and Retiree Realities

This study compares and contrasts the retirement outlook of age 50+ workers with the actual experiences of retirees. It finds that pre-retirees' ideas of retirement are different than the actual experiences of retirees. While many age 50+ workers expect to work beyond age 65 and/or work in retirement, those who are currently retired entered retirement at a median age of 62. Many retirees retired before they had planned to, often due to circumstances beyond their control.

Key findings include:

  • Retirees indicate their employer offered little in the way of retirement transition assistance. Fewer than 10 percent say their most recent employer offered flexible work arrangements, retirement seminars, or financial counseling.
  • Seventy-six percent of retirees wish that they would have saved more on a consistent basis. Fifty-three percent agree that they would have liked more information and advice from their employers on how to achieve retirement goals.
  • Among the 60 percent who retired sooner than planned, two-thirds retired for employment-related reasons including organizational changes at their place of work, job loss, being unhappy with their job or career, or receiving a retirement incentive or buyout.

Downloadable Materials:

The Current State of Retirement: Pre-Retiree Expectations and Retireee Realities Report
Press Release - December 2, 2015