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Heartland Monitor XI: Retirement

December 2011

This eleventh survey in the Heartland Monitor polling series reveals a fascinating dynamic of opinion about financial decisions related to retirement among Americans of different age groups. The data suggests that the Great Recession and the economic uncertainty of recent years have had a significant impact on the future plans and expectations of Americans on the brink of retirement. And, among many Americans, the definition of retirement appears to be changing with increasing expectations about working into their older years.

Previous Heartland Monitor surveys have shown that Americans see the economic downturn as a "game changer." This survey shows that among Americans age 50+ who have not yet retired ("near-retirees"), the recession has cast a shadow on their retirement plans and they find themselves with a completely different perspective than current retirees. Those age 18-29 almost always have the most positive view about the economy in the long-term and they continue their optimism, aligning with retirees about expectations for retirement. These younger Americans expect to retire at about the same age as what was reported by current retirees, and they expect to have a more comfortable and more secure retirement than their parents.

National Journal feature articles:
Allstate/National Journal Heartland Monitor #11 Key Findings (PDF)
Next Economy Supplement (PDF)

View the Heartland XI data and our press release on the survey.

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