Retirement Outlook

Redefining The Ideal Retirement

58% of Americans say they’d consider post-retirement employment to seek personal fulfillment

New research from Empower reveals that people remain concerned by economic factors like inflation (52%), running out of money (51%), and unexpected expenses (49%). View the complete report findings here.

GREENWOOD VILLAGE, Colo., Sept. 21, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Over half (58%) of Americans (64% of Baby Boomers and Gen Xers) may be in the job market post-retirement, and are open to working indefinitely – but the reasons aren’t purely financial according to new research from Empower, a leader in financial planning, investing, and advice. Would-be working retirees are motivated by values like personal fulfillment (41%) and having a sense of purpose (37%), just as much as potential financial needs (40%).

People remain concerned by economic factors that could impact their financial futures like inflation (52%), running out of money (51%), and unexpected expenses (49%). Overall, respondents point to having a 401(k) account as the top way to save for retirement (56%), followed by stocks (35%) and a traditional savings account (34%). According to Empower data, for people ages 60 to 65, the average 401(k) account balance is $198,194.* Workplace savings, such as a 401(k), are one important component of long-term financial health — alongside retirement income, including Social Security, and a person’s overall net worth.

“Having clearly defined personal goals — including when you want to retire — can help determine how much you should have saved, and the steps you can take to help optimize your investments,” says Nik Franklin, CFP®, a senior financial advisor at Empower. “Defining the ideal retirement is individual and comes down to priorities, values, and goals — both financial and personal. Getting a handle on your overall net worth is a concrete action to help see where you stand, and where to go.”

More key findings:

  • Keeping the office door open: Nearly 2 in 5 Americans say working post-retirement would help them maintain a daily routine (37%) and keep their minds (37%) and bodies active (36%). Gen Zers are the least likely generation to say they’re open to working after they retire, at 49%.
  • Plans for relocation: Nearly 1 in 4 Americans (22%) want to relocate to another state in retirement, and 10% say they’d like to move abroad (Gen Z has the most wanderlust, at 13%). One-third (32%) of respondents and 50% of Boomers plan to stay put post-retirement.
  • Most popular places: The top five most popular states for retirement include Florida, New York, California, Colorado and Texas. The top five most popular countries for retiring abroad include Italy, Thailand, Japan, Mexico and Barbados.
  • Staying busy: When it comes to passing the time, Americans say their most desired retirement activities are traveling (52%) followed by gardening (35%) and hiking (33%).

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About The Study
Survey of 1,009 Americans conducted in July 2023 by Fractl on behalf of Empower.
About Empower
Empower, a leader in financial planning, investing, and advice, is dedicated to creating financial freedom through people and technology. It administers $1.4 trillion in assets for more than 18 million retirement plan participants and is the nation’s second-largest retirement plan recordkeeper by total participants.1 Connect with us on
1 As of June 30, 2023. Information refers to all retirement business of Empower Annuity Insurance Company of America (EAICA) and its subsidiaries, including Empower Retirement, LLC; Empower Life & Annuity Insurance Company of New York (ELAINY); and Empower Annuity Insurance Company (EAIC), marketed under the Empower brand. EAICA’s consolidated total assets under administration (AUA) were $1,387.9B. AUA is a non-GAAP measure and does not reflect the financial stability or strength of a company. EAICA’s statutory assets total $73.98B and liabilities total $70.1B. ELAINY’s statutory assets total $7.2B and liabilities total $6.9B. EAIC’s statutory assets total $90.1B and liabilities total $88.8B.