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PNC Survey Finds More Than Half Of Recently Retired Americans Left Workforce Earlier Than Planned

PITTSBURGH, Sept. 10, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Almost half of Americans (49 percent) in their prime retirement planning years believe they will need to work longer than previously planned in order to save enough to retire, yet more than half (58 percent) of those 70 and under who have already left the workforce did so earlier than planned, according to a new survey from PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (NYSE: PNC).

The third PNC Perspectives on Retirement Survey, conducted by telephone in July, examined retirement preparation behaviors and habits.

"The survey clearly shows that the age at which people expect to retire is not always in their control," said Celandra Deane-Bess, C.F.P., vice president and senior wealth planner with PNC.  "Economic uncertainty, employer actions and unexpected health issues often force individuals to retire earlier than they planned which puts a premium on sound financial habits early."

About four in 10 (42 percent), which the survey refers to as "Planners," consider themselves to be on track in their preparation for retirement. About a third (35 percent), dubbed "Procrastinators," recognize the need to prepare but acknowledge they put it off. A final group, tagged "Avoiders" (23 percent), admit they are well behind on their retirement planning.

The result is an almost three year difference in expected retirement age when each group wants to retire. The "Planners" group expects to retire on average at 65.7 years while the "Avoiders" believe they have to retire at an average age of 68.2.

Good fiscal habits play a role in successful planning, the survey showed. Of the "Planners" group, 79 percent have made a habit of participating in an employer-sponsored retirement plan compared to just 39 percent of "Avoiders."

PNC's survey also revealed that women have more doubt than men about their ability to achieve a secure retirement. More than half of women (51 percent), compared to 40 percent of men, agree with the statement "I'm afraid I may not be able to retire."

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