Despite Saving More, Americans Retire Later

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BOSTON (TheStreet) -- Even though compared with the rest of the world Americans save more for retirement and start at a younger age, they still retire later in life than their international counterparts.

That's the assessment by AXA Equitable Life Insurance in its Retirement Reality Study.

A total of 31,539 people between 25 and 75 years old were interviewed in 26 countries, making it one of the largest studies on retirement in the world, AXA says. Included countries were: Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Morocco, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Singapore, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Americans are among the top nations' residents surveyed to say they have started their retirement planning. Among U.S. Workers, 72% said they have started saving for retirement, compared with a global average of 46%. France and the U.S. are tied for second position behind Japan in terms of the number of working people who save for retirement.

U.S. workers are also among the youngest to say that they have started to prepare for retirement; the average age in the U.S. is 31, compared with the worldwide age of 34.

The U.S. ranks first among all countries (followed by the U.K. and Spain) in the yearly amount set aside by those who save. These savings include housing, education and other expected needs, in addition to retirement planning. While Americans are more likely to save than are those in most other countries, and save higher amounts (around $10,000 per year), many are still "living paycheck to paycheck," AXA says.

Although Americans seem more prepared than their counterparts in other countries, the anticipated retirement age is still among the highest of any country. The average American anticipates retiring at 64, three years older than the survey average of 61, and six years older than the desired retirement age of 58, they reported.

In addition to working longer, people in most countries are expecting a lower standard of living in retirement. Globally, 43% of workers and 30% of retirees believe their retirement income will be insufficient. Forty-six percent of international respondents said they have started to prepare for retirement, and an additional 37% intend to start later.

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