Do Worker Expectations of Never Retiring Indicate a Preference or an Inability to Plan?

42 Pages Posted: 12 Oct 2016 Last revised: 18 Feb 2018

See all articles by Sherman D. Hanna

Sherman D. Hanna

Ohio State University (OSU)

Lishu Zhang

Shenzhen University

Kyoung Tae Kim

University of Alabama

Date Written: October 9, 2016


In 2013, 18% of full-time workers aged 35 to 60 who were household heads expected to never retire. We found that factors related to the likelihood of expecting to never retire were more related to a failure to plan rather than a preference for working indefinitely. Most workers stating that they would never retire probably would have expected retirement ages under 67, if they had planned for retirement. Evaluations of retirement adequacy of workers should carefully consider the meaning of a response of “never retire.” Financial advisors working with clients who state that they never expect to retire should carefully assess whether that expectation is a preference or a reflection of the client’s failure to prepare for retirement.

Keywords: retirement planning, expected retirement age, retirement adequacy, financial sophistication

JEL Classification: D14, D91, J14, J26

Suggested Citation

Hanna, Sherman D. and Zhang, Lishu and Kim, Kyoung Tae, Do Worker Expectations of Never Retiring Indicate a Preference or an Inability to Plan? (October 9, 2016). Hanna, S. D., Zhang, L., & Kim, K.T. (2017). Do worker expectations of never retiring indicate a preference or an inability to plan? Journal of Financial Counseling and Planning, 28 (2), 268-284.. Available at SSRN:

Sherman D. Hanna (Contact Author)

Ohio State University (OSU) ( email )

1787 Neil Avenue
Campbell 265D
Columbus, OH 43210
United States
614-292-4584 (Phone)

Lishu Zhang

Shenzhen University ( email )

3688 Nanhai Road, Nanshan District
Shenzhen, Guangdong 518060

Kyoung Tae Kim

University of Alabama ( email )

312 Adams Hall
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0001
United States

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