Redefining retirement

Empower Institute: American savers have new view on retirement

Feb 5, 2020
Press Release
  • New mindset is driving savings behavior
  • Top advice from savers to their younger selves: save for fun too


GREENWOOD VILLAGE, Colo., Feb. 5, 2020 — American workers close to retirement and those who already have retired agree on one thing: the idea of retirement needs to be redefined.

Retirement is no longer about reaching a certain age. It’s more of a mindset and American workers close to retirement, or pre-retirees, are eagerly looking forward to the next chapter in their lives. That’s according to survey results from Empower Institute, the research arm of Empower Retirement. The results of the survey1 are published in a white paper, Rethink, Rewire, Retire on the Empower Institute website.

According to the survey results:
• 83% of pre-retirees said they expect to live their best life in retirement
• 83% of pre-retirees said they would rather save more money today so they don’t have to cut back in retirement
• 81% of pre-retirees said there are more job and career opportunities for people post retirement

“People are no longer looking at retirement as the end of something, but rather the beginning of something new,” said Edmund F. Murphy III, President and CEO of Empower Retirement. “This important shift has changed the way people save for retirement, or what they now consider their second act.”

In the survey, despite citing challenges and having financial questions, pre-retirees say they started planning sooner than their retired counterparts and 67 percent said they felt confident in their ability to plan for retirement.

Pre-retirees are looking forward to describing themselves as explorers, travelers and volunteers and 44 percent of pre-retirees said their top advice to their younger self is to save enough to have fun, as well as for necessities.

Both retirees and pre-retirees say there are more opportunities now than 20 years ago to have a second career, start a business or work in the gig economy. More than 60 percent of pre-retirees said they plan to continue to work or join the gig economy, citing freelancing and consulting as their top choice for work.

“We are all recognizing this shift in the retirement landscape,” Murphy said. “Planning for retirement now means planning for a new chapter in life and we think that’s pretty exciting.”

Read this paper and other research at Empower Institute.

About Empower Institute

Formed in March 2015, the Empower Institute aims to critically examine investment theories, retirement strategies and assumptions. It suggests theories and changes for achieving better outcomes for employers, institutions, financial advisors and individual investors. The institute’s mission is bringing together industry insights and expertise to address the personal finance issues and retirement savings challenges Americans face today.

About Empower Retirement

Headquartered in metro Denver, Empower Retirement administers $665 billion in assets for more than 9.4 million retirement plan participants, as of Sept. 30, 2019. It is the nation’s second-largest retirement plan record keeper by total participants2 (Pensions & Investments, April 2018). Empower serves all segments of the employer-sponsored retirement plan market: government 457 plans; small, midsize and large corporate 401 (k) clients; non-profit 403 (b) entities; private-label recordkeeping clients; and Individual Retirement Account customers. For more information please visit

Media Contacts:
Stephen Gawlik – 303.737.0899 (office), 617.417.4408 (cell)
Monica Mendoza – 303.737.2626 (office), 719.373.2460 (cell)

Learn More:

To learn more about how we’re empowering plan sponsors and their participants to be more engaged in their retirement plans than ever before, call us at 800-719-9914.

Empower is a marketing name of Great-West Life & Annuity Insurance Company. RO1071397-0220

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