Retirement & Financial Planning Report

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Retirement can be a more challenging proposition for those in physically demanding jobs because a common strategy to make up for inadequate retirement preparation—working longer—might not be available to them, says a report from the TransAmerica Center for Retirement Studies.

“Because their work is physically demanding, they may find it increasingly difficult, if not impossible, to continue performing their duties as they grow older – before they are financially ready to retire,” it says. What’s more, the nature of such jobs also means that they “face the risk of aging out of their occupations before traditional retirement age.”


The report said that about equal percentages, around two-thirds, of physical and non-physical workers say their health is good or excellent—slightly more of the former category call it excellent—and their expectations of retirement age are about the same, on average 65.

However, those in physical work are less likely to be habitual savers, are less confident that they have saved sufficiently to retire, and they have “limited opportunities to change their occupations so they can continue working until they are financially ready to retire,” it adds.

It recommended that they pursue “increased and consistent savings to accommodate a potentially shorter working life” and take into account the chances “for increased costs in retirement due to possible physical injury or decline.” With automation increasingly taking over in such occupations, it added, it is important that they keep their skills current.