The dream of an early, financially fortified retirement is dim in the eyes of many older Americans.
About one in four U.S. workers expects to keep working through age 70, according to a survey conducted by Willis Towers Watson in summer 2015.
Even worse, about 25 percent of Americans age 50 and older surveyed in March by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research said they never plan to retire. Respondents in the latter study named "financial needs" as the top factor behind retirement timing.
That sounds pretty gloomy, but are these fears founded?
On one hand, there's plenty of evidence that financial pressures on retirees are growing. The Willis report suggests that more than one in five men age 65 and older are still working today, for example.
"Research suggests average retirement ages are moving in an upward direction," said Steve Nyce, a senior economist at Willis Towers Watson. "How steep that will be depends on policy changes regarding Social Security as well as other factors like global growth."
Rising health-care premiums and flat pay increases have also widened the gap between what Americans can save and what they will actually need in retirement, Nyce said.