Many expect lower standard of living in retirement

Nanci Hellmich

One out of three workers expect their standard of living to decrease when they retire, and 41% think it will stay about the same, according to a survey of 4,143 full-time and part-time workers commissioned by the non-profit Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies.

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Only 17% expect their standard of living to increase, and 9% are not sure what will happen, the survey shows.

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"As the economy continues its recovery, workers can further improve their chances of achieving a comfortable retirement by taking steps today to update their retirement savings goals and finding a road map to achieve those goals," says Transamerica Center president Catherine Collinson.

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"Most people plan to work longer and retire at an older age. Yet with a solid strategy, many may be able to retire sooner, transition with greater flexibility and on their own terms," she says.

Planning for retirement: The first step

About 65% of Boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964) plan to work after age 65 or don't plan to retire. The top reasons for working in their golden years: income and health benefits, the survey finds.

Read MoreStudent loan debt may stifle retirement savings

Some Boomers are taking steps to stay employed: 26% have a backup plan for retirement income in case they are forced into full retirement sooner than they expected; 65% say they're staying healthy to continue working; 41% are keeping their job skills current; 16% are networking and meeting new people; 14% are scoping out the job market for possible opportunities.

—By Nanci Hellmich of USA Today