Almost half of people under 40 say they would like to retire before they're 60, according to a new report — but the reality could look very different.
Despite many of those nearing retirement finding they're having to work for longer to make ends meet, the World Economic Forum found that 44% of people under 40 still say they would like to stop working by 60 at the latest.
This is a "significant disconnect" from what is likely to happen in reality, the report says.
"In practice, ceasing to work at such early ages will exacerbate the gap in savings and target retirement income. It could also be detrimental at a macroeconomic level due to lowering labour participation rates," WEF explains.
In recent years many countries including the U.K. and France — where it has led to widespread anger — have bumped up the state retirement age over concerns including a lack of savings amongst retirees and the cost of funding pensions as people live longer.
The outcome of the poll shifts significantly when looking at the full data including all ages. Overall, 40% said they would like to keep working even after they turn 65.
The report, which came out Thursday and is titled 'Living Longer, Better: Understanding Longevity Literacy,' includes findings from a global poll of over 350 people about attitudes towards retirement.
When it comes to being financially set for the future, 55% of those polled said they did not have enough money saved to retire or weren't sure. Some 37% of those under 40 have also not thought about how much money they will need once they stop working, the poll found.
Those polled did say, however, that they would be comfortable living below their current salary in retirement.
"Respondents over the age of 40 appear more content with lower income replacement levels in retirement: 39% indicate wanting a third or a half of take-home pay, compared to only 25% of those under 40 years old," the report says.
When looking at all age groups together, 38% said they would ideally have at least two-thirds of their current pay available to them later in life, while 30% said they would like it to be the same or higher than their current income.
However, there is a major gap between what would-be retirees would like to have in terms of income and what they are projected to actually have, according to the World Economic Forum. This can be helped by working longer, saving more, making peace with having less money in retirement, and investing with a higher-risk, higher-return mindset.
Caution is however key, the World Economic Forum says. "There are significant economic, social and political ramifications associated with each of these levers, or with a combination of them," it explained in the report.
There are some financial concerns among younger generations, the report found, with 45% of respondents under the age of 40 believing they will need to help out older generations with money. "The days of "Bank of Mum and Dad" may be reversing," the report said.
Looking at the data in more detail, it shows that 38% of people in North America are expecting to provide financial support to elders, compared to 28% of Europeans, and 39% of women vs 35% of men.
"White respondents are almost half as likely to need to financially support older members of the family compared to other races," the report added.
Two-thirds of poll respondents also said they expected to provide care to older family members — which can, in turn, impact their own financial stability, the report noted.