An opinion survey of Americans 55 and older reported new expectations on the emotional mindset, attitudes and expectations of pre-retirees and retirees nationwide post-recession.

According to a new study sponsored by SunAmerica Financial Group in collaboration with Harris Interactive and Age Wave, today, 54% view retirement as a new chapter in life, rather than a winding down–a significant increase over the 38% that held a similar view a decade ago. Pre-retirees said they now intend to delay retirement by five years–from 64 to 69–triggered in part by the recession and financial need.

Almost two-thirds said they would ideally like to remain productive and include some work in retirement to stay active and involved. Financial peace of mind is now six times more important than accumulating wealth with 82% naming it their key financial goal.

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