Not many years ago the age of 65 was that “special” number that told a person that they were ready to retire. The idea may still be appealing as far as calling it “quits” before we’re too old or too cranky to enjoy our “golden years” but, in reality, 65 is probably too young an age to retire these days. In fact, a recent Gallop Survey showed that over 75% of people working right now are planning on working past 65 and, unfortunately, nearly 40% are going to do it because they have to. With that in mind we put together a blog today with some thoughts, advice and suggestions that will help you to determine if retiring at 65 is the right thing for you to do or not. Enjoy.
- Do you still actually have a Job? If you do and you’re still able to take care of your job duties effectively (and the job itself isn’t making you want to kill someone) it might make sense to stay there and keep working for a few years longer. The fact is, the longer that you can delay getting your Social Security payments the more money those checks will have in them when you finally do get them. Working longer will also allow you to take advantage of health insurance premiums from your employer rather than having to pick up 100% of the tab on your own. The fact is, if you lose your job or get forced out after 50 (for any reason) there really is no guarantee that you’ll quickly be able to find new employment, so if you already have a job you may just want to stick with it for a while longer.
- Are you completely prepared, financially? Here’s the thing; statistically speaking, if you retire at 65, you’re going to live at least another 20 years as a retiree. If you’ve worked for the last 30 years and have contributed to Social Security you going to be receiving monthly benefits but these benefits were never intended to completely replace the money you’re making right now. Indeed, as of August 2013, the average monthly benefit from Social Security was $1270 and the average MAXIMUM monthly benefit for someone who retires at their full retirement age is $2533. While it’s true that a lot of bills that you have while working will disappear when you retire, there are other expenses that can take their place including increased health care costs. If you think about it, you don’t just want to “get by” when you retire, you want to enjoy yourself. If you haven’t prepared yourself completely to do that, financially speaking, working for a few more years is probably your best bet.
- Do you have other interests besides your current job? If you’ve been working at the same or similar job for the last 30 years your daily, weekly, monthly and even yearly activities have probably been defined by that job. Projects, meetings, deadlines and strategy sessions were the norm and, indeed, that’s what you were hired to do for your company. Once you retire you will immediately become responsible for killing this time with something else and, if you don’t have outside interests, interesting things to do or something to fill your time, you may find that you are bored out of your mind and wishing that you would’ve stayed at work. With that in mind it pays to prepare for retirement not just financially but also with plans about how to fill your days with something interesting, entertaining or time-consuming.
- Do you still enjoy working? While there are certainly many people who dread going into work every day there are also quite a few lucky individuals who look forward to going into work for the camaraderie, the challenge and other reasons. These people literally thrive on social interactions with their colleagues as well as the fellowship that they feel from working towards a communal goal or purpose. A steady paycheck is certainly a great reward for a job well done as well as the kudos from your boss and compatriots. Point being, if your job is interesting, challenging and you still enjoy it, you may consider staying there for a few years longer rather than stopping everything completely when you hit the big 6 5.
Retiring at the age of 65 is no longer looked upon as a “must” but rather as a “possibility”. There are certainly plenty of individual factors that come into play including how much retirement savings you have, how your health is faring and whether or not you still like working. Before making any decisions, sit down with your spouse, a trusted family member or professional financial advisor and take a look at all of your options. If you have any questions about retirement, personal finances or finances in general, please let us know and we’ll get back to you with information, advice and solutions.