There’s no longer such a thing as ‘retirement age’

Only 4% of retirees actually retire at age 70.

  • There is no “one size fits all” retirement age.
  • Deciding when to retire isn’t just about age —  personal choice, forced retirements, and financial situations are also factors.
  • It’s also important to remember that retirement could last up to 20 years.

In a recent column for MONEY, personal finance guru Suze Orman laid down the law about when we ought to retire: “Seventy is the new retirement age,” she let us know us in no uncertain terms. “Not a month or year before.”

Apparently she realized that such a pronouncement might be hard for some people to swallow because immediately afterward she added, “Don’t ‘Oh, Suze’ me just yet. Please hear me out.”

Well, I did — but my reaction after doing so is: “Oh, Suze, telling people not to retire before 70 has serious shortcomings as practical advice for real people living in the real world.”

Hear me out.

I’m totally on board when you alert people that their retirement stash may have to last into their 90s. And I agree 100% that by giving people more time to save — and more time for their savings to grow — that working longer can enhance their retirement security.

I’ve not only made those points many times myself, I’ve also gone on to outline specific strategies to reduce the risk of outliving one’s savings and provide concrete examples of just how much a few extra years on the job can fatten one’s nest egg.

But it’s a huge leap from that sensible advice to claiming that we all need to stay in harness until we hit 70.

That sort of one-size-fits-all recommendation is too rigid; it simply doesn’t allow for the wide variety of circumstances different people may face as they approach the later stages of their career.

For example, it may be fine for someone who has a job he or she finds challenging, rewarding, and not too physically exhausting (like, say, doling out financial advice) to continue working full or part-time to 70 or beyond.

According to the Employee Benefit Research Institute’s 2017 Retirement Confidence Survey, nearly half (48%) of retirees leave the workforce earlier than planned, citing reasons ranging from health problems to downsizing at their company to having to care for a spouse or other family member. No doubt that’s at least partly why EBRI finds that, despite 38% of workers saying they intend to retire at 70 or older, only 4% of retirees have actually done so.

The bigger point, though, is that deciding when to retire isn’t just about age. It’s a decision that requires addressing a variety of questions:

  •  Do you have enough saved to fund an acceptable lifestyle the rest of your life?
  • Are you emotionally ready to make the transition from career to retirement?
  • Do you have any health issues that might affect your longevity?
  •  Have you given serious thought to what you’ll do after you retire so your post-career life will be fulfilling and meaningful and not just a period of marking time?

Some people, after weighing these issues, may decide it makes the most sense for them to exit the workforce before age 70 — in some cases well before — and start enjoying retirement right away.

Others may prefer to wait a few years to improve their shot at a secure retirement, even if that means sticking with a job they don’t really like.

Read more…

Credits: Walter Updegrave, MONEY

About the Author

How can you know what you should do if you don’t know what you can do? Author, radio personality, educator and financial planning pioneer Stephen Kelley shares his secrets to More Now, More Later™ retirement income planning. Most planners regard income planning as a “zero‐sum game,” a “Rob Peter to pay Paul” exercise. In these self‐serving, Wall Street‐dictated scenarios, people must limit the amount of income they receive to ensure they don’t run out of money in retirement. But there is an alternative to this “less now, more later,” or “more now, less later” mentality. Using state‐of‐the‐art income planning techniques, and his own trademarked “Last Things First™” planning process, Stephen Kelley blows the lid off the traditional Wall Street‐serving methods and brings retirement planning home to the individual retiree. In his books you will learn how to: - Unleash as much as 3 times the lifetime income using half the money with Kelley’s trademarked planning process, Last Things First™ - Ensure your Social Security benefits enhance, rather than impede, your plan. - Reduce, or even remove, taxes and fees from your retirement plan. - Maximize market returns while minimizing market risk. - Regain control of your pension so you not only get all the income you can, but so you can also leave it to your heirs. - Take control of the planning process so you can spend freely without worry. - Much, much more.

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