Economic recovery aside, seniors are working longer than the traditional retirement age
You’ve seen those TV commercials asking consumers how long they think the money they’re saving will last in retirement; and most of them are surprised by the results. Staying in the workforce past the traditional retirement age of 66, according to Social Security, may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but baby boomers who hang on to their jobs for a few more years are reaping the retirement rewards. A 2013 Wells Fargo Commercial Retirement survey revealed one-third of respondents expected to work until “at least 80” to accumulate the retirement savings they felt the needed to last for years to come.1
Working longer has many benefits including more time to grow your tax-deferred retirement savings account or extend employer health insurance or group life insurance benefits. Another benefit for working seniors is to defer taking their full Social Security benefits until after retirement age (66). Kiplinger.com reports on one of the advantages of deferring Social Security benefits as helping seniors avoid the “earnings test,” which docks your inbound earnings if you claim your benefits early. For example, for every $4 dollars that you earn over the set limits (over $15,480 or $41,400 in the year you reach full retirement age), you lose half of your benefits (e.g., $2). Social Security benefits are increased by a certain percentage, depending on your date of birth, if you delay your retirement beyond full retirement age. The catch is the benefit increase ceases to apply when you reach 70 years old, even if you continue to delay taking your benefits.
Keeping your current job is one of the best paths to a more fruitful retirement. You hear the Labor Department’s unemployment numbers each month. The unemployment rate has finally dipped below 7 percent but it’s still nowhere near where it has been historically. Leaving a job at an older age could put you at risk for not finding another one. If you decide you can’t stay in your current job any longer, consider moving from full- to part-time or choose to work in one of the fields where seniors are finding work today including elderly caregiving, driving jobs, retail or state/city/county government positions. If you choose to cut down your work time, be cognizant of the fact that your diminished hours could limit your eligibility for health benefits or life insurance.
Happiness in retirement has different meanings for every American. Many focus on their nest egg, ensuring it’s full enough to last them through old age (and we are living longer these days), and for others, it’s stepping out of the work force to de-stress and enjoy spending more time with family, friends, hobbies or traveling. Whatever path is right for you, our financial professionals are experienced at developing personalized retirement strategies to help meet your long-term financial goals. Give us a call today to learn more.
These are the views of Cassie Dono, a freelance financial writer and news commentator, not the named Representative or the Broker/Dealer, and should not be construed as investment advice or a recommendation. Neither the named Representative nor Broker/Dealer gives tax or legal advice. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, we make no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If expert assistance is needed in these areas, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. Please consult your Financial Advisor prior to making any investment decisions.