I love the work I do. As an independent financial advisor in DC, I talk a lot about retirement planning. I emphasize the need to start early, set savings goals, and use financial strategies that build wealth. Everyone wants to have enough money to support the retirement lifestyle they imagine. Budgeting and saving for a life beyond work make sense. Recently, though, I have been rethinking the whole concept of retirement.
When should a person retire?
At what point is it time to leave your job and stop working? In fact, is retirement good for everyone? I discovered that there is a shift in thinking from the traditional concept of retirement to a more nuanced notion of "life stage." Arriving at your mid-60’s doesn’t need to signal the end of productive work or contribution. Many older people, working well beyond the traditional age of retirement, are challenging tradition and demonstrating fulfilling options such as shifting to part-time or taking on different responsibilities as well as embarking on new or second careers.
If you still love what you are doing and your health is good – often the body signals when it’s time to retire – why not continue until your situation changes? Too many leave a job they love because they’re “supposed” to retire at an arbitrary age. With today's rising lifespan expectancy, we could be facing roughly 20 or more years in retirement. On the other hand, if you have a long list of activities you wish you were doing instead and the financial resources you need, then it may be the right time to leave.
Can work be a retirement strategy?
According to a New York Times article, for many retirees, part-time work is a pillar of their retirement strategy, along with Social Security, retirement savings plans and other savings. For various reasons – from insufficient resources for retirement to a desire to be productive in the workplace - the fastest-growing segment of the total American workforce is those 55-plus. Even for those who have saved enough to retire comfortably, working for pay in retirement can help provide a safety net and peace of mind.
What are the financial benefits?
What does a new concept of retirement have to do with financial planning? Working longer can improve your financial situation. You can wait to take Social Security benefits or distributions from your retirement accounts, and may even be able to continue contributing to your savings plan. For some, including income in a retirement plan may have tax implications. You don't have to figure this out on your own. An independent financial advisor will listen to your goals, evaluate your financial situation and help you make the decisions about retirement options that will work for you.
Material discussed is meant for general illustration and/or informational purposes only, and it is not to be construed as investment, tax, or legal advice. Although the information has been gathered from sources believed to be reliable, please note that individual situations can vary. Therefore, the information should be relied upon when coordinated with individual professional advice.