We hear every day about the impact our stumbling, bumbling economy has had on retirement nest eggs. Many have lost 30-40% of their savings at a time when then cannot afford a reduction of any kind. We retire to get away from the working world after scrimping and saving, to relax in the sun and the glory of no work. Isn’t that the way we are supposed to do it? That is what everyone from our employers to the government is telling us. So what is up with these senior citizens who say they do not want to stop working? Do they have a screw loose?
Barclay’s did a recent survey where they discovered that many wealthy workers have no intention of ever retiring. 60% of those surveyed in the U.K. plan to continue working, coining the phrase “nevertiree”. The survey was done for high net worth individuals so does it apply to the rest of us?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 18% of workers over 65 plan to continue working and this number is expected to increase to 22% by 2018. And this is not just triggered by recent financial problems. CNNMoney.com notes an upward trend in working longer prior to the financial collapse. So this thinking is across the board whether referencing the wealthy or otherwise.
Why work longer than you have to?
So how did we get to this point? Why would some find it attractive to keep working beyond retirement as compared to retiring as we are “supposed to”?
(1) If you delay collecting Social Security benefits to age 70 instead of starting at your earliest possible age 62, your benefits will be 75% more.
(2) Mental stimulation by remaining at work, facing challenges and meeting deadlines
(3) Interaction with co-workers.
(4) Making more money.
(5) You are not responsible for planning out your day. You show up for work and away you go.
(6) You like what you are doing and want to continue doing it.
And the trade-offs for continued work versus putting up a retired shingle?
(1) You are still doing what someone tells you as opposed to what you really want to do. If you keep on doing the same thing, you may never have a chance to pursue what you are truly passionate about.
(2) How much money do you really need to be happy? If you are struggling to make ends meet, work is the obvious option. But if not, do you really need an ostrich-sized retirement nest egg as opposed to a hen-sized one?
(3) When will you ever get to those projects around the house, that stack of great books, those music lessons or that foreign language course that you have been looking forward to?
(4) After working for 35-40 years, how about a change?
For me it comes down to a matter of personal preference. While I can understand having an interest in continuing to work for various reasons,retirement for me is my well-deserved time to do what I want to do. As long as I can afford to not work, that is what I will be doing. Before now was my working life. Moving forward is my retired life. And I plan on giving as much focus, effort and commitment to being retired as I did to working – maybe even a bit more.
Don’t forget to pick up a free copy of my Navigating the Retirement Jungle, available upon request by mailing to firstname.lastname@example.org.