Are You Planning On Retiring Later?
As you plan for retirement, saving diligently and getting all your ducks in a row, you may have a particular retirement age you are aiming for. If your calculations are coming up short, you may think you can just retire later, maximizing your working years and saving every extra dollar. But that might not be the most effective strategy.
The 2017 EBRI Retirement Confidence Survey reveals that there is a considerable gap between when a person expects to retire and when they actually retire. While 38% stated that they would like to retire at age 70 or older, only 4% followed through. It’s not a bad thing to want to work longer and save more, but there is no guarantee that you will be able to do just that. Here are a few reasons why retiring later is not a reliable strategy:
1. Unexpected Health Issues
Even if you are in perfect health now, you never know what will happen in five, ten, or twenty years. As you age, your health takes a toll. It’s just the way of life. EBRI tells us that 41% of retirees were forced to retire early due to hardships such as health problems or disabilities. Don’t bank on having those extra years to work and save.
2. Your Company Downsizes
It is incredibly disheartening if you are in the last few years of your career and your company downsizes, leaving you in the dust when you were counting on the income to provide for you in retirement. In fact, 26% of retirees were forced into early retirement due to changes at their company. At this stage of life, it’s challenging to find another job when interviewers know you will be retiring soon. While you can keep your skills sharp and take measures to prove your value to your current employer, you just never know what will happen to your company as the years go on.
3. Your Family Members Need You
Your loved ones are aging right along with you. Even if your health is excellent and your company still needs you, you may need to step back from the workforce earlier than planned to take care of a spouse or other family member. This has happened to 14% of retirees. Your family comes first, so you don’t want to feel the pressure of working just to have enough in retirement if the unexpected occurs. It’s not fun to plan for contingencies like this one, but having a proactive mindset can provide you with peace of mind.
4. You Might Regret It
What happens if you get to age 64 and you decide you are ready to move on to the next phase of life? If you were planning to work until 70, you might not have enough saved to retire earlier. If you have dreams of traveling, spending time with grandchildren, or volunteering for a cause you are passionate about, you want to ensure you have the time and energy to fulfill your dreams.
Since you can’t predict the future, what retirement strategy should you adhere to?
Make A Plan
You may be able to retire exactly when you want to, but wouldn’t you rather know that you did everything you could to be successful if you had to retire sooner? No matter how old you are, you can take steps to ensure that you have a rich life down the road.
Work with your financial advisor to map out various retirement scenarios to see what your savings can handle. Then, find ways to maximize your savings so you aren’t left in the lurch if your retirement plans fail. If you have an employer-sponsored retirement plan, contribute as much as you can to reap the benefits of company matching. Maximize your IRA and find alternative investments to increase your nest egg. Regardless of when you do retire, you won’t regret taking the time to plan ahead and protect yourself against the unforeseen.