As you’ve been planning and saving for retirement, you likely dream about retiring at a certain age, be it 60, 65, or 70 and beyond! However, while calculating your retirement income needs, your calculations might be coming up short. You may discover that you’d like to save more before making the retirement leap and assume your best bet is to push out your retirement. While this may sound like the most logical option, it isn’t always the most effective strategy.
According to the 2017 EBRI Retirement Confidence Survey, there is a considerable gap between when a person expects to retire and when they actually retire. While 38% of respondents stated that they would like to retire at age 70 or older, only 4% followed through. Most end up retiring earlier and often it’s not by choice. There’s always the chance you could lose your job or fall ill. Even if you want to work longer and save more, there’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to do that.
Let’s look specifically at a few reasons why retiring later is not a reliable strategy.
1. Unexpected Health Problems
Even if you are the picture of health today, you never know what will happen in five, ten, or twenty years. As you age, your health takes a toll. That same EBRI study previously mentioned showed 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 Family Needs Your Help
You’re not the only one aging! So are your loved ones. Even if you’re healthy, you may need to retire earlier than planned to take care of your spouse or a family member who falls ill. This happened to 14% of retirees in the EBRI study. 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.
3. You Lose Your Job
Few jobs are guaranteed, even if you’ve been working with your company for decades. Even if you’re a model employee, your company may downsize or go in a direction that no longer requires your position. As seen in the EBRI study, 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.
4. You Might Just Need a Change
When you’re in your fifties and still have years to go before you retire, it may seem simple enough to push out your retirement date from 65 to 70. But what happens when, at 63 or 64, you can’t imagine continue working for another six or seven years? 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?
Start with a Plan
You may be able to retire when you want to, but wouldn’t you rather know that you were doing everything you can to be successful and comfortable if you needed to retire earlier than expected? You’re never too young or old to start taking action and planning for your future, be it five or twenty years down the road.
At Beacon Wealth Management, our mission is to help you make smart decisions about your money. Working with us, we can help you map out various retirement scenarios to see what your savings can handle and then review opportunities for maximizing your savings. This could be contributing more to your 401(k) plan or IRA or considering alternative investments to boost your nest egg. To learn more, I invite you to request a free 60 minute discovery consultation or email me your questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.