For many retirees, age 65 is an important milestone. It’s the age at which you can file for Medicare coverage. It may be the age when you become eligible for company pension benefits. Once you turn 65, you may only have a year or two until you can file for Social Security. For many reasons, 65 is often considered to be traditional retirement age.
However, many workers now say their target retirement age is well beyond 65. In fact, according to a recent study from CareerBuilder, 30 percent of workers age 60 and older say they won’t retire before age 70. An additional 20 percent plan to never retire. That means half of all workers over age 59 say they will work at least another 10 years.1
There are many reasons why it can pay to delay retirement to age 70 or later. You get to delay your Social Security filing, which could substantially increase your benefit. You can stay on your employer’s health insurance plan, which may be less expensive and more robust than Medicare. And you get additional years to save for retirement while reducing the number of years in retirement that may need to be funded with distributions from your savings.
There are also nonfinancial benefits to working longer. If you enjoy your work, a prolonged career may give you additional purpose and drive. You might enjoy the social connections you maintain through work. The challenges of work could keep you mentally sharp and help stave off cognitive issues like Alzheimer’s or dementia.
Of course, working to age 70 could be difficult. There could be challenges that arise that limit your ability to continue your career. Below are three tips to help you overcome these challenges and extend your career as long as you’d like:
Invest in your health.
Even if you have every intention of working past age 65, your body may have other plans. According to the Council for Disability Awareness, 1 in 4 adults will suffer a long-term disability that forces them to leave work at some point in their lives.2 That risk could increase as you age and face greater vulnerability to medical issues. If you are forced to take a medical or disability leave in your 60s, you may find it difficult to recover and return to work. A leave could easily turn into early retirement.
Don’t let your career plans get derailed by injury, illness or chronic pain. If you want to work well past 65, you’ll need to invest in your health to limit your vulnerability. Eat healthy and exercise regularly. Stay current with doctor visits and any important prescriptions. Consider using brain games and puzzles to stay mentally sharp. An investment in your health is also an investment in your career and your financial well-being.
Continue to develop professionally.
Just because you’re nearing the end of your career doesn’t mean you should stop trying to improve your skills, knowledge and abilities. The world is changing quickly. Technology, globalization and other forces have transformed many businesses and industries. You can never predict when an employer may decide to undertake a major restructuring that eliminates jobs.
Limit your risk of job loss by investing in yourself. Take classes or training that will increase your knowledge. Volunteer to take on difficult projects at work. Make yourself so valuable that your employer will be resistant to eliminating your position before you’re ready to retire.
Develop a long-term risk strategy.
If you’re married, you’ll need to consider your spouse’s needs in addition to your own. You may want to work into your late 60s or early 70s. However, consider what might happen if your spouse needed medical care or assistance.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimates that 70 percent of all seniors will need long-term care at some point.3 If your spouse suffered an injury or a cognitive disorder and required constant assistance, how would that impact your career plans? Would you have to end your career prematurely to care for him or her? Could you afford to hire caretakers out of pocket? If not, think about purchasing long-term care insurance, which could help cover some or all of the cost.
Ready to plan your extended career? Let’s talk about it. Contact us today at Carstens Financial Group. We welcome the opportunity to help you analyze your needs and develop a strategy. Let’s connect soon and start the conversation.
Licensed Insurance Professional. This information is designed to provide a general overview with regard to the subject matter covered and is not state specific. The authors, publisher and host are not providing legal, accounting or specific advice for your situation. By providing your information, you give consent to be contacted about the possible sale of an insurance or annuity product. This information has been provided by a Licensed Insurance Professional and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting insurance professional. The statements and opinions expressed are those of the author and are subject to change at any time. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, presenting insurance professional makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. This material has been prepared for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide, and should not be relied upon for, accounting, legal, tax or investment advice.
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