When I tell people about Your Extra Innings, I often hear “Why the heck would I want to delay my retirement?” But, in a recent survey, 2/3 of Baby Boomers are planning to work or are working past 65. There are many reasons to consider working beyond the “normal” retirement age. Some are good and positive reasons and some aren’t so good and positive. Here are a few of the good ones:
1. Our health is good.
We are taking better care of ourselves, for the most part. Resources are everywhere on how to maintain your health, get fit, lose weight. Far fewer people smoke these days. And medical advances are making once fatal diseases curable and debilitating conditions manageable.
2. Therefore, we’re living longer.
In the past century, life expectancies have risen by almost 30 years. No longer does retirement mean at 65 you get a new recliner and a funeral at 70. The years after 65 can now amount to a third of your life span and you need to finance this “Longevity Bonus”. It makes sense to keep padding the retirement funds while you still able and willing to work. Furthermore, what are you going to do with all those added years?
3. Delaying Social Security.
As it works right now, if you delay taking Social Security benefits past your full retirement age, the amount you qualify for increases every year by around 8%. There are still many factors to consider when deciding when to file for Social Security and you should make that decision with a financial advisor, which I’m not. But 8% a year is a pretty good investment.
4. You like what you do.
You’re good at what you do and you like having a purpose. Almost 50% of pre-retirees who plan on some type of work in retirement say it’s for stimulation and satisfaction. I remember a news story a few years ago about a toll collector on one of our highways. He loved his job. He saw his mission was to bring a bit of sunshine to the drivers during their brief interaction. He greeted each one with a smile and a big hello and worked until his 70’s. There are nurses that love to nurse, teachers that love to teach, and me I love to be part of big construction projects.
5. Social Interaction.
You like the people you work with and the socialization you get from working with them. Whether it’s swapping the latest Game of Thrones theory or working through the terrible call during last night’s game, it can be hard to replace that interaction when you’re retired. Being part of a team makes you feel good. This is the number one thing retirees miss about working.
6. Mental Stimulation.
You want the mental simulation you get from working. Staying active and engaged helps keep your brain healthy. People who retire and are not engaged have been found to lose mental capacity faster than those who are working. So why not keep thing active and healthy between the ears.
Do any of these hit home? Please share your thoughts and comments. In my next post I’ll go over some of the common not-as-good reasons people may have to delay their retirements. If you sign up to be on my email list you’ll receive the next post in your in box.