Retirement isn’t everyone’s idea of a good time.
- There are advantages to working after the normal retirement age.
- Retirement is the perfect time to change your career direction.
- Working can be good for your bank account and your mind.
Yesterday I had coffee with two friends I’ve known since middle school. They both retired young. They are both bright and socially active and live a life that most people envy. And yet, retirement has never been a goal for me. In fact, I want to work until my fingers fall off or my great-grandchildren find me dead in front of my computer. For me, this is the ideal path.
I know a lot of people would disagree with me (husband thinks I’m a cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs), but I’ve put a lot of thought into it and I know what I want. Here are the top five reasons I want to keep working long after my friends start collecting Social Security
1. Financial Freedom
According to a survey conducted several years ago, only 18% of baby boomers are confident that they have enough money to retire comfortably. As my husband and I save and invest for retirement, I’ve heard enough stories from retirees to know that unexpected expenses eat into their monthly income.
Experts estimate that at age 65, the average couple spends about $11,400 on health care ($5,700 per person). Although we’re young and healthy now, maybe that’s not always the case, and I can’t begin to tell you how much I hate the thought of having to hang around the house because the fees medical services eat up our entire discretionary budget. No, Bob. I want to cover these expenses by working.
Plus, everything I earn from working can be used for fun things, like traveling and trying fancy new restaurants.
One more note on the financial freedom aspect of working longer than the average person: those who wait until age 70 to retire are entitled to a larger monthly Social Security check. I consider this a win/win. Even though I will have to pay $1 for every $2 earned once those SS checks start coming in, I still have some cash in front of me.
2. A “recall career” is always an option
One of the friends I mentioned earlier worked as a vice president of an insurance company and got used to a challenging career. Several times she said she was probably ready for something new. Retirement is fine, but she would like to add a part-time job to the mix. Although her expertise is in insurance, she has the opportunity to try something else which has always been of interest.
That’s the great thing about where she’s at in life. She can pivot in a whole new direction. She is a fantastic cook and excels in creating decadent Italian dishes and desserts. She could sell them to people like me who aren’t good at cooking. She could become a part-time consultant to insurance companies, offering her knowledge and ideas. Heck, she’s pretty athletic, so she could join the circus as a trapeze artist if she wants (I’m not sure what the application process is like).
The fact is that continuing to work does not mean doing the same thing for the rest of our lives. It may mean exploring new avenues. If these new avenues inject additional money into the bankstyle=”text-decoration: underline”>, so much the better.
3. I would miss the financial benefits
I am self-employed, which has very good advantages.
For example, because I own the business, I contribute to my Solo 401k as both an employee and an employer. As an employee of my company, I can deposit up to $27,000 into the retirement account. As an employer, I can contribute up to 25% of what I earn in a year. And let me tell you, I’m a generous employer.
Deregistrations of companies
In addition to claiming all business expenses as deductions at tax time, as a self-employed person, I can also deduct health insurance premiums, including premiums paid for long-term care coverage.
4. My colleagues challenge me
It took me about two minutes to realize that a lot of people I work with are around the age of my adult children. And yet, they are some of the most ethical, talented, and demanding writers and editors I have ever worked with. They make me better, which expands my skills and keeps things fresh.
One of the main reasons I always want to work is to stay connected to talents like theirs. If the birds of a feather really gather, I want to be in their flock. It’s good for my brain and my soul.
5. Work fights dementia and Alzheimer’s disease
Speaking of brains, a French government study of 429,000 former employees in France found that the risk of developing dementia decreased with each additional year worked beyond retirement age.
Carole Dufouil, research director of the study, said: “Our data show strong evidence of a significant decrease in the risk of developing dementia associated with advanced retirement age, consistent with the ‘use it’ hypothesis. or lose it “.”
For example, the study found a 14% reduction in Alzheimer’s disease among workers who retired at age 65 rather than 60. Those five extra years of work helped stave off one of the most cruel diseases on the planet.
As someone who watched my bright and dynamic father succumb to vascular dementia, I vowed to myself to do whatever I could to avoid the disease.
I could go on. For example, a study published in the National Library of Medicine (NLM) found that for every additional year a person delays retirement, they reduce the risk of death (from any cause) by 11%.
I understand that what I want is not for everyone. The point is, we should all aim to do the things in life that make us the happiest and healthiest. And for me, it works.
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