This is an interesting question. Back in the days when everyone thought they knew what retirement was, 65 was the magic number for retirement. Now that we are in the 21st Century, there is no longer a magic number for the age of retirement.
There are several reasons there is no magic number any more. People are:
- Still recovering from the recession that started in 2008.
- Living 25 to 30 years longer.
The fact is that when you put living much longer with having less money to do so, most of us can no longer ignore the need to continue working later in life. Fortunately, there are good financial and mental health reasons for continuing to work beyond 65.
Let’s briefly look at some of the financial benefits. If you have fallen behind in saving for your retirement, working longer will help you build your financial resources. It gives you time to work with a financial planner to help you have a more financially secure retirement.
There are many mental health benefits for choosing to continue to work beyond 65 if you are physically able to do so. Depending on your situation, you:
- Will maintain important social contacts.
- Will have the opportunity to use your strengths and do meaningful things.
- May choose to change careers and do something you are passionate about.
- May use this time to retrain or take classes to update your skills.
- Feel like you matter and are leaving a legacy.
- May use this time to develop a portfolio career path.
- May gradually decrease the number of hours you work until you do retire.
Back to the original question about what a realistic retirement age is at this time, it really needs to be decided on an individual basis. Choosing to continue to work in your sixties and/or seventies depends on the availability of working opportunities, your physical health, your financial goals, and your values.
Some people will retire for the first time in their late fifties. Usually, they will move on to doing something else that they really want to do. Others will choose mid-sixties, and some will continue working until seventy and into their mid-seventies or longer.
As far as a realistic retirement age goes, 68 is a good age to begin to do a yearly check-in with yourself to evaluate your finances, health, and desire to continue working. This allows you to be flexible and honor your priorities.
If you are struggling making a retirement age decision, let me help you assess your retirement readiness and solve the mystery.
What other benefits do you experience from choosing to continue to work after 65?
In the meantime,