Delaying your retirement? 4 reasons why that might be a bad idea
It’s a rare worker who doesn’t think, “Retirement can’t come soon enough!” But when you’re actually considering when to retire, it can seem like every expert advises putting it off as long as possible. Here’s a refreshing change! There are some really good reasons and circumstances not to delay retirement; here are four of them:
#1 When it doesn’t make sense to wait to collect Social Security
In most cases, if you’ve worked enough quarters to qualify, you can start collecting Social Security when you turn 62 or delay it all the way up to age 70. There are financial incentives in the form of higher monthly payoffs each year you wait. That’s an obvious reason to delay retirement. But you may also want to consider that the total Social Security you collect might be more if you collect a few extra years of payments, even at a lower rate. And if you are worried about your longevity or need the money now, not in eight years, that’s a very good reason to start Social Security claims as soon as you can.
#2 Your spouse is retiring
Sounds crazy, right? You know all those books and movies with the theme of a retired breadwinner getting on a spouse’s nerves by hanging around the house all day. But research shows that those most satisfied in retirement make the transition around the same time as their spouse. Sure, there are other reasons to delay retirement even if your life partner is opting to retire now. “Everyone’s situation is unique, and your partner may be forced into retirement due to a layoff, a health issue, or some other life factor out of your control,” finance contributor Robert Pagliarini noted in Forbes. “There also might be a difference in ages, your current job standing, or maybe you’re just not ready. If your spouse is approaching retirement, evaluate your own career situation and see if it might make sense for you to follow.”
#3 You want a different job
Well, yeah, working really doesn’t equal retirement. But you should definitely consider all the angles if you don’t have your ideal job or just have a few other working world interests as you approach retirement age. There is no law that says you can’t retire and take up another post that’s more fun, more fulfilling or even just fewer hours. This is also a great way to pause if your spouse isn’t ready or able to retire. You can work the new job, earn some extra, and then you can both “officially” retire at the same time later.
#4 You’ve worked so hard you haven’t lived fully
Some folks who are movers and shakers, or even workaholics, may just automatically opt for the latest retirement possible. But if you have enough money saved and investments that will provide further security, you may miss out by delaying retirement. Because the truth is, you probably earned that financial security at the expense of some other pursuits. No, you don’t have to retire and relax if you’re not cut out for it. But if you’ve emphasized career over personal growth, early — or on-time retirement lets you rebalance. You may be able to travel, learn bridge or take up the amateur theater.
If you really want to be active, even busy, without continuing to work until you drop, you can focus on helping others. The adage “charity begins at home” definitely applies here. You can use that wealth of free time to help out the extended family with child care, tutoring, or chauffeuring. You may even want to pair up with adult children for some of those excursions your work life didn’t allow for early on. But you can’t just assume these wonderful pastimes will happen just because you put in for retirement. Plan for the pleasurable pursuits of retirement the same way you strategize about having enough retirement income. And let your plans be known so that everyone who will benefit can plan as well. That will give you all something to look forward to.